How to Create the Perfect Kitchen

phoenix-white_HeroProductRangeI’ve been writing a series of these posts over the last 6 months, and they’ve been really popular. Today, I want to tackle an area of the home where we spend a lot of time, which needs to be practical as well as look beautiful. The following tips and ideas on how to create the perfect kitchen have been brought together from some of the top interior bloggers and stylists in the UK, who want to share their knowledge and expertise to help anyone embarking on a new kitchen project. Many of them have designed and styled their own kitchens so have plenty of experience to share.

If you’re planning on designing and installing a new kitchen in the near future, I do hope these suggestions are useful. There’s a lot to think about, and of course it’s a big investment, so you want to get it right. What’s right for one person might not work for another so these tips showcase a variety of ideas; take away those that work for you.

How to Create the Perfect Kitchen:

The Planning:

Get as many designers as possible to come and have a look. Take your time in making decisions about it. It’s something you only really want to do once so it’s worth getting it right. Susan – http://www.oldfashionedsusie.com

Think about how your kitchen will flow, then think about it again and again making sure your cooker, cupboards and counter space lend itself well to how you use the space, cook and eat. If your kitchen is near the front of your house (like mine) do guests tend to congregate there? If so, think about a suitable seating area or island to gather and have drinks around as you’re preparing food. Having a floor plan and a list of uses for the space a must before you start buying and installing. Walk around it with your ideas in mind” Hope that’s along the right lines. Fiona – fifimcgee.co.uk

When designing a kitchen it’s imperative to research and source good quality, hard wearing materials. Sounds boring I know, but kitchen needs to be able to take a lot of knocks and scrapes. That in mind invest in a good quality worktop, a strong composite material, stainless steel or even solid marble would work well and look great. Hannah – http://www.hannahinthehouse.com/

For me its (space permitting) having a room that’s multifunctional, and for all of the family. We have a living, dining and kitchen all in one room, and that works for us. So planning the space so it accommodates how you want to live in it would be my top tip. Amanda – http://theanamumdiary.co.uk

how to create the perfect kitchenYou can never had too many sockets, plan some for inside your cupboards too. If you’ve taken a wall down, like we did, you’re going to lose a wall’s worth of cupboard and worktop space. Use the dining room to provide open shelving. We keep our wine glasses and coffee machine that side which frees up a lot of space in the kitchen. Plan out your new kitchen space in the garden or large space. Walk around in it. Pretend to make a cuppa. Does it work? Kitchens need both form and function, so don’t just do what looks good, do what works well. Karen – http://blog.making-spaces.net

Planning the layout thoroughly in advance is vital, especially if you’re knocking down a wall or moving around key appliances, such as the cooker or hob. If you’re not sure about how everything will fit in or work, it’s helpful to get some floor plans or 3D images created. You can do them yourself for free online, but a lot of companies offer a free planning and design service, with no obligation, and these are well worth taking up. Also, choose your cabinets carefully, especially if you don’t want them to date. And think about light too – dark wood or black kitchens may look nice in a showroom, but will they work in your home? Finally, any small gaps can be used for a tea towel rail, cookbook shelves or wine bottle storage! Rachel – www.freshdesignblog.com

I agree with all the above, planning is key to getting a good result, and shopping around to find your dream kitchen look is imperative. The images I’ve used here are all from Betta Living, who stock a wide range of kitchen styles, many of which I’d happily install in my own home.

Storage:

pasadena-cream_heroHaving recently renovated our kitchen and taken down the wall between the kitchen and the dining room which meant we lost all that additional wall space. I would definitely say plan for your storage. Its really important to have enough space for the essentials Karen – http://www.thewhiteapproachlifestyle.co.uk/

Think long term how your requirements might change. We built our kitchen specifically so we could start a family but now have almost 20 ground level cupboards to baby proof. I didn’t think that one through!!
Karen – http://welliguessthisisgrowingup.co.uk/

The Luxuries:

alderley chalk kitchenI found having a double drawer dishwasher very useful. So you always have one to use when the other one is washing. Also underfloor heating in the kitchen is a must luxury. Geraldine – http://littlebigbell.com

If you want a bespoke kitchen without spending a fortune, my top tip is to inject lots of hand-made touches to your space to make it completely unique. I picked off-the-shelf kitchen base units but instead went for co-ordinating wall units, I put up wooden shelving made from scaffolding planks. Rather than shop-bought handles, my boyfriend made ours out of copper piping (cheap as chips!). We went for classic metro tiled splash back but then used coloured grout so now they looked real special. Friends can’t believe our kitchen wasn’t from a fancy expensive shop! Maxine – www.welovehomeblog.com

The Essentials:

Whether you have a large or small kitchen be clever about where you spend the money. Chunky wooden, or granite worktops may be expensive but they will elevate the entire space and make it look high-end even if it isn’t. Likewise the lighting. You can save money on the cabinets and appliances. There’s no point in all-singing and all-dancing cookers if you hardly ever cook or will not use the features. Carole – http://deardesigner.co.uk/

I think the perfect kitchen would have to be one that works for the whole family…so a table children can draw at without giving you a panic! and with cupboards at heifghts where kids can help themselves to cups. It has to be really practical to work. Becky – http://www.abeautifulspace.co.uk

I am currently planning my kitchen and I would say my top tip would be ‘Don’t forget a place for the bin’ Steph – http://blog.bay-bee.co.uk

Make it Your Own:

cleveland-oak_heroConsider having a breakfast area with the kettle, toaster, mugs and plates all close together. Have one low cupboard with kids’ bowls, spoons, cups and cereals so they can learn to be self sufficient on Saturday mornings. If you’re buying a budget kitchen consider spending a little more on handles from somewhere else; the touch points are key. Paint the inside of the cupboards in a bright, unexpected colour that will make your heart sing every time you open a door. Kitchens are full of cold surfaces and hard lines – think about leaving wooden chopping boards on display and either install a dimmer or make room for a soft wall or table light to change the mood from working kitchen to relaxing dining. Kate –  www.madaboutthehouse.com

Aren’t these tips amazing? I do think if you’re looking for any advice on how to create the perfect kitchen, you won’t find such great tips in one place. Thank you to all my fellow bloggers for their time in contributing to this post, and if you think we’ve missed anything, do add your top tip in the comments below.

Images: All above with permission from Betta Living

How to create the perfect kitchen

Perfect kitchen image via Shutterstock

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6 Comments

  1. November 3, 2015 / 12:49 pm

    Super tips from everyone, so helpful for when you are planning your kitchen. I will be coming back to this to make sure I have remembered everything in my new kitchen design.

  2. November 3, 2015 / 5:20 pm

    Great post Jen! What a resource. Thank you for including me and my two pennies worth 🙂

  3. November 3, 2015 / 7:10 pm

    Super post Jen. Don’t need to know anything else its all here. Thank you for including me xx

  4. November 3, 2015 / 7:33 pm

    Great tips, I especially like Carole’s (no, not me!) about worktops and “showoff” items that don’t get used. Looking forward to soon planning my own kitchen remodel 😉

  5. November 5, 2015 / 7:45 am

    I’m hoping to have a new kitchen fitted in the next 6 months. Planning is so important. Something you don’t really mention is getting a great company to fit it for you. Reliable workmen are like gold dust around here.

    • November 6, 2015 / 12:55 pm

      That’s a really good point Mel, no point sourcing the best design if you get a botch job on the fitting. x

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