Designing your kitchen

Follow our seven, easy-to-follow tips for a bespoke kitchen design that best fits you and your home.

Drawing up a bespoke kitchen design for your home is a really rewarding project. It starts by understanding exactly how to plan a kitchen. Next comes finding a local builder, who can achieve a professional finish that is built to last.

Then, with this helpful step-by-step guide to creating a bespoke kitchen design, you can learn how to design your own kitchen – from selecting a style to choosing your appliances. 

Step 1: Establish the right kitchen layout for your room

Getting your layout right is the most important stage in your kitchen design. A working system, in which the oven, fridge and sink form a triangle, creates an efficient space to cook and works with many popular layouts. This includes:

  • Linear kitchens - A line of cabinets across a singular wall is ideal for compact rooms.
  • L-shaped kitchens - Two rows of cabinets that meet in a corner can create space for an island unit.
  • Galley kitchens - Two parallel rows of cabinets make room for extra storage space.
  • U-shaped kitchens - A three-sided run of cabinets, which often has an oven midway, works well for traditional kitchen designs. 

Step 2: Pick your preferred style, colour and finish

These three elements are like the personal signature within a bespoke kitchen. First decide upon style: 

  • Shaker kitchens feature solid wood doors and a versatile framed door style – great for traditional settings and can be customised to suit a modern kitchen design.
  • Universal kitchens work best as a backdrop for more adventurous kitchen decor ideas with minimalist and understated doors.
  • Contemporary kitchens create clean-lines with sleek, handleless doors - best used for an ultra-modern kitchen.

Next, consider colour alongside your room size and natural light. Pale hues create the illusion of space in small kitchen designs, whilst larger rooms can carry darker shades. 

Finally, decide on finish: 

  • Matt offers a smooth, sophisticated, look, which is both tactile and easy to clean.
  • Gloss is highly reflective, sending light bounding around a small kitchen.
  • Wood grain adds organic texture and warmth for timeless appeal.

Step 3: Consider cabinet and cupboard options

With many cabinet and furniture options to choose from, you can mix and match storage to suit your space and lifestyle - making it easy to design a kitchen which meets your exact needs. 

Pre-assembled cabinets speed up installation for your builder, while flat pack can be built on site – great for homes with hard-to reach entrances. 

You can maximise every inch of space with corner cupboards and larder units. And for a premium finish, consider adding soft-close upgrades. 

Step 4: Decide upon your main materials

Two of the largest surfaces in a kitchen are your flooring and worktop, so these features should complement one another.

Natural materials like solid woods and granites suit heritage and industrial schemes. With regular maintenance it often improves with age.

Manufactured materials like marble-effect laminate and imitation slate vinyl are durable with little upkeep. Plus, there is a wide range of patterns to make a truly bespoke kitchen design. 

Step 5: Add functional features

Be sure not to overlook these unsung heroes in your kitchen design.

Sinks should echo your kitchen theme - ceramic works well in country-style kitchens while composite match contemporary settings. Taps create different silhouettes from curvy to angular. And features like flexible hose or hot water taps make life more convenient. 

Appliances are available integrated or freestanding. Streamlined kitchen designs benefit from integrated models, whereas freestanding appliances can add a feature in heritage or vintage-inspired kitchens. To save space, we recommend doubling up with washer-dryers or fridge-freezers. And extractors are essential for removing kitchen odours in open-plan kitchen designs.  

Step 6: Add the finishing touches

Your bespoke kitchen is almost complete, so all that is left are the final details. 

Handles can make a big statement in your kitchen design, especially D or bar handles in on-trend metallics. For a subtle look customise your cabinets with knob handles. 

You can create a place for everything when you design your own kitchen. Smart storage like pull-out carousels can improve access to cupboards, while wicker baskets offer a natural alternative to drawers.

Lighting can add a luxe finish and light useful surface areas. Choose downlighters to illuminate your cooking space or add drawer lights to brighten otherwise dark spaces.

Finally, joinery options like cornices, pelmets and panelling can neaten off cabinet edges, giving a high quality finish to your new kitchen design.

Step 7: Bring it all together

With all the details to create your bespoke kitchen, the next step is to test your look. Use a kitchen planner, like our Kitchen Visualiser, to mock up your ideas.

Then ask your builder to make an appointment with a professional kitchen designer, who will use a kitchen layout planner to create a 3D plan. We believe this step is important to ensure the best finish for your kitchen. That is why we offer a Free kitchen design and home survey service at all of our depots. 

You should now know how to design your own kitchen. For more ideas, explore our kitchen collection.