How to design your kitchen like an interior designer – 8 top tips
Before COVID19, kitchen renovations and remodelling projects were one of scuseme’s strongest performing categories. But with an uncertain economy, some of our projects will now be cancelled or put on hold, while others will only proceed once lockdown restrictions are lifted. So, if you can’t start now on your kitchen project, use your time productively to design the kitchen you want. With this in mind, we have got together with Cambridge based interior designer, Hazel Boyd, to ask her advice and share her thoughts on what you can do to design your kitchen like an interior designer.
Hazel, says: “There is so much you can do while at home now. In fact, with considered research you can use this period of isolation to find your unique style. With careful planning you can be ready with your drawings, lighting and socket location before you call in the builders. These things can actually save you time, money and stress in the long run.”
Design your kitchen like an interior designer
Interior designers use clever software to give customors a visual impression of their dream kitchen. Hazel says: “I produce all my kitchen designs in CAD software, where you can see your home come to life with 3D, colour-rendered visuals. I begin with several layout options to really explore the best solutions. I adapt this into one final layout to deliver a design that is perfectly customised for you. Then I synchronise everything back to your ‘Personal Style DNA'”
But you don’t need software to get started; you can seek inspiration from the internet and specialist magazines, as well as ideas from friends whose kitchens you like (or maybe don’t). Remember the time when you could visit friends? Hazel continues, “The kitchen is the most important room in the home, so a lot rests on getting it right. The images that you see in magazines demonstrate a space perfectly suited to the owner and are the result of careful client discussions, effort and planning. My eight top tips will help set you on the right path to create your ideal kitchen”.
Tip 1. It’s never too early to start your design
Firstly, if you are designing ‘off plan’ for a new build or extension get an idea of the basic kitchen layout – this can be finalised later and is an ideal time to get your designer involved. Why? There is possibly a need to move walls or make other physical changes on the plan to achieve the best solution. Identifying this at the early stages, before construction drawings are produced, can save time and extra costs involved in producing a new set of plans. I like to work with your architect and adapt their plans to include our kitchen concept.
Tip 2. Choosing your cabinets
Look for quality for cabinet fittings and storage, such as Blum. It’s worth spending a bit more for the latest storage solutions to make sure your kitchen cabinets provide versatility and will stand the test of time. Check out the SpaceTower, a must in every new kitchen and it looks amazing too! Many good quality British kitchens supply German hardware and storage (such as Blum) as standard, with the carcasses and doors being made in the UK. Another nice touch, which can really make a design statement, is to choose a contrasting colour for the inside of the cabinets. Whether you’re looking for a contemporary or classic design, it’s a great time to be supporting our British manufacturers. Check out Crown Imperial for a great choice of designs.
Tip 3. Develop your layout
So now you have a style in mind, let’s talk about layout. It’s great if you have a good idea for this that will work for you; but don’t be tempted to accept one layout as the only solution, even if you feel like you need a lie down and a G&T after three hours in a kitchen showroom. This is THE one room where only after considering several different layouts, you will know when it is right. If it feels like you’re compromising, then you probably are! Sketch out a few different layouts yourself; you may be pleasantly surprised at your own creativity.
Tip 4. Selecting your ideal appliances
It’s important that you remember what type of cook you are (or aspire to be), so your appliances work best for you. Consider what your cooking habits are now and how they might change when you have your dream kitchen. If cleaning an oven evokes a feeling of despair, then a pyrolytic oven could be your saviour. Combi ovens now give you a choice of steamer or microwave options. Induction is the ‘go to’ hob technology, which I’m a huge advocate of. But as an aspiring chef, you may want to include additional flexibility, such as a gas wok plate or a Teppanyaki grill. The best news here is you can have it all! Brands such as Neff offer demo days at showrooms or cookery schools, so if you’re really serious about finding out what is available, book yourself onto a free demo day to learn about the latest appliance technologies to inform and refine your selection.
Tip 5. Your personal style DNA
Your own ‘personal style DNA’ will now start to come into play; an exciting stage of any project! Mix your surface finishes to create interest. Material colours and textures for worktops, walls, tiles and flooring need to complement your cabinet finishes. With open plan designs you will also want to have a clear synergy within the entire space. Don’t be afraid to look at how you can incorporate those quirky tiles you fell in love with into your design, let your personality shine through.
Tip 6. Layered lighting
Lighting should be considered at the early stage so electrical cabling can be planned in. You will need ambient lighting to illuminate the whole space, and task lighting in your food prep and cooking areas. Get creative with decorative lighting over an island or peninsular; or a feature pendant in the dining area. Use LED strip lighting to add interest. Layer your lighting; it’s all about flexibility here and further develops your own ‘personal style DNA’.
Tip 7. Housekeeping
Now let’s talk about a bit of housekeeping. Not always the most exciting subject, but a lot more rewarding than you may first believe. How many cupboards do you REALLY need? The key word here is ‘purge’. In my CAD designer world this is where my model starts ‘sticking’, slowing down and I realise I have too much stuff in my model for it to perform efficiently and give me the best results, so I purge all unused items. And guess what? It’s completely relatable to your kitchen storage capacity. All that equipment, rusty and dented cake tins, cracked serving dishes and the fondue set from the Eighties, that you’re sure will come in handy one day. It won’t. Do you really want to put all that stuff back in your new kitchen cabinets? So just have a satisfying purge and make room for your new streamline, efficient kitchen that you just love spending time in. Look at creating a secondary storage space away from the main kitchen, where you can keep bulky items that only get used on the odd occasion.
Tip 8. The final personal touch
My most cherished tip I’ve saved until last, so if you have got this far, then I will let you into a great designer secret! Handle-less kitchens are bang on trend but if this style isn’t for you (or even if it is), let’s look at how we can really personalise your kitchen here. All kitchen ranges come with various choices of handles which are all very lovely. However, these is an alternative. You can really ‘upgrade’ your kitchen by splashing out on some designer handles; you know: the type you see in top notch interior magazines that make everything look so expensive. This may cost you a few quid more, but is a clever way of transforming a standard kitchen into something unique and special.
So, there we are. I hope that you have enjoyed my insider designer secrets, and you have the confidence to take the necessary steps to design your kitchen like an interior designer. I will be happy to look at your designs and provide some useful feedback. Contact me to find out more. Hazel Boyd Interiors. “Designing together to discover your inner unique style and aspirations. So much to love, you’ll want to stay in.”