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When you have made the decision that its time to make some changes in the kitchen there are many considerations that have to be made regarding design and how the new kitchen will work for you. There are a few simple steps that we take when planning a kitchen and we thought we’d share some of these with you so to help with your inspiration and get the new dream kitchen plans on track.

This isn’t so much a step by step guide to kitchen design so much as a few thoughts on how to get what you want from the finished product. Kitchen design is exciting whether its in a new build or more of a renovation project. It can at times be challenging and certainly time consuming but the end result will provide you with lots of pleasure.

Kitchen design at its best

Handmade kitchen cabinetry gives a truly unique look

There’s lots to cover from the initial layout of the kitchen and deciding where the essentials will be placed though to the more detailed decisions that will affect the way the new kitchen works for you. Some folk take the time to visit our kitchen showroom here in Ashburton where you can see many designs under one roof and some folk choose to plan from scratch to achieve what they really want.

So how do you plan the design of a kitchen and what are the steps that need to be taken ? We have broken it down in to a few manageable chunks to help you on your way.

Determine what you want from the new kitchen

Is your new kitchen to be simply a place to prepare food or more of a multi-functional area ? When pondering on what you want from your new kitchen it can be good to have a clear out of your existing space so that you can get rid of the items that you don’t use which will help to de-clutter the kitchen space and help you to think about what you like and dislike about the existing layout.

Large kitchen island with sink

The kitchen is dominated by a large blue painted kitchen island that matches the clean lines of the rest of the kitchen

This will help you to assess what you need in terms of storage space, kitchen appliances and more delicate decisions like flooring, decor and colours. You can also consider whether the space you have works or whether you need to create some more space for a bigger kitchen. Often removing a wall to create additional space is a relatively easy thing to do and can give a more open plan kitchen with an airy spacious feel. This might mean that you lose the dining room but the overall win of a bigger kitchen is worth it as you now have a bigger space where you can cook for friends and family with ease.

Practical considerations when planning

Many items within a modern kitchen require plumbing and or electric supply for appliances and for heating. If for example you’re planning a kitchen island then it might well need electrics for the appliances and plumbing for the sink. All of these considerations need to be made before walls are plastered and the flooring is laid. So, you’ll need to work out exactly where the various kitchen appliances will go so that they can become connected. In recent years we have designed and installed more kitchens with underfloor heating. The main benefit of this is the removal of the wall hung radiators which can free up space and help give the new kitchen that spacious airy feel.

Kitchen lighting and good design

When done well, lighting design can bring the new kitchen to life. Kitchen lighting comes in one of three types; general lighting, secondary lighting and task lighting. By addressing each of these you can bring different dimensions in to the space and make sure that both aesthetics and function are catered for. It is also nice to be able to control the different areas of kitchen lighting individually so that you can isolate separate areas and give some flexibility.

Natural light in abundance

Natural light in abundance during the day and a choice of lighting for the evenings

Like all things in kitchen planning, everyone has their own ideas and preferences so all we can do is to help you put your ideas forward then you can decide on the best kitchen design for your home.


Often when we go and meet new clients for the first time we are presented with a mass of magazine cut outs, photographs and print outs from web sites where they have seen aspects of kitchen design that they like and want to incorporate in to their new kitchen. This is really helpful as it gives us some strong leads towards completing the finished kitchen design.

Sometimes clients have samples of what they would like to see in their new kitchen which might include a kitchen tile, a piece of work top surface or kitchen floor covering. Again this is brilliant and makes our job easier ensuring that you are truly satisfied with the end result whether its a classic kitchen of something more contemporary. Mood boards are a good way of combining colour samples and photos and other items to build a true picture of how the new kitchen will look.

Use a kitchen designer

When you feel that you have a clearer idea of how the new kitchen is going to look then we do suggest that you use a kitchen designer like us at Barnes of Ashburton to bring it all together and manage the project whether it’s a new build or kitchen renovation.

We can often help by adding some innovation to maximise the space available. Kitchen designers also bring the benefit of experience when it comes to product knowledge, whether its appliances, lighting or other fixtures and fittings and the best place to procure each item.

A proper farm house kitchen

A proper farm house kitchen with bags of space and plenty of storage

With all this in place and the design complete we can then then provide you with detailed quotes for every aspect of the kitchen installation, from the handmade bespoke kitchen cabinets to any free standing kitchen furniture that you might like to the flooring and kitchen appliances.

Once we have completed the quotation and checked that you are happy with all aspects the installation can begin. Our experienced team of designers, cabinet makers and project manager will make quick and smooth progress. We work with you along the way with each stage being approved to ensure your complete satisfaction.

We will make sure that your new kitchen looks how you want, performs efficiently and provides all that you want allowing you to enjoy what is the most important room in your home.


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