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6 things you need to do before you plan and design a new kitchen

Meticulous planning is the key to creating a new kitchen that looks great and functions efficiently

John van Doormaal from Innovative Kitchens has learned a thing or two about kitchen design during his more than 30 years in the business. He shares his top tips for creating a super-successful new kitchen:


1. Research

Do as much research as you can before you engage a kitchen designer. Look at interiors magazines for inspiration, and put together a scrapbook or Pinterest page to take with you when you brief your kitchen designer. “This helps to give us a good idea of what style you are after,” says John.

2. Measure

Take a tape measure when you visit showhomes and kitchen showrooms, so you can get an idea of scale. “People often want more in the kitchen than they can actually fit,” says John. As part of John’s custom design service, he provides not just a detailed floor plan, but also computer imaging elevations that show the kitchen design in three dimensions.

3. Budget

Set yourself a budget before you brief your kitchen designer, and be clear about whether it includes just the cabinetry, or the plumber, electrician and appliances too. “Every job is different, and we can find a solution that will work with just about any budget,” says John

4. Know your appliances

Research your appliances early in the process, but don’t get pressured into buying them until you’ve checked with your kitchen designer to make sure they will work in your space

5. Consult the experts

Get expert advice. Even if you’re intending to buy pre-fabricated units, it’s worth paying for a couple of hours of a professional kitchen designer’s time to get the layout right first. “If you’ve never done it before you’re bound to make expensive mistakes,” says John. “But a designer like myself with years of experience will be able to look it over and give you quick advice on how to make it work. If you’re upfront and honest about your needs and wants, most designers will have no problem with it.”

6. Attend kitchen design seminars

At the least, attend a kitchen design seminar so you know what the process involves. “I do a few seminars a year,” says John. “Most of the response I get is that people had no idea how much there was to think about.” John’s seminar includes nine “red flags” that commonly trip up homeowners, including installing an induction hob without realising they need more power than usual, installing a rangehood without allowing for ducting, and positioning power points behind a glass splashback, to name a few.