Kitchen with island, and French oak flooring

Your kitchen is, in some ways, the nerve centre of your home. A working environment, but also a place for conversation, as people pop in to see the chef. If you are lucky enough to own a large kitchen, it can also function as a dining room or the main party room.

Designing your own kitchen can be a complicated project but with a few handy hints it doesn’t have to be.

Take it one step at a time, and you can be the owner of a beautiful, functional room designed entirely by yourself.

Style

Hopefully, when you see the best kitchen style for you, it will leap out. With perhaps thousands to choose from, selecting your style is by far the biggest decision.

Layout

All of the major kitchen sales showrooms will have computer design programs that can speed the process up, but that sometimes means making quick decisions under the influence of salesmen. Possibly not the best environment for you.

A less high-tech method for designing your layout is to, firstly, get a brochure that gives measurements of all the units within the range you are drawn to. Most kitchen cabinets are a standard size these days, whatever range you choose, so the style is not set in stone.

Measure your kitchen and draw the room shape, to scale, on a sheet of paper. Next, draw and label shapes, to the same scale, corresponding to each of the kitchen units and appliances. Open a bottle of wine or a can of beer. Now sit at a table and place those shapes on your floor plan and begin arranging your kitchen. It is so simple to move all of the units around, and you are under no pressure to make a decision.

Try to keep your main appliances close to each other for an efficient workplace.

Appliances

Will you buy the kitchen appliances from the same supplier who is fitting your kitchen? Alternatively will you shop around and find exactly the right items for you? There are so many appliances to choose from these days. Your kitchen installers will accommodate you should you decide to source you equipment elsewhere.

Modern kitchen

Floors

The correct floor enhances the beauty of your kitchen. Careful consideration to both material and colour will pay dividends whether you choose tiles, carpet, vinyl or even oak laminate floors.

Lighting

Under cupboard lighting, above your worktops is probably the most popular and functional in your kitchen. Though Lighting is a fantastic way to create a good atmosphere. There are thousands of different light fittings out there, and a good trawl through the internet should give you some creative ideas.

Suppliers and Installers

There are major kitchen companies out there whose quality of materials and workmanship are guaranteed. However would you consider using your own independent tradesmen? If you were able to source all elements of the kitchen yourself, there are relatively few trades needed for installation. By asking friends and relatives for recommendations,  you could surely source a competent electrician, plumber, carpenter and tiler. This could potentially save you thousands in labour costs if you were able to work you way through the project management.

A beautiful and functional kitchen is sure to add value to your home, so if you are thinking of home improvements you may want to put this at the top of your list. It is also a room that, if done properly, can make your neighbours green with envy. So get stuck in and enjoy the process, you will be glad you did.

Colin

Interior design nerd, co-owner of CSW.