1. Think ahead
When designing a kitchen, put function first. Whether it's a galley, U, or L-shaped, plan for the sink, fridge and cooktop. Make sure there is enough room between each item too all for ease of movement.
2. Make room for storage
The biggest mistake people make at the planning stage is not allowing for enough storage. Use every nook and cranny. Put overhead cabinets right up to the ceiling, rather than leaving a gap on top that collects dust. Consider deep drawers for easier access to pots and pans, and include enough storage for appliances that otherwise would clutter up countertops.
3. See the light
Unlike in other rooms of the house, overhead lighting is insufficient in kitchens. In the kitchen, you don't want the light behind you, casting a shadow on the workspace. You need it positioned to fall in front of you.
4. Space and surface
There's no such thing as too much counter space. Choose a surface that's easy to work on and care for. But keep in mind that grout between tiles is hard to maintain and that stainless steel will scratch very easily.
5. Start fresh
Don't reuse appliances or items from an old kitchen. It may seem as if you're saving money, but an old appliance will stick out like a sore thumb in a new environment.
6. Safety first
Make your kitchen as safe and family-friendly as possible by planning for good visibility to backyard and indoor play areas from the cooking area. Also consider such safety-conscious elements as rounded countertops, slip-resistant flooring and ovens located at adult height to minimize the chances of accidental burns.
7. Clear the air
A range hood helps ventilate cooking odours.
8. Trash talk
Don't forget to plan for garbage and recycling bins. Do you want built-in bins cleverly disguised behind a cabinet door, or a sleek, stainless-steel garbage container that's positioned out of the way?
Be sure to check out our Kitchen Gallery for more ideas.