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The Dos and Donts of kitchen design

While browsing over on Instagram I have come across many of you who currently renovate your homes and most precisely your kitchens. Kitchens and bathrooms seem to be the two rooms most of us want to change in our homes, and while some can make the change before moving in, a lot of us are stuck with rooms we do not love until the budget is available to make changes.

But even where money is not a problem, there are other issues to consider, like loosing the entire room while work is on going and cooking out of the garage (like my dear friend Laura next door), having a crew onsite for weeks on end and as well as trying to manage the dust and security of the home (especially if you have an extension!). With that in mind, I asked an interiors expert to share their tips in kitchen design, hopefully to help us all avoid costly and timely mistakes!

Deborah Heath, is the owner and lead interior designer of Design By Deborah, a UK based interior design company. Design By Deborah provides a boutique interior design service for people who want to create beautiful homes that reflect their individual style. Nothing is off the shelf with her which is the approach I know many of your will prefer! Let's hear what she has to share today!

The Dos and Dont's of Kitchen Design, by Deborah Heath


According to the 2017 Houzz & Home Study, the average spend on the interior renovation of a kitchen is £11,700. It is by far the most expensive remodelling space in a house. We spend on average £6,300 on a bathroom, £3,900 on a living room, and £1,800 on a bedroom.

It doesn’t come as a surprise. A kitchen is full of expensive appliances. It also a high-traffic area that requires more durable and, as a result, more expensive materials. While approaching a remodelling project with careful planning and budgeting is always important, it is simply a must when it comes to a kitchen. So we decided to put together a little cheat sheet that will help you avoid a number of costly mistakes.

Photo: Design by Debora

Photo: Design by Deborah

Photo: Design by Deborah

DO plan out the functions and a workflow

Each kitchen, irrespective of its size, has to serve a number of functions: storage, cooking, food prepping, cleaning, refrigerating, etc. Each of these activities requires a dedicated space and a certain logic to their arrangement.

Before you make a single purchase, create a list of your kitchen activities and sketch out the location of each zone based on your routine to ensure a smooth flow of these activities.

DO plan big appliances first

It is much easier to neatly put up cabinets, drawers, and shelves around a fridge than to find a fridge that’s both the right size for your needs and perfectly fits into a dedicated space.

DON’T underestimate the amount of storage space you need

Did you ever hear anyone complain about having too much empty storage space? Probably not. That’s because no matter how much storage space we have, it’s never enough. When it comes to kitchen design, you must get creative and think long and hard about your storage needs.

Don’t let a square centimetre of your space go to waste. Open shelves, plate racks, ceiling-height cabinets, pull-out pantries, crockery drawers – think of storage as a Tetris game.

Above and below: Jackie Glass Inc

DO maximize counter space

It is difficult to enjoy cooking if you are constantly frustrated by the lack of counter space. It is inconvenient and messy. However, even if your kitchen is tiny, you should try to squeeze in as much counter space as possible.

You can maximise this space by removing all other items from it and putting them on easily accessible shelves. Here you will find a few great ideas to gain extra counter space, while this article will help you decide which surface solution best matches your needs - wood vs. stone.

Photos above: Design by Deborah

DO use durable materials that require minimum maintenance.

Between cooking, eating, and washing dishes, a kitchen is a high-traffic area that gets dirty much faster than the rest of the house. That’s why quality and easy maintenance should be at the top of your list of factors with which you make purchasing decisions.

For example, pick high-gloss or semi-gloss paint for your walls, doors, and windows in the kitchen. They are the most durable and the easiest to clean. Check out this guide on paint finishes for more information.

Above and below, source: Jane Lockhart

DO make a plan for lighting

A kitchen is a work space and, as such, it should be well-lit. Incorporate natural light, design layers of lighting, think of the size of the fixtures, consider paint colour – there are a dozen factors that you should carefully plan out as lighting plays an important role in setting the mood of a space. Check out a few ideas for lighting your kitchen.

DON’T leave small things for later

One of the most common mistakes we see in interior design is not accounting for the tiniest of details. For example, imagine buying expensive appliances, painting the walls, and putting up an expensive mosaic tile backsplash, only to realise that you have nowhere to plug in the new stove.

You then have to damage parts of your newly renovated wall to install a power outlet. Eliminate these completely unnecessary expenses by thinking through every single detail and integrating them into a bigger picture.

Above and below, source: Jane Lockhart

DON’T get carried away by trends

Stainless steel appliances, smart tech, dark paint colours, quartz countertops, ceramic flooring, delicate pastels, gold accents, open shelving, multiple ovens – these are just a few of the 2018 kitchen design trends.

On their own, they are all stunning ideas if executed correctly. However, don’t turn into a blind follower of trends as they are bound to go out of style sooner or later. Instead, focus on your style preferences and create a design that you can see yourself being happy with for a long time with just a sprinkle of trendy accents.

So let's re-cap !

infographic dos and donts of kitchen design

Have you recently remodelled your kitchen and would like to share a few tips? Make sure to leave a comment below.



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