How to design a kitchen
6 key things to consider when creating your perfect space
Designing a kitchen from scratch can be a challenging feat, especially when you don’t know where to start. Don’t panic. Our easy to follow tips will help you through the design process – from setting budgets, to finding your style, selecting your colours and finishes to choosing the right appliances.
1. The Budget
- Knowing your budget before you start is essential to both the design process and the end result. Having a clear budget early on in your project will help you to determine what products and finishes you can select and help you choose between the essential and the nice-to-have items.
- Remember – even with a comparatively small budget, you CAN create a beautiful new space.
- Contingency is important – along the way, unforseen issues are likely to crop up (like dealing with unexpected plumbing problems). To avoid getting stuck, allow some contingency in your budget – we’d recommend around 15%.
Tip: If you need some help with product selections, check out the Laminex Index – it’s our product scale that helps align design styles and budgets. With options for Bronze, Silver Gold and Platinum products the Index can help you choose products to achieve your look no matter your budget.
2. Start with a practical layout
Deciding on a best fit layout is essential to a successful kitchen design. To find the best layout for you start by thinking about how you use the space:
- How do you (or do you want to) use your kitchen on a daily base?
- Do you need a lot of storage?
- Do you (and your family) enjoy being in the kitchen?
- Is the kitchen the focal point when friends come around?
- Is space limited?
- Do you want an open plan kitchen or a space that separates the kitchen from the living and dining areas?
The answers to these questions will help you to make some decisions about layout.
Before you make a final decision, take a few minutes to envisage walking yourself through the space: what works for you? What doesn’t work? Do the key items like cook top, fridge and kitchen bench form a triangle that allows you to quickly move from one to the other? This will help you to visualise the space and potentially understand areas that do and don’t work.
3. Choose your style
What look do you want to achieve for your space? Is it the timeless Classic style, the popular Scandi look or do you prefer the more masculine Industrial look? Knowing the style you’re going for will help narrow down material selections and choices quickly.
To help you find a look that reflects your personality and style, we have created the Find Your Style Quiz: just answer a few quick questions and we’ll do the rest!
If it’s only the kitchen you are planning to re-design, make sure the style you’ve chosen ties into the overall design of your home. To create a seamless look throughout your space, have a look at the materials and styles currently used in your home – is there a wall colour or a particular timber tone in your furniture or flooring that you love? Why not integrate these into your kitchen design to continue flow throughout your home!
Tip: When planning to revamp an old kitchen with a still functioning layout, look for an existing focal point or create a new one. A focal point can be a splashback, overheads or another application with a particular colour, texture or design that catches the eye. Use this point as a basis for your overarching design.
4. Getting the right colour palette
Once you have narrowed down your style, it’s easy to choose your kitchen colours: simply visit our Inspiration Gallery, select and check out the pre-determined colour palettes for your style. This guide will take you through the selection process, starting with your base cabinetry colour, then suggesting complimentary benchtop colours through to the choice of feature colours for those who want to add colour and texture to a space.
Tip: Looking at an open plan kitchen? Try using different textures and contrasting colour to clearly define the kitchen from the dining and living room area.
5. Choosing products and materials
- When selecting products and materials, always consider their practicality in the kitchen you’re trying to create – how they function is just as important as how they look and how they fit into the layout and design.
- Don’t forget your budget when selecting products and materials – great design can be achieved without a grand budget. You can create the feeling of luxury by choosing the right decorative surfaces – the trick is to mix and match more affordable products with higher end products.
- Do you want classic or on-trend woodgrains, veined marble stone, natural textiles or perhaps concrete textures? – All these looks can be achieved for a fraction of the price of the real thing by using laminate and engineered stone.
- It’s all about the detail, so upgrade your kitchen by focussing on the details. Make all the difference with contrast edging on a laminate benchtop, a feature splashback, a stylish shadowline or finger pull doors.
Tip: Our new Essastone Unique Calacatta for example has the beautiful natural look of real marble with the price tag and low maintenance of engineered stone.
6. Choosing appliances, tapware and sink
There are an endless amount of kitchen appliances available, so where do you start? To narrow down your choice, consider how you are currently using your kitchen and if this will change in the next future:
- How often and how extensively do you cook?
If you love cooking and usually prepare big meals, a 90cm oven or two 60cm ovens might be the right option for you.
- Would you prefer to keep your cleaning at a minimum?
Then, consider a pyrolytic oven (self-cleaning) or an induction cooktop.
- How many people live in your household?
In a busy household, a double sink might be useful and a double dishwasher will definitely prove essential.
Need some inspiration for your kitchen design?
Then visit one of our showrooms all over Australia. Use our locator to find a showroom near you.
If you live in the Sydney area and need help with your design, we offer a range of design consultation services at Hive by Laminex.