Before you begin to plan your kitchen, you will first need to think carefully about how you will use this room. You will also need to consider whether you want to update your current kitchen or completely start from scratch.

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To help with this process, you will need to carefully assess your current kitchen and ask yourself which aspects of it you do and do not like and whether or not the layout works well for you. Only make changes if there are real benefits that will improve the functionality of your kitchen.

Another thing to consider is the potential value a kitchen can add to your home, especially if you are considering moving. Although it is likely to add some value, it may not be as much as the cost of having the new kitchen fitted. Also, many buyers look for a home that they can put their own stamp on and the kitchen you choose may not be to their personal tastes. If you are putting your property on the market, it can sometimes be better to simply make some simple updates to improve the appearance at a fraction of the cost of a complete refit.

Ideas for Kitchen Planning

If you decide that a completely new kitchen is the best option for you, then you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much worktop space do you need and where is it best positioned? Close to the hob and oven is one convenient position to include worktop space.
  • Will you need a lot of storage and, if so, what for? Assess your current storage needs and see what changes you can make to improve the storage available.
  • Where are the best areas of the kitchen for you to keep dinnerware and utensils?
  • What appliances will you need to accommodate within the space available and what are the best positions for them? Think about factors such as space, electrical and plumbing points, how you will use them and whether there is room to open doors.
  • Will you need an area of the kitchen for a table, breakfast bar or eating area? For example, do you have children or do you host dinner parties?
  • Do you keep a lot of gadgets in your kitchen? If so, where are they best stored?

Taking into account your day-to-day use, the way you use your kitchen and how you plan to use your kitchen differently in the future will help to successfully plan a kitchen that is practical and meets your needs.

Considering the various constraints of your kitchen is also an important step in the planning process. Typical constraints include the position of sockets, doors and windows. The size and shape of your kitchen may also restrict your options.

Budget Kitchen Design Ideas

Not everyone has unlimited financial resources and this will restrict your options. A top of the range kitchen with all the latest gadgets and high-end finishes is something that many people can only dream about. However, this does not mean that there are not ways to improve your current kitchen and transform it into a space that you are proud of and where you enjoy spending time. A few simple updates can sometimes be enough to achieve this.

  • Create a feature wall- If you want to make a statement and add some character to the kitchen then adding a feature wall is ideal. Either choose patterned wallpaper or a bold colour of paint to create a stunning focal point in the room.
  • Painting- Both the walls and the kitchen doors can be refreshed with a simple lick of paint. This is much less expensive and easier to do than having a whole new kitchen fitted. If you opt to undertake this job yourself, it is important to prepare the surfaces and use a primer before painting. You should also choose a paint that can be easily wiped clean. Alternatively, look for a local tradesperson to complete the painting for you.
  • Tiles- There are several measures you can take to make any tiled areas look better. The first is to completely replace old tiles with new. The second is to use tile paint to transform old tiles and make them look as good as new. Even simply removing the old grout and replacing with new can make your kitchen look better.
  • Flooring- It is surprising the lift that replacing your flooring will give to a tired looking kitchen. The price of flooring varies significantly, so there are choices available that will suit every budget. Vinyl is one of the cheapest options, with stone and natural wood being some of the costlier options.
  • Updating doors and worktops-By changing the worktops and cupboard doors, you will make almost as much difference to the appearance of your kitchen as you would by opting for a new kitchen. You can buy both worktops and doors from kitchen manufacturers, a builder’s merchant or a specialist company and have them fitted by a tradesman.
  • Lighting- The lighting in a room can help to create a mood or atmosphere. Light fittings can also contribute to the overall look or theme of a room. Where you add your lighting can also serve a practical purpose. For example, spotlights and under the counter lights can highlight particular areas of the kitchen that you use the most often while also adding a modern touch to the kitchen. If you are repositioning the lights, you will need a qualified electrician to make the necessary changes for you.

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Regardless of your budget, there are options for transforming your kitchen and making it one of the best features of your home. If you can afford it, a complete kitchen refit might be your preferred option, but there are still many ways that those with limited funds can implement changes that can make a significant difference to the look and feel of this area of your home.

There are multiple things that you have to consider when you want to have a new kitchen. The first element that you need to examine is whether you need to update your current kitchen or want an entirely new one. Also, you need to look at what you have, like and don’t like and what you want to remove, or keep. If the kitchen layout works, you can only change if you can see it will bring out a beautiful outlook.

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You need to know that if you’re planning on moving updating your kitchen might not add value. The majority of buyers want to put their stamp on a place such that they will not want to have to change a new kitchen. In this case, making superficial changes to renew it might be the best.

 Budget kitchen ideas

If your budget is not flexible and you don’t need an entirely new kitchen, there are some simple changes that you can make such that you will be able to replace your current kitchen without much cost. These simple changes are;

– Paint your kitchen wall or door is less expensive than replacing the whole kitchen and it will significantly add color to your kitchen. You can paint by yourself as long as you follow the instruction of making the paint and applying it to the wall. Or you can visit a local for a recommended trades person to do the job.

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Create a feature wall to add character to your kitchen and make a statement. You can use colorful or patterned wallpaper that is specially designed for kitchen, tiles or a distinctive splash back can work by creating a focal point.

– Update worktops and doors by ordering from builders’ merchants, local kitchen manufacturers and specialist companies to supply you new kitchen unit door and drawer fronts and worktops. Updating your kitchen worktops will be less expensive as compared to making a new one. You have a look at the modern kitchen and country kitchen galleries and borrow some ideas from there based on what you want.

– Another essential thing is lighting your kitchen. When you put some light in your kitchen especially if it’s small can change the feel of your kitchen. You can add Spotlights or light under the counter so that you acquire that modern touch. Pendants lights also are bound to bring a country touch to your kitchen.

– It is better to replace your floor if it is old to give a light lift to your kitchen. You can opt to use vinyl flooring because it is the cheapest in the market (from £10 per square meter). Natural material and wood are considered expensive if they are compared to vinyl. But if you are interested in having a vinyl floor, then see our guide for more guidelines.

Your kitchen will not be complete without fixing tiles behind the cooker or around the entire kitchen. You can also get inexpensive tile for less than £15 per square-metre. For a better design in your kitchen, use bold or colourful tiles sparingly for instance; let them run along plain white ones so that they give a beautiful look.

Kitchen planning begins with you whether you choose to have professional consultation and installation, or do it yourself. You will decide on the layout and features of the new kitchen, what will go and what will stay. In addition to achieving the desired appearance, considerations for overall functionality are important in the pre-planning phase. Kitchen planning is done with customization to make the area suit your individual lifestyle, needs and tastes.

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Get the measurements

The best place to start is with the measurements so you will know the amount of space that you have to work with. Most manufacturers work with metric unit so this is the best method. Use graph paper to make the notations for dimensions.

Measuring walls

Measure each individual wall from the ceiling to the floor in a few different spots. The reason for taking 2 to 3 measurements is because not all walls are square and you need precision in your figures for accuracy in the project. Next, measure the width of each wall. Label each wall on the graph paper with the dimensions.

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Measure ceilings and floors

In order to get accurate measurements of the ceiling and floor, measure each in three different spots.

Other measuring considerations

If there are architectural structures within the kitchen area, make a notation of the dimensions. These include cornices, built in fixtures, radiators, boilers, appliances, fans and exhausts. Also note if there are any existing islands, nooks or breakfast bars that you want to keep intact.

Make notations of the existing electrical outlets, existing light fixtures and switches. It is also helpful to include the schematics of direction and placement of the electrical wires and plumbing lines.

Doors and Windows

The measurements and locations of windows on each wall should be added as notations on the graph paper. Height, width, depth, distance from celing to upper trim, distance from floor to lower trim and distance from start of wall should be included.

The measurements for doors should include height, width, depth, swinging radius, direction of door swing and placement on the wall.

NKBA Guidelines

All kitchen plans must adhere to the local and state codes that apply to all home building/remodeling projects. NKBA Guidelines provide advisement for maximizing functionality of the kitchen space when planning, to avoid making common design mistakes that can lead to problems later. Some examples of the recommendations include keeping at least one sink housed within a 24 inch (60.96 cm) wide landing area onn at least one side with an 18 inch (45.2 cm) landing area on the other side. Dishwashers must be placed within 36 inches (91.44 cm) of a sink or clean up area and it is recommended that sinks be located across from or just adjacent to refrigerator or cooking surface.

Workstation versus Triangle schemas

The most common designs feature the refrigerator, sink and stove placement at three different points to form a triangle in the kitchen. This creates a space for higher efficiency and greater ease of movement because they are the most commonly used areas in conjunction with one another. More modern kitchen designs have added more appliances into the equation, making the triangle design less necessary for some plans. Functionality is the focal point of kitchen planning and lifestyle/intended use is more prominent in planning placement of the appliances which are most often used.

The landing area for major appliances in the workstation design should not be less than 15 inches or 38.1 cm. In the end, individual homeowners must decide how much area will ultimately be needed for the highest functioning kitchen for their particular needs.

Islands

Islands can be used for a variety of kitchen functions. They can serve as stand alone workstations, storage, kitchen seating or a combination. Some feature built in sinks and/or appliances. For adequate movement and functioning, the recommendation is to allow a minimum of 42 inches (106.68 cm) of space around kitchen islands.

Additional spacing requirements

Kitchen plans should allow for additional spacing around cupboards. 40 cm is recommended for the door swings, 50 cm for oven doors, 60 cm for dishwashers and 90 cm is recommended for workspace top height.

Storage needs

Homeowners must determine the amount of kitchen storage that they will need. This will help in determining the amount of cupboards, pull out drawers, racks, hooks, lazy suzan turntables and counter spaces that will be needed.

Lighting

Windows can supply a good source of kitchen lighting during daylight hours, if properly placed. There are several different lighting options for darker hours or kitchens without windows. Again, user preference and functionality needs are to the fore, but a highly functional kitchen will have the capability of being well lit. Multiple lighting sources are recommended. Light sources can serve multiple purposes such as illumination for function or as accents for decorative purposes. It is better to have extra lighting that can be used when needed than to have dark areas that become a problem while completing kitchen tasks.

Dealing with contractors and manufacturers

Some homeowners may prefer to complete kitchen remodels on their own, while others will hire a contractor. Whichever way you choose to go, you are still the person in charge of decision making in the process. So long as all of the state and local codes are upheld and the plans are within the scope of compliance, you are completely free to design your kitchen in accordance with your own tastes and preferences.

Expert consultation

Some manufacturers and building supply retailers offer consultation services for customers who are customizing plans for new kitchens or remodeling projects. These professionals can be helpful in answering questions throughout the planning and building stage. When you are unsure of what you want to include in the design and layout, it may be worth your time to preview model kitchen setups which are available through popular retailers. The staff may also be able to provide you with additional plans and pictures of more layouts and suggestions for new amenities. They may also be able help you to problem solve and find design solutions along with advising on new kitchen technology and products which are available.

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