[Updated January 2022]
Before you get started designing and creating your own perfect kitchen, it’s vital that you understand what’s important and why. Of course, you want to create a more inviting, liveable, functional and beautiful space in your home. And a new kitchen can add significant value to a property when it comes time to sell your home. So it’s important to get the space right.
Your Kitchen Design Guide to Creating the Perfect Kitchen
As interior designers we know how important it is to get your kitchen right. So, we’ve put together a kitchen design guide to creating the perfect kitchen. These easy-to-follow steps will help you start designing your new kitchen ensuring a fantastic and beautiful result.
7 Steps to Designing a New Kitchen
The first step in our kitchen design guide is to determine how much you are able to spend on your kitchen. Understanding your budget will help you to work through your design decisions more quickly. And you’ll be better able to focus your money where it’s most important to you.
Assuming a new kitchen includes all new appliances, plumbing and electrical installation, tiling and installation, you can expect to pay:
- $20,000 to $30,000 for a small or budget kitchen or makeover
- $30,000 to $60,000 for a mid-range kitchen
- $60,000+ for a luxury or high-end kitchen
These cost estimates are rough guides only. The price of any kitchen renovation is very much dependant on the individual project and your personal preferences.
The next tip in our kitchen design guide is to determine your kitchen layout. Kitchen layouts are one of the most complex aspects to get right. But they’re also one of the most important.
First, the layout of your kitchen is very much determined by the space where the kitchen will be located. You need to take into account:
- where windows and doorways are located,
- the location of water, waste and electricity, and
- the materials your walls and floors are made from.
Once have identified all of these aspects of your kitchen space it will give you an insight as to whether you can relocate these or not. For example, if your house has a timber floor with services running underneath, it can often be easy to move water and waste. A concrete slab, however, makes moving these more difficult and expensive.
Once you understand the limits on the space itself, the next step is to consider the functionality. Start by thinking about your must haves—the things that will make your kitchen perfect for you. Then think about the location of the items that you use regularly. Positioning them together or correctly within the layout will ensure that you are creating best possible workflow.
Some common kitchen layouts are shown below:
It may have been five years or 20 years since you’ve had a new kitchen. Either way, a lot has changed. Spend some time researching and window shopping so you can work out exactly what appliances you want for your space. This will impact your budget as well as the spatial planning.
There are some gorgeous features you can get with new appliances. Depending on your needs you may wish to consider a larger fridge or steam oven, dishwasher drawers or even a wine cabinet. The appliances you need (and want!) will also start to give you some ideas about your style.
If you’re renovating your kitchen, chances are you’re either about to start renovating the rest of your home or you’re nearing the end of your renovations. If it’s the latter, then the kitchen will be the room that pulls everything together.
Either way you need to have a clear picture of your home’s style or the style that you would like your home to reflect. Defining your style helps you make design decisions more efficiently. It also allows the rest of your home to link with the kitchen space, creating a cohesive comfortable space that feels connected and has a good flow.
Your style could be defined as contemporary, mid-century modern, Hamptons, industrial or something completely different. Use Pinterest and Instagram to help you pull together mood boards of things that you like (and don’t like). Over time the picture of your own home’s style will become clearer.
Our kitchen design guide would not to be complete without including a discussion about benchtops and splashbacks. These elements of a kitchen often have the biggest impact on looks, functionality and cost. And they’re some of the most fun elements to choose.
When it comes to benchtops we’ve pulled together a lot of advice:
Splashbacks are another really fun aspect of your kitchen, and a great way to import your own style. You can consider tiles in a pattern or bold colour for impact. Maybe you prefer coloured glass or a window which can be easy to keep clean. And using a mirrored surface is great for an entertainer’s kitchen. It allows the chef to continue to chat with their guests whilst preparing food.
Your cabinetry will be the dominant feature of your space and the place where your fingers will most regularly touch. So it can be a good place to help you get a really clear picture about what you like in your kitchen. And you’ll be spoiled for choice as there are so many options for finishes for cabinets. Some of these are:
- Two pac / polyurethane paint
- Thermolaminated / vinyl wrap
- Timber veneer
Visiting somewhere like the Build and Design Centre, where you can touch and feel the cabinets as well as take away samples is a good way to develop your ideas and make selections.
Some finishes are more expensive than others and they all have their pros and cons. Once you’ve got your favourite look nailed down, you’ll also want to take into consideration how much it will cost for different finishes. These can add extra costs that you may not have factored in.
It’s critical to get the lighting design right in a kitchen. With the right lighting the kitchen becomes warm and welcoming. As the centre of the home it’s important that it’s inviting of course. But it’s also important that you have lights that can ensure good visibility, safety and cleanliness.
Achieving good quality lighting is best done in the initial stages of your design. First, ensure that there are enough well-placed downlights or led strip lighting to create task lighting in the work zones. Next, you may like to think about how you are going to use the kitchen besides cooking. If this is an entertainers’ kitchen you may like to add some drama with some beautiful pendants.
If you have an open plan space placing some softer lighting under cabinets is a great way to create ambience. When you combine these with brighter overhead lights you can choose the right option for different times.
If you’re keen to engage the services of a kitchen designer, or need help refining some of the elements in this kitchen design guide, the team at Bella Vie would love to help you.
Contact us with any questions you may have and we’ll talk you through our process. Together we’ll create a beautiful new kitchen for you.