How to design a kitchen: five things to consider before you start

Think about how much time you spend in the kitchen – not just in the everyday doing-the-dishes sense, but chatting to friends as you put together a relaxed supper or create a beautiful meal. Whatever way you look at it, the kitchen is a personal, lively space. It’s social and comforting not to mention where the most fun people at parties always gravitate to. In saying that, designing a kitchen you love to spend time in isn’t the easiest thing so before you get started, consider these top tips…

1. Can’t afford a swanky off-the-peg design? Ask your joiner to do you a bespoke number – there’s no reason why they won’t be able to take on the challenge, particularly if you prefer a non built-in look.

2. If you do opt for a kitchen company’s design, mix it with a custom counter for a more personal feel.

3. Spend time thinking about how you move around the kitchen before deciding on its layout. You won’t regret having the cutlery drawer close to the dining area.

4. Make sure the kitchen counters will fit in with your windows – most come at a standard height and may need to be altered.

5. Put your stamp on the room. Hang art and consider patterned tiles – like every other room in the house, it should feel like it belongs to you.

RITA SAYS… Three reliably brilliant pieces for the kitchen

The must-have hob: This is ideal for putting together your own kitchen. Stainless steel hob, PX140, by Linea, 39.5 x 100cm, £689, from Smeg.

The tiles to die for: I love the wallpaper-like pattern these. Terracotta tiles, “1903” (bordeaux), made from Made A Mano.

The island unit: Much pricier than the Smeg hob, but does it all and is so beautiful. Stainless steel “Alpes Kitchen Island Unit”, by Alpes Inox, 92x132x125cm from £15,485 from The Conran Shop.

MORE: For a more in-depth view, check out Rita’s House & Garden column on kitchens here.