The best tips for kitchen interior design

IS THE KITCHEN DETAILING UP TO SCRATCH?

A good kitchen designer will take care of the tiny details for you, but what if you're designing an Ikea kitchen yourself, for example? Here are just a few of the smaller details to work into your kitchen design:

  • Do you have a gap to fill? Rather than fill over it with a blank piece of cabinetry, could it be made into a handy bread board or tray niche?
  • How far from the ceilings are the top of your cabinets? They need to either be far enough that you can get in to clean them (kitchen cabinet tops are sticky dust traps), or designed to be floor-to-ceiling to avoid this and to make the most of storage space.
  • Where will your least good-looking or least-used appliances be stored (this includes the microwave)? Ideally, they'd be fitted into a larder cabinet or stashed away when not in use so as not to gather dust and clutter up worktops.
  • Is everything at the right height? It's all very well stacking fitted ovens, but if you can't easily or safely remove hot dishes from yours because it's too high, then you've made a costly mistake.
  • Similarly, can small children reach what they need safely? A low cupboard with their cups and bowls stored inside will help them be more independent and stop them climbing up on worktops to reach what they need.
  • Is there enough room on either side of the hob or just next to the oven to put down hot dishes? Ideally, you need a good 40cm of worktop space for this.
  • Have you got electrical points exactly where you need them – including on a kitchen island – and are there enough? Ideally you don't want to have to unplug appliances to be able to use others – or to charge a phone, for example.

HAVE YOU GOT THE RIGHT KIND OF KITCHEN STORAGE?

'In a well-planned kitchen, it’s not simply a question of having enough storage space, you also need to ensure you choose the right kitchen storage for your needs. For example, deep drawers for crockery, serving dishes and cookware are often more useful than standard floor cabinets where you have to get down on your hands and knees to see items at the back of the cupboard. Pay attention to smaller details, too: ask yourself whether you have planned storage for items such as spices and dry foods close to the preparation area.'

Good storage for small kitchens can make or break your room, so pay particular attention to getting these details right. And if you need any more tips on getting the best storage for small kitchens, check out our gallery for ideas.

GET THE KITCHEN LIGHTING RIGHT

Planning kitchen lighting needs be done early on – at extension design stage or when you're considering your kitchen's layout. Task lighting is a given, but don't forget to work in ambient lighting, dimmable options and good-looking pendants: your kitchen shouldn't just be about how it functions; how it looks while you're eating or socialising in it is important, too.

IS YOUR KITCHEN FIT FOR SOCIALISING?

If you've worked a kitchen island into your design, have you come up with kitchen island seating ideas? Is there enough space for yours or would a breakfast bar do the trick just as well? Are the bar stools or dining chairs you've picked comfortable enough to encourage people to linger? You'd be amazed how much these small details will increase the amount of time your family spends together – and they're a handy addition when friends come over, too.

If you need more advice on adding a kitchen island, have a read through these clever kitchen island design ideas.

GIVE THE KITCHEN PERSONALITY

From choosing kitchen wall paint colours to creating a gallery wall or picking pretty kitchen wallpaper designs, giving your kitchen's interior design personality is all in the detailing. Choosing the best kitchen window dressings, sourcing the best kitchen flooring or simply displaying family photos effectively are all part of the process of giving your kitchen personality.

Just as you'd add those personal touches to a living room, putting your own stamp on a kitchen will take it from showroom piece to heart of the home.

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