When considering a new kitchen, you may find yourself stuck in the “I know I want one, but I have absolutely no idea what I want it to look like” phase, don’t panic! This is normal. There is a plethora of kitchen designs, styles and ideas out there for you to explore, which can feel a little overwhelming at first. The key is to start looking at what inspires you and what you really love the look of. Browse through images of  kitchens, worktops, materials, themes and colours, tiles and so on, until you find what starts to tick your boxes.

The next step is to make a wish list, or a “must-have” list. What can and can’t you live without? This way you can balance your dream against your priorities, for example, if you love to cook you may want a large range cooker and need ample preparation space for your creations. Or, if you wanted something a little unconventional, a central island with a sink and integrated appliances. There may be specific appliances that are an absolute must have, like that wine fridge you’ve had your eye on for years.

Here are some standard questions we would ask when working with you to design a new kitchen:

  1. What elements in particular, such as the fridge and cooking station, do you want to be close together? This is important to consider to make the kitchen as efficient as possible, keeping everything important within easy reach.
  2. What appliances would you like, and will there realistically be room for them in the space available? For example, you might want an American-style fridge freezer instead of a slimmer fridge.
  3. Where do you need the most counter space? Of course you’ll need space around the hob and oven, but what else do you usually use worktop space for? Perhaps a larger area for baking cakes, or even a space dedicated to ‘dirty jobs’, such as cleaning and polishing shoes if you don’t have a utility room.
  4. How much storage do you need? Is there anything in particular, other than general food supplies, than you need to store – perhaps your mixer/steamer/sandwich press you don’t want on display. Bespoke cabinetry can help you to design clever places for these appliances to be stored away neatly. If you have a large family, you could solve all of your food storage problems with a larder, which also makes a fabulous feature piece!
  5. Do you need kitchen table space to use for social events such as dinner parties? Or for when you’re being super-parent and helping the kids with homework whilst cooking at the same time? We can address how cabinetry can be situated to see how plausible it is to free up this extra space.
  6. Where do you want to keep the utensils, mugs, dinnerware etc, that you use most? Do you want them stored in cupboards out of the way, or on display to make a feature? The latter is particularly popular in smaller kitchens where storage space is limited.

It’s important to consider both what you want and what you need from your kitchen space when considering a particular style. For example, if you’re having an extension built or two rooms being made into one to create a bigger space, it’s a good idea to meet with kitchen designers early on in the process, so that your kitchen can be designed as the principal part of that new space, rather than an afterthought. Aspects such as the size and shape of the space, available lighting (both natural and artificial), positioning of appliances and budget are all crucial factors to consider when deciding on a layout. It’s important to be honest about your budget with your kitchen designer, as there are many ways a design can be made more cost effective, such as altering the types of materials used for the carcasses and worktops, as well as appliance brands and so on. A good kitchen designer will be happy to work with you on this and not constantly push for the more expensive option.

If you have a smaller kitchen with only one window, try to make the most of that natural light when considering a layout. Three main layouts which are particularly suitable for smaller spaces are the one-wall, galley and U-shaped kitchens.

  1. One-wall: is there a particular wall in the kitchen that has the most light fall on it throughout the day?
  2. U-shape: if possible, aim to have the natural light source in the middle of the U, this will encourage the light to spread out as evenly as possible onto the other two runs. Also consider the option of not having wall cabinets either side of the window, perhaps have shelving instead to encourage a wider spread of light into the kitchen rather than a funnel effect straight ahead.
  3. Galley: similar to the U-shape but without the middle run of cabinetry, try and position centrally to the natural light. If this is not possible, try and consider how the design can best utilise the light.

You can read more about these types of kitchen, alongside many others, in our blog: What are the Most Popular Kitchen Layouts.

Discussions with your kitchen designer will help them get to know you, listen to your requirements, and then come up with ideas you may not have considered which will compliment your own. Bespoke kitchen designers are experts in designing layouts with the understanding and appreciation that each customer is unique in their own requirements. Due to the skilled level of craftsmanship in bespoke joinery, the choice of materials, colours, fittings and styles are essentially limitless, and cabinets can be made to any size. This all lends itself to ensuring you choose the perfect layout for your kitchen which makes the most of the space available.

Each bespoke kitchen company will have their own procedure when it comes to kitchen design. At Alresford Interiors, we come out to your home and meet with you in person to get to know you and discuss the type of design you are after (though you’re also more than welcome to come to us at our offices). We‘ll look at what you already have and listen to your thoughts on what you do/don’t like, your wish list, and what you would want to keep, move or remove completely, if anything! We’ll take some initial measurements, or if your kitchen project is a work in progress (or doesn’t exist yet) then we are happy to discuss architect drawings and go from there to create images and help you visualise your new kitchen’s layout.

For any more help and advice, or if you’re looking to start designing a dream kitchen of your own, please feel free to call us on 01962 733016, email info@alresfordinteriors.co.uk or pop into our workshop and we can get your kitchen project off the ground today!