23 October 2020
Considering a kitchen refurbishment project but not sure where to start? This article covers the main three steps regarding how to plan, design and manage your kitchen renovation.
Going into considerable detail, we’ll highlight the key questions you should be asking your kitchen designer. We’ll also let you in on some of our most successful kitchen planning tips and outline how you can project manage your kitchen renovation.
First things first: we’ll first start at the very beginning with how to design a kitchen.
When deciding how to design a kitchen it’s crucial you know what type of kitchen you’re wanting to
create, and what you want the renovation and overall space to achieve.
A perfect example of this can be seen when considering an open plan kitchen concept. One of the most popular kitchen designs, the reason an open plan kitchen needs careful planning is that once it’s ‘open’, it’ll impact every other space it’s integrating with. Design synergy is a must.
So, before inviting anyone into your home to survey the existing space and come up with a design, it’s good to have a rough idea of what you want to achieve. There can be a number of reasons why you’re wanting to carry out the works, for example:
- Do you want more storage?
- Do you want to modernise a tired design?
- Do you want to create an open plan concept?
- Do you want to make the available space more functional in practice?
- Do you want an area to cook, socialise, host and entertain?
- Do you want a design that’s easier to use, low maintenance and accessible?
When it comes to the various types of design available, we’ve created several detailed and informative articles, depending on the type of kitchen design you have in mind. Take your pick from the below articles:
Designing a kitchen is no mean feat so, if you’ve decided to engage with a professional party it's vital you have a preempted list of key questions to really get the most out of their design capabilities.
In our experience the most commonly asked questions - and questions you should be asking when it comes to kitchen design cover:
1. The options available for:
a) Kitchen Styles i.e. Traditional, Linear or Contemporary Kitchens
b) Kitchen Worktops
c) Kitchen Storage
d) Kitchen Flooring
f) Kitchen Lighting
2. Whether freestanding or integrated appliances would be best
3. Wanting to be confident you’re making the right decision and wanting to see a CAD
4. Wanting to know how long the work will take and associated costs - this can determine whether you change your requirements and budget, therefore impacting the design.
And, like we said at the start, understanding your core reasons for the work and communicating these with your chosen designer will help them to help you get the kitchen you not only want, but need.
A kitchen designer should be able to offer you a plethora of clever kitchen design ideas that they can specifically tie into your renovation. For example if your existing kitchen is small they are likely to have a number of space enhancing design techniques in their arsenal to make the most of the available space. These might include using colour and reflective fixtures and surfaces, which is a great way of bouncing light around a small room and making it feel bigger than it actually is.
Although most clever kitchen design ideas are specific to space and style there are a handful of general ideas that can be adopted in most designs including:
Reducing the amount of tiles you have in your kitchen will reduce the amount of grout. Replacing tiles with splash backs will create a flush and easy to clean finish, perfect if you want a maintenance-free kitchen concept.
We would always recommend you declutter before the start of any renovation, and this is particularly important when renovating your kitchen. Considering whether you need all your kitchen items like appliances, crockery and cutlery and condensing them down will help when designing the space. Once you’ve finished identifying exactly what you need, you’ll know just how much storage is required.
In any kitchen design it’s important that you don’t let space go to waste, whether you have it in abundance or scarcity. Thinking vertically, floor to ceiling cabinets are a great way to maximise storage opportunities while utilising every inch of space. Our blog on kitchen storage ideas has further creative ideas to help inspire you!
Although kitchen designs can differ, there are a number of core successful kitchen planning tips you can use to ensure you get the most out of your available space and maximise practicality.
Firstly, when planning your kitchen if you do just one thing, we would strongly suggest you adopt the ‘golden triangle of kitchen design’ which can be applied to any kitchen design as illustrated below.
The main principle behind the triangle concept refers to the ideal locations to store (fridge), cook (oven and hob) and clean (sink) in an efficient rotational manner. The reason it’s called the ‘golden triangle’ is that the layout of such appliances means that a line can be drawn from one to another, creating a triangle shape.
Kitchen with Island:
L Shaped Kitchen:
U Shaped Kitchen:
Secondly, it’s arguably just as important that you understand how to best utilise your available space. Offering a complete guide to kitchen dimensions, our dedicated article highlights the basic standard measurements for key fixtures and appliances to help you plan your layout.
Covering an array of cupboard dimensions, base unit dimensions, worktop heights and wall unit dimensions the article uses the 60x60 cm planning model to help increase the amount of kitchen storage while ensuring no space is left to waste.
Despite discussing design and planning in detail, it’s no secret that the biggest challenge comes with how to project manage your kitchen renovation. With a wide range of contractors likely to be required, depending on your design it’s possible you may need up to eight skilled tradespeople to get your project complete.
Covering electrical work, plumbing work, joinery, tiling, building, plastering, and decorating, as well as sourcing each individual skilled worker and ordering and storing all your materials, you’ll also need to manage their input interchangeably as the project progresses.
Following a structured approach, a typical kitchen renovation will evolve in the following manner:
Step 1: Removal of existing kitchen
Step 2: First Fix
- Electrical wiring
- Run of hot and cold feeds for appliances
- Installation of gas supply
Step 3: Second Fix
- Installation of units and worktops
- Installation of flooring and wall coverings
- Installation of appliances and connecting to feeds
- Installation of lighting and connecting to fuse board
Step 4: Final checks and project sign off
It’s only when you break each of the three key stages down in regards to how to plan, design and manage your kitchen renovation that you truly appreciate the skill, time and effort required from initial design concept through to installation completion to get the project over the line.
Although managing the project yourself is one approach, there are also a number of full service design and fit companies, like ourselves, whose sole purpose is to remove the stress of coordinating different tradespeople.
Taking care of everything from design to installation, a full service provider will help and advise with regards to a design, order and store all materials ready for the project to start and orchestrate the transformation, project managing each of the key tradespeople to ensure your project is finished on time and on budget.
Similar to the customer of the before and after images above, which you can discover in more detail if you want to read our contemporary kitchen case study for this particular project, if you would prefer an experienced helping hand with your renovation you can book a design appointment online or call a friendly member of our team and we’d be more than happy to help.