Kitchen designers share their top renovation rules

Planning a major kitchen refurb but not sure where to start? Let the experts guide you through the process...

naked kitchens
Edmund Sumner

When planning a new kitchen, there are so many factors to take into consideration - both practical and aesthetic - that the process can feel overwhelming. We turned to the experts to learn what helps make a project run smoothly for client and contractor alike. From the power of a great moodboard to getting to grips with lead times, here are their top five tips for creating a kitchen that ticks every box.

harvey jones arbor kitchen
Laura Rupolo

1 ‘Suppliers that build your kitchen to order can respond better to individual requests if you have a specific look that you’d like to achieve. If your house is from a particular period, ask your designer to show you styles that might suit it best, as many kitchen companies now offer a selection of different ranges that will work in older properties.’ Melissa Klink, creative director at Harvey Jones. harveyjones.com

roundhouse kitchen
mary wadsworth

2 ‘Give your designer a sense of your home life. We all have habits that can be hard to break, but a new layout that functions better can encourage you to improve the way you use it. I always advise clients to consider flooring in the early stages, as it will influence materials and colours in the rest of the space.’ Allison Lynch, senior design consultant at Roundhouse. roundhousedesign.com

ledbury studio kitchen
Ledbury Studio

3 ‘I always love it when clients arrive at my studio armed with a moodboard. Collecting your thoughts, ideas and inspirations in one place is a fantastic starting point for planning a kitchen, and it’s a great resource to refer back to throughout the design process. A good designer will be honest with you and tell you when something won’t work.’ Charlie Smallbone, founder of Smallbone and Ledbury Studio. smallbone.co.uk; ledburystudio.com

naked kitchens
Michael Franke

4 ‘It’s important to get to grips with lead times. If you opt for bespoke cabinetry, ensure you factor manufacturing time into your project. If you’re working with a kitchen provider or a designer, make sure to understand how long the design process will take, as this will need to be factored in. Appliances can depend on the availability of tradespeople. Look at all these aspects together, so you aren’t left storing items or waiting for your fitter.’ Katy Thompson, senior designer at Naked Kitchens. nakedkitchens.com

johnny grey studios kitchen
Johnny Grey Studios

5 ‘Thinking differently pays off. I like to start by considering eye contact, exploring how to make the kitchen a friendly place by ensuring core activities can be done facing into the room, whether that’s cooking, food preparation, making a cup of tea or using a laptop. Think about how visitors can be made welcome with somewhere to perch. The kitchen should be a fun place to spend time.’ Johnny Grey, founder of Johnny Grey Studios. johnnygrey.com

Need more ideas to help you get started? Check out how to choose a kitchen worktop and our round up of colourful kitchens for inspiration.


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