How to plan a kitchen, with expert advice from Ben Burbidge of Kitchen Makers

Ben Burbidge, Managing Director at Kitchen Makers, shares his thoughts on planning your kitchen layout, lighting, worktop and colour scheme.

Whether you’re looking at simply refreshing a tired scheme or you’re planning a bigger extension project, creating a new kitchen is one of the most challenging and exciting renovation projects in the home. However, the sheer amount of choices available can also make it a little overwhelming. Where do you start? Is choosing the style of cabinetry the most important thing or is getting the perfect layout key to a successful scheme?

How to plan a kitchen

Making the right decisions on layout, appliances, cabinetry and finishing touches early on will ensure your project proceeds as smoothly as possible. Don’t forget, though, that choosing the right people to work with is just as important as selecting the right furniture and design. If you’re struggling to know where to start, our easy- to-follow guide will help you make the right choices to ensure you get the kitchen of your dreams.

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Is there a perfect kitchen layout?

'Effectively planning an ergonomic kitchen layout, and maximising the space, can make time spent in the kitchen all the more enjoyable. In your layout try to configure your sink, fridge, hob and oven within easy reach of each other and then consider what storage to put in this area. Cabinets and pull out drawers near the oven are usually best suited for cooking oils, pot and pans, while space near the sink is best used for dishes,' says Ben Burbidge.

How to plan a kitchen

See ourKitchen colour ideas to create a vibrant lift to your space

Which colours work well in a kitchen?

'As homeowners move away from white or neutral colours they are embracing deeper tones. Shaker style painted cabinetry takes colour especially well and add depth to the look and feel of your kitchen. A classic colour tends to stand the test of time so deep blues, greens and greys are always a good choice if you worry about your kitchen dating. Timber cabinets can always be re painted if you want to refresh your scheme in the future.'

How to plan a kitchen

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What should I consider for a worktop?

'Worktops are often an after thought in design but are one of the hardest working pieces of your kitchen so its important to take into consideration how you cook and live when choosing your material. One practical consideration is after care and how they will age. Wooden worktops are elegant but require regular maintenance compared to laminate. Marble is beautiful but is more susceptible to spills, whilst zinc or copper will weather and change with wear creating a beautiful patina. Choosing a material that can be replicated throughout the rest of the room, in furniture and smaller accessories, will ensure the space feels cohesive; especially useful in today’s modern open plan kitchens.'

Ben Burbidge kitchens

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When should I plan lighting?

'We spend a good deal of our time cooking and entertaining in the evenings; which means we will need sufficient illumination. Make sure you plan your lighting at the start of the process so you can incorporate the light sources with the rest of your scheme. Choosing the right mixture of task and decorative lighting, as well as considering the types of bulb you use, will make a difference to both the functionality and atmosphere of the space. Decorative pendant lights can be used above an island to make a statement; whilst helping zone an open plan space. Include separate dimmers in the dining space to allow your guests to enjoy elegant mood lighting while the kitchen is still well lit for those cooking.'

Ben Burbidge Kitchens

Kitchen Makers,