How to plan a new kitchen layout: 5 top tips

A recent report by money.co.uk found UK homeowners have invested an average of £4,035 each on home renovations since the UK lockdown began in March 2020. When it comes to investment, a new kitchen is one of the most significant purchases you’ll make for your home, so there are lots to think about to make sure you get it right!

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Our Design Director, James Bodsworth, shares his five top tips for planning a new kitchen layout to ensure you create your dream space.

James’s 5 top tips for planning a new kitchen layout

Tip 1: Look at how you need the space to work
What we mean by this is really thinking about how you use your kitchen day-to-day, and how you need it to work for you and your family. You should spend time considering this as a starting point when thinking about the best way to layout your kitchen.

Other than a space to cook and eat, what else do you need your kitchen design to do for you? For example, do you often use your kitchen as a home office or second space to work? If so, you might want to consider incorporating a small desk and workspace into the design of your new kitchen. If you regularly entertain friends for meals and drinks, an extra fridge or built-in cool drawer can offer really useful additional space for food, wine and beer.

Kitchen islands have also become increasingly popular when creating a new kitchen design and layout, because they create a central focal point in the room and are ideal for a multitude of everyday tasks including baking, working, eating and crafts – and can work really well in a busy kitchen.

Extra tip: kitchen islands don’t work in every kitchen and depend on the space available, but a kitchen peninsula can achieve the same effect in a smaller room.

Tip 2: Think about the ‘work triangle’
The ‘work triangle’ is the distance between your cooker, fridge and sink. These three areas are the main functional spaces of your kitchen and the ones you’ll use day in, day out – so making sure they’re relatively close to each other as part of your new kitchen design is key.

Try and avoid having a cooker on one side of your kitchen and your sink far away on the other, for example, because over time you’ll find this irritating when you are living in and using your kitchen day today.

Another top tip when planning your new kitchen layout is to try and ensure your dishwasher is positioned close to (or next to) your sink. As well as the plumbing being readily available and easily accessible for both, you avoid having to trail used cutlery and crockery over your kitchen floor and can instead pop it straight into the dishwasher after rinsing.

Extra tip: There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to the work triangle and it often depends on the size of your kitchen and what’s important to you, so work with a professional kitchen designer to figure out the solution that works best for you. Find your nearest Daval showroom here for some expert advice.

Tip 3: Incorporate lots of storage
If we were to consider our number one tip for designing your new kitchen layout, it would most probably be to make storage a priority. You can never have too much of it and working with a kitchen designer to create a bespoke kitchen will allow you to maximise storage solutions regardless of the size of your space.

Things to think about in regards to storage as part of your kitchen design include considering whether you want features like a dedicated pantry (maybe you’re a keen cook with lots of herbs and spices crying out for a neat home or a baker with ingredients galore that all need a specific space to live), and built-in cupboards with sockets that allow you to stow away frequently used electrical items like coffee machines and toasters, helping you to keep your worktops tidy and aesthetically pleasing.

Extra tip: You can never have too much storage. Make a list of things you use a lot in your kitchen but want a dedicated place for as part of your new kitchen design, and then share this with your kitchen designer.

Tip 4: Consider lighting early on in the design process
Lighting is crucial as part of your kitchen layout and makes a huge difference to the overall aesthetic of the space. Get the lighting right and your kitchen will take seamlessly transition from a vibrant, busy space during the day to somewhere that is calm, tranquil and relaxing while you prepare your evening meal or host a dinner party for family and friends.

The three main types of lighting you should think about including in kitchen your design are general lighting (think ceiling lights and main wall lights), task lighting (lighting under your cupboards that illuminates the worktop for when you are preparing food) and accent lighting (softer lighting in glass-fronted cupboards, around the perimeter of your cabinetry etc).

Ideally, aim for a good mix of all three of these lighting types when planning your kitchen design so you can achieve a good balance of practical lighting for everyday jobs and mood lighting for when you want to relax.

Extra tip: Thinking about lighting early will mean you can establish where you might need to install new electrics, especially if you want to include new wall lights or swap spotlights in your ceiling for pendants over an island.

Tip 5: Think about appliances early on
Factors like the size of your oven and hob will have a bearing on how the space around these items is designed, so try and get an idea of what you think you’ll got for early on in the kitchen design planning process. If you’re a keen cook or baker, go for models with all the features, but if you prefer simply meals, simpler appliances will suffice.

If you have a large family or simply love a well-stocked fridge (like us!), you might want to opt for an American style fridge freezer. You’ll need to account for this when it comes to designing your cabinetry and surrounding storage, so having an idea of the appliance you want will really help the process.

Other things to think about include whether you might want an instant hot and sparkling water tap for drinks, or a hob with a built-in extractor if you’d prefer not to have a cooker hood.

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