How to plan a kitchen, according to the experts

Deciding to plan a kitchen can be a daunting task. In this utterly blank space, there will be questions about where do you want all your plumbed items to go, how are you going to light it, do you want overhead storage, what sort of surfaces would you like, is the flooring you've chosen waterproof? With so many different trades required, all demanding answers, it can get overwhelming. Not least because the kitchen is where you and your family will spend most of their time, cooking, eating, chatting, doing homework.

In the November/December issue, we tackle this planning stage and ask three experts what advice they'd offer to those undertaking the task.

Patrick McKenna, Kitchen Designer

When designing a kitchen I think it can be really helpful if people think of it as a process and a product. The process is what you live through now and the product you will live with for a long time to come. Don't forget the lifespans of each.


That said, the process can be overwhelming with the amount of detail involved, but obviously working with someone experienced helps in this process, enabling you to bounce ideas off and take calculated risks that result with furniture that is uniquely designed for your needs, now and in the future. Working with an architect or designer will cover all the aspects like layout, lighting, materials, etc. and will allow you to consider all options and be happy with your decisions.

Robert Bourke, Architect

Considering integrating your backsplash into the fabric used throughout the house. We opted for a glazed brick splashback for this kitchen, above, to mirror the natural red stone brick and create an interesting corner detail.

If you have a relatively small space to work with, consider spanning open shelves above and across windows to utilise storage space without eliminating too much light.

Using a bold colour in your kitchen is a simple way to add impact, without any additional cost.


Denise O'Connor, Interior Designer

When looking for inspiration, the trick is to look out for examples with a similar configuration to your own home, as it’s important to see where the sink and hob have been positioned.

You’ll come across lots of new trends when collating ideas for your new kitchen but be careful about introducing too many bang-up-to-date looks in a big way, as you could quickly tire of them. A better idea is to select a plain design, then accessorise with the latest metal lighting and on-trend handles, say, as these are cost-effective and relatively easy to change.


For more ideas on how to plan your new kitchen, from surfaces and flooring to lighting and details, pick up the November/December issue now.

Featured image from an Optimise Design project.


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