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How to Plan a New Kitchen: The 7 Right Steps to Take

Home Interior With Open Plan Kitchen And Dining Area

It’s often a good idea to think about a new kitchen and begin planning for it before you do anything else.

Just like with creating a business plan before launching a new company, creating a plan for a new kitchen helps to guide your decision-making, adjust your expectations to be more realistic, and budget properly.

Here are 7 steps to take when planning a new kitchen for your current or future home.

1.     What Are Your Basic Needs?

Architect man sketching a kitchen in his office
Architect man sketching a kitchen in his office

If you have an existing home and a bustling, overstuffed kitchen that’s inadequate for your current needs, then it’s difficult to get perspective. But perspective is what you must find to figure out what your future needs are. Otherwise, you’ll likely order up a kitchen that doesn’t properly address them, which would be a disaster.

Consider how much storage you require. Look at what you have at the moment, including the dimensions, total volume, and accessibility.

Do you have a particular colour preference or are you after a complete change from what you have today?

How bright is the kitchen during the daytime and in the evening? Is it always bright enough or is that an area that needs improvement? Modern LED lights under the upper cabinetry to illuminate the countertops and overhead spotlights do much to fix these types of issues.

2.     Should Your Kitchen Room Get Extended?

If the kitchen has always felt too small, then it may be something that a new kitchen cannot fix. For sure, one can be designed to prioritise the areas of importance, such as a larger prep area, greater storage, or other priorities, but it won’t fix a cramped kitchen area if that’s the real issue.

Once you acknowledge that the kitchen room itself is too small, then you have a decision to make. One option is to look at the total size of the home to determine if it’s just too small for your requirements now.

Is it possible to get planning permission to add an extension on the back of your home to extend the kitchen?

Or, could you knock through an adjacent wall to increase the size of the kitchen while sacrificing the dining room that gets seldom used?

3.     Plumbing and Water Heating Requirements

Well-lighted space of open plan kitchen
Well-lighted space of open plan kitchen area with kitchen island and with the view of dining room

Any new kitchen will need consideration for the plumbing and heating required.

Plumbing and Water Flow

It may be that the water flow in the kitchen has always been problematic and needs to be resolved for a new kitchen. Putting in a continuous flow garbage disposal may be desirable for a family with a kitchen that’s always positively humming with activity.

Also, is there a whole house water filtration system that you’d like to get installed soon? In which case, this will need to feed through to the kitchen to support the sink and installed appliances.

If moving up from a single sink to a double, then the plumbing might need adjusting to support two faucets with sufficient water flow too.

Heating Requirements

If the kitchen has always had a bit of a draft, then a new one probably will be much the same.

Therefore, improving the heating in the kitchen area will be required to complete a new kitchen install and be happy with the outcome of it. The last thing you need is to feel negative because of things that seemed separate to the kitchen fit-out, but materially impact your happiness with the final result. Heating certainly falls neatly into this category, especially during the occasion of colder months.

For example, underfloor heating is unobtrusive and doesn’t take up vital floor space. When replacing the entire kitchen, then it’s more practical to install it at the same time.

4.     Kitchen Design and Inspiration

Home kitchen cabin life tonythetigersson, Tony Andrews Photography
Home kitchen cabin life tonythetigersson, Tony Andrews Photography

With kitchen renovations, the design is extremely important. Most times, it’s the primary reason for getting it done in the first place.

There are many different approaches to take with design and overall aesthetic. Sometimes, intentionally matching the current décor and style in the rest of the home is preferred. Doing this reduces the number of design options available but will often look the best.

Another approach to kitchen renovations is to let the kitchen designers come up with their ideas as to the best use of the space while not ignoring your prepared list of needs and priorities for your new kitchen. Kitchen Capital in Perth has many years of collective experience in helping homeowners arrive at new kitchen design. They work with scores of designers with creative ideas for kitchens of all sizes and configurations.

5.     Lighting

Interiors of the Modern Kitchen
interior view of a modern kitchen with stool

For a new kitchen to stand out, it needs to be bright and cheerful. While this might seem like a bit much first thing in the morning when you’re still trying to wake up, overall, it’s still the best idea.

Natural light and plenty of it is the ideal solution. However, that depends on the direction that any windows are facing to help bring in light from outside. The window treatments also shouldn’t aim to block out the light too much.

Nevertheless, it’s unlikely that exterior light from the sun will provide sufficient illumination on its own. Bright lights such as LED or similar ones deliver high brightness at a lower operating cost compared to older types of light bulbs. Also, they can be distributed better with a new kitchen to eliminate any darker spots for good.

6.     Appliances

Interior kitchen design details - modern cabinets and wooden furniture
Interior kitchen design details – modern cabinets and wooden furniture

It’s kind of a shame to try to clean up and refit old appliances into a new kitchen. Unless the kitchen stove is an antique with unique qualities, you’ll always be happier with new appliances to match the rest of the kitchen décor. 

Appliances can add up quickly, so it’s important to consider which ones you need in the kitchen and the options within each type.

For instance, do you want a four-hob gas cooker or something electrical instead? Is a double oven required or will a single oven be plenty? Do consider how large a family you may have (or gain over time) or if you’re increasingly entertaining guests or extended family members at home. In which case, maybe a large cooker is best to increase how much can be cooked at one time.

Similarly, will you need a dishwasher, washing machine, or other appliances? These will require a dedicated space. Will there be enough countertop space to install all the smaller appliances too? All good things to think about.

7.     What’s Your Budget?

When it comes to your budget, it’s a little bit of a chicken and egg scenario.

Whilst below a certain figure, it just won’t be possible to offer a new kitchen. Beyond that, it’s all a matter of personal choices, including must-haves versus would be nice.

There will always be trade-offs like a less expensive cooker to afford the exact kitchen design that you want (the cooker can always be upgraded again later when money is less constrained).

It’s also okay to decide that you need more money before going ahead. If what you want doesn’t match your savings set aside for a new kitchen, then either borrow the difference or wait until you can get it. That’s unless you’re not willing to wait and, therefore, compromises will need to be made to get the new kitchen concept down to your budget level. And that’s fine too.

Once you’ve run through the steps above, it’s a good time to consult with a professional kitchen design team. You’ll be poised with the answers to most of their questions and have a good idea about your budget. That’s a great start.


This blog post was authored by Emily Roberts

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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