How to design kitchens: Designing a kitchen: an expert guide to planning a kitchen

How To Design A Kitchen | Kitchen Advice

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As culinary spaces become multifunctional areas to cook, entertain and relax in, understanding how to design a kitchen is key to creating a personalised and practical interior. With more than 25 years design experience and six million kitchen plans under our belt, we know a thing or two about creating a tailored setup. This kitchen advice breaks down all the steps involved in a new project, from gathering ideas to finalising a floor plan. We also demonstrate how our free kitchen design service, which includes a home survey, plus access to in-stock products at depots nationwide, makes measuring, budgeting, and planning a kitchen easy.

How do you start to design a kitchen?

The first step of designing a kitchen is to gather inspiration and reflect on any likes or dislikes of the current layout. Then, set a budget and get the experts involved. A trade professional can advise on fitting considerations, while our designers will measure up, provide product insight, and draw up a 3D plan as part of our free home survey service.



Explore our Kitchen Visualiser

Whether testing door styles or playing with colours and layouts – our Kitchen Visualiser tool allows you to experiment with products from the comfort of your home. The finished plan can be downloaded on any device, ready to share with a designer or your trade professional.

What is the perfect kitchen layout?

Our design experts say that the perfect kitchen layout maximises the footprint of an interior and makes it easy to use. On your appointment at a local Howdens design studio, they will explore how to achieve this with different layouts, cupboard options, and products to ensure everything is exactly as you want it.



Kitchen Design Service

We want to achieve a design that’s spot-on, so our designers will visit your home to capture the room’s dimensions, offer product recommendations, and provide style tips. They will then create a 3D floor plan that can be tweaked multiple times until it’s absolutely right.

Book a design appointment

What do you need in a kitchen design?

With thousands of products available from local stock, there are many options to complete your space. A practical set-up includes hardwearing surfaces, innovative equipment, functional fixtures, and smart storage. Our designers will work with you and your trade professional to find styles that match your budget, aesthetic, and interior.

How do I customise my kitchen design?

From the cupboard style to the colour, finish, and texture, our designers will explain all the different ways you can create a personalised cooking space at your design consultation. Our kitchen collection offers more than 5000 ways to customise a space, including decorative units for those wanting a bespoke interior.

Explore more kitchen advice

  • How To Plan A Kitchen Diner

  • Kitchen Layout Ideas

  • Small Kitchen Ideas

Ready to get started?

Kitchen Planner | FREE Online Kitchen Design Tool

How does our online kitchen

planner work?

Visualize your dream kitchen design with our easy-to-use kitchen design tool. Simply select your favorite
kitchen cabinet styles and colors, to create a 3D model of your bespoke kitchen.

Using One Of Our Favorites

With so many styles available, let us help you discover your dream kitchen by using our quick-start
designs below which feature all of our favourite creations.

Everybody wants something different from their kitchen, which is why we’ve designed the biggest kitchen
collection in the USA with the widest choice of colors, styles, and sizes – all available to view
online. Whether you’re a new homeowner buying your first kitchen on a budget or you’re splashing out on
the family kitchen of your dreams, all the inspiration you need is online at Wren Kitchens.

1. How do you use your room?

Think about what happens during a typical day in the life of your kitchen and what that
means for the layout. If you like to entertain or need a space where homework can be done
while you’re preparing a meal, consider the dining area. If you have dogs and cats that call
the kitchen home, they’ll need their own space too.

2. Make your space work

Whatever else a kitchen needs to do, first and foremost it needs to work as a space to cook.
Think carefully about the most used parts of your kitchen from a cooking perspective, and
plot how easily you’ll be able to move between them. This is called the kitchen triangle and
focuses on the points between the refrigerator, sink, and stove, which are crucial in mapping out
your cooking space. Use our online kitchen design tool above by selecting a range and
choosing the colors and materials you prefer. When you’ve got a design you like the look of,
book your showroom appointment with one of our talented designers.

3. Measuring up

The final and most important thing to consider is your kitchen measurements. We will
need these to help create the best solution for your space. We have a complete guide
to measuring your kitchen online, but, in short, here’s what you need to do before
dropping into Wren:

  • Measure each wall including window openings.
  • Note all windows and doors, including which way they open and whether they’re
    internal or external.
  • Add in electric outlets and any existing plumbing, plus fixed objects like
    radiators, heaters or boxed-in pipes (including the measurements).
  • If your room has a sloping ceiling or eaves, mark the shortest and tallest
    heights and how far the slope extends into the room.

Free Design Package Worth $250

Enjoy a comprehensive design appointment with a Wren kitchen designer and see your dream kitchen come
to life using our award-winning dual-screen technology. We offer a no-obligation home measure carried
out by a Measure Tech.

Book an appointment

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If you’ve been dreaming of a kitchen that will impress your family and friends for years to come, but the cost of equipping it has held you back, take note. To help you create a modern kitchen that fits within your budget, we’ve put together some helpful tips on how to make the final bill as affordable as possible. While a new kitchen can be an expensive proposition, there are ways to keep the costs down. You just need to know where to look.

The first step is to understand what goes into designing a kitchen and how it affects cost. After that, you need to make a smart decision about what your new kitchen should look like, as well as a smart choice of where to get the best deals on specific items.

What factors determine the price of a new kitchen?

A big variable in estimating the cost of a kitchen is design. Let’s break down the main elements involved in designing a kitchen and how much each one usually adds to the overall cost.

Island – The island is a key element of the functionality of the kitchen, but it accounts for a significant part of the costs. If the homeowner changes the size or design of the island, its value will be adjusted proportionally.

Worktops – The material, color and design of the worktops are the most important cost factors. Granite, quartz and marble tend to be the most expensive options.

Flooring – The type of flooring you choose makes a big difference to the total cost of your new kitchen. Solid wood flooring is the most expensive, while vinyl flooring is the cheapest.

Lighting – Lighting fixtures are sometimes built into cabinets or a back wall, but if they are not, the cost is significant.

Doors – Sliding glass doors are more expensive than standard swing doors. And sliding barn doors, while they look great, are also expensive.

Remodeling vs Renovation: Which is More Affordable?

Renovation vs New Construction What is the difference between refurbishment and new construction? For the purposes of this article, we will assume that you are not going to build a new house. While remodeling and new construction are both ways to get a new kitchen, they have different implications for your budget and the overall time it will take to complete the job.

Remodeled kitchen is a kitchen that has been dismantled, re-tiled and re-installed. A remodeled kitchen can cost less than half the cost of building a new kitchen from scratch, since you’re working with existing walls, floors, and other structural elements. You don’t have to tear down walls, remove flooring, or pay someone to pick up your old stuff. That’s why it’s cheaper than building a new kitchen from scratch.

Negotiate better prices

When you remodel your kitchen, you have more leverage because contractors want to do business with you. This means you can bargain with contractors for a lower price, or even negotiate free work in exchange for discounted materials. When you buy materials at a discount, you can use coupons and sales to get lower prices.

Ways to develop a kitchen design project

The kitchen is a special room in every home. It should be comfortable to work and relax here. When designing it, it is necessary to rationally use space, think over the optimal arrangement of furniture and household appliances, choose a design style and color palette. With a serious approach, a kitchen project can be developed independently, but for this you need to know what exactly should be taken into account when drawing it up.

Building a plan

The development of any project begins with measurements. It is necessary to accurately measure all the parameters of the room – height, length, width. This takes into account all the features – the location of windows and doors, the placement of water pipes, non-standard niches and ledges, and so on. If there are significant irregularities on the walls, they are also measured, as they can interfere with the arrangement of furniture. Then, according to the data received, an exact plan of the room is drawn. In the future, this drawing will help you choose a layout, determine the placement of furniture and appliances, and make sure that it is possible to arrange it in the planned way. Today it is not difficult to find a computer design program, but for computer design you will need all sizes.

Choice of layout

There are five types of standard layouts:

  • linear (single-row, straight) – the furniture is located in one straight line;
  • parallel (two-row) – in two rows opposite each other;
  • U-shaped – letter U along three walls;
  • corner (L-shaped) – along two adjacent walls;
  • peninsular (G-shaped) – with a bar or peninsula forming a ledge.

The choice of layout is determined primarily by the characteristics of the room. So, for a narrow elongated kitchen, a linear arrangement is suitable. For a small kitchen, a practical and multifunctional corner layout is recommended. U-shaped will allow you to optimally use a square or rectangular spacious room. A peninsula or a bar counter adjacent to the headset is a great option for zoning the kitchen space.

Work triangle

It is formed by three key points – refrigerator, sink and stove, separated by work surfaces. It is between them that the main movements occur during cooking. According to the laws of ergonomics, a triangular arrangement is the most convenient, provided that the sum of the sides of the triangle is from 350 to 650 cm. An ergonomic working triangle saves the hostess’s time and energy, optimizing her movements.

Choosing and arranging appliances

A common mistake is buying appliances after choosing a kitchen set. Meanwhile, it is recommended to choose furniture, knowing exactly the list and dimensions of built-in appliances – this will allow you to plan the arrangement. The refrigerator, sink and stove are arranged according to the triangle rule, then the place of the remaining units is determined. It is advisable to install the dishwasher on the same line as the sink, so it is more convenient to load the dishes. A comfortable worktop is placed between the hob and the sink. The hood is chosen according to the parameters of the hob – its width should completely cover the stove. A list of small kitchen appliances is also compiled in advance – for them it is necessary to determine in advance the storage location and the location of sockets.

Selection and arrangement of furniture

The complete set of the kitchen set is determined based on the needs of the owners and the characteristics of the room. If the kitchen is small and there may be a problem with the placement of kitchen utensils, additional storage spaces are thought out in advance. It can be a compact and spacious wardrobe, cabinets of the upper tier, corner cabinets for using corners, thoughtful interior filling of cabinets. Transformable and folding furniture will help save space. The planned arrangement of furniture and appliances is verified on the drawn plan or in the online kitchen project. You can do several projects and then choose the best one.

Electrical wiring design

The modern kitchen is a serious consumer of electricity. Moreover, different equipment requires different connection conditions. At this stage of design, professional advice will be required. It is necessary to provide for a convenient location and a sufficient number of sockets not only for stationary equipment, but also for small appliances – a toaster, mixer, electric kettle and others. The number of outlets must match the wiring capabilities. Another serious issue is the organization of lighting. Today, as a rule, this is a multi-level scheme – lamps above the dining table, illumination of the working area, spotlights on the ceiling.

Design development

The design style is determined by the owners at will. But it is worth considering the possibility of correcting some of the shortcomings of the kitchen with the help of design techniques. For example, a small kitchen can be visually expanded by using light colors and glossy surfaces in the decoration and choosing a set with mirror and glass doors.

If you have any doubts when developing a design project with professionals, the specialists of the Furniture Factory “Maria” can consult you for free on emerging issues. On our website you will find a wide variety of kitchen sets of different configurations, colors and styles. High-quality photos from different angles will allow you to evaluate in detail the headset you like.