Transforming your kitchen is an exciting venture, but it can be tricky to know where to start. Our kitchen design ideas will help you to create the kitchen of your dreams, whether your budget's small or large.
From choosing the right kitchen layout to perfecting the lighting, read on for kitchen design ideas to inspire you.
Before you buy – or even start the process – take a look at our guide to the to find out which are the top-rated companies. Customers have judged them on durability, customer service and value for money.
Before you start, think about the layout of your kitchen. Kitchen layouts tend to fall into six main categories:
Flick through our gallery for visual examples of each type:
Kitchens pictured above are from B&Q, Wickes, Magnet, Ikea and Wren Kitchens (in order shown).
Often, when people think about their ultimate kitchen, a lavish kitchen island is part of the picture. Kitchen islands come in many shapes and sizes and fulfil different purposes. They are:
Think about how you're going to use your island in relation to the rest of your kitchen. What do you want it for? How will it affect the workings of the rest of your kitchen? Once you know that, you can be clearer on what size and type to get, as well as how to position it.
Islands can be as big as you want but, if you're tight on space there are also slimline versions. You can also get one on wheels so that it can be moved out of the way when needed (more on this below).
Another way to save space is to get a peninsula instead. This is essentially where units carry on from your current kitchen and jut out into the room. You can see an example in the gallery below.
Whatever you do, one key thing to keep in mind is how much space it will take up and what usable space you will have around it. Think about the 'kitchen triangle', which helps you plot out the distance you need to leave between different parts in your kitchen.
Our gallery includes a range of kitchen ideas, from kitchen islands with seating to statement islands, to help get you thinking about what you want.
A freestanding kitchen island is exactly what it sounds like: an island that isn't fixed into position (you can see a couple of examples in the gallery above).
A freestanding kitchen island will usually have legs, lifting it just off the floor or even creating more of a table, depending on what you opt for. They come in the range of sizes, from compact to as big as any other type of island. These types of islands don't usually house appliances or sinks, so take this into consideration.
Freestanding islands add a different feel to the space, showing off the floor and making it feel more open. They also allow you to mix and match different styles and play around with storage options.
You can also get ones on wheels, which means you can easily move it around your kitchen, or even take it into another room, for example where you serve your food. To make them lighter, most come with open shelves as opposed to cupboards.
If you're keen on this type, make sure you buy one that has locks on the wheels so that it will stay in place when needed. Also think about where you will move it to: is there actually space in your kitchen to take it out of its position?
Why not consider upcycling too – use a sideboard or console table as a freestanding island? Just make sure it's finished so that it doesn't get damaged by water.
Don't be limited in your kitchen plan by only looking at standard kitchen cupboards and shelves – there are lots of other options. Why not consider:
These can open up your storage options from cupboards with simple shelves or drawers and can be used in a number of different ways – as a kitchen larder, to display china or glassware, as a wine rack, to hide away appliances that you don't want to have built in or to create another worksurface.
They can also be cheaper too, especially if you revamp an old piece of furniture. Scroll down for more cheap kitchen ideas.
A kitchen bench is the perfect way to create a social space. Using one at a table will enable you to fit more people around it, while a bench running along a wall will give guests or the family somewhere to sit while you cook.
A fitted bench seat is a good way to maximise space, especially if you use it as an eating space and it has storage built in too.
Whether you want to create a sleek, modern look, a country farmhouse kitchen or be daring and design something unique, these ideas will get you started.
An open-plan design works perfectly for our modern lifestyles. Consider the following:
Here are a few tips to marry kitchen and dining in one.
Traditional and less colourful kitchens can come to life with a splash of colour.
While a white kitchen will remain a classic, grey kitchens have become more popular in recent years, offering limitless options when it comes to design. Think about combining dark and light tones for greater contrast.
Green is another popular kitchen colour in 2022, from muted tones such as sage to more daring and bright like lime green, for a splash of colour. Pair it with wooden worktops or vintage cabinets for a rustic feel.
Take a look at the gallery above for some inspiration.
Unlike wallpaper in a bedroom or living room, kitchen wallpaper needs to be able to withstand splashes from water or cooking. Kitchen-specific wallpapers have a vinyl or plastic coating, which will stop them from absorbing moisture and make them wipeable so that you can remove any spills.
However, we still wouldn't recommend using them as a splashback or near where you cook and wash up.
Before hanging your chosen wallpaper, make sure your kitchen is dry, otherwise you may have problems with peeling from the get-go. Check you have the right glue (it differs depending on what the wallpaper is made of) a brush, wallpaper table and good blade knife. Also make sure you check how much glue to apply as this varies too.
Kitchen walls don't just have to be covered in wallpaper or paint: what about stickers, murals, prints and art?
There is a huge range of stickers available, which they tend to be easy to apply once you have cleaned the surface. Make sure you choose one that will be OK to use in a kitchen: you don't want it peeling off not long after you attach it.
Or what about painting a mural? You can find a design online to copy, or create your own for something truly unique, if you have the skills.
Whether you have lots to spend on your kitchen or are on a shoestring budget, paint is a great way to transform the space and inject your personality.
However, you need to make sure you choose paint that is moisture resistant, durable and wipe clean, especially if you have children. Look for a kitchen-specific paint that should do all of these jobs.
Some paints are claimed to be mildew and mould resistant, with guarantees and the length of time this will last for: the longer the better. But specialist paints like this are often limited in terms of the colour palettes that are available.
You could also use a semi-gloss or high-gloss paint, as these will still repel moisture and enable you to wipe away any mould that appears. However, these kind of paints tend to be more suited to small areas, such as window and door frames, as opposed to entire walls.
Although it is tempting to jump in, professionals follow a process, so you should do the same. One important part of the process is starting by preparing cabinets by removing any hinges and handles.
Other things to watch out for are:
Tiles are a great way to give style and character to your kitchen. Coloured tiles can add personality to your kitchen, whereas patterned tiles are better to jazz up what could be a more traditional kitchen, without it becoming overwhelming.
Kitchen tiles are popular as part of a splashback. Fun fish scale tiles have become one of the hottest trends in recent years.
When tiling a high-traffic area, such as a kitchen, you'll need easy-to-clean and durable tiles.
For a unique design choice opt for patterned tiles (think geometric or ever-popular chevron style) or checkerboard.
If you're less keen on experimenting, large monochrome tiles are also fashionable.
The kitchen sink is a key part of the kitchen triangle, so you want to choose a material that will prove durable, especially if you cook regularly. You should also think about type, size and style. A double sink, aka divided sink or double-bowl sink, is handy if you don't have a dishwasher and so do a lot of washing by hand, as you can fill one with hot water for cleaning and use the other one for rinsing dishes off.
You'll need to choose between an inset and an undermount one.
Kitchen sinks take a hammering – think about all the pots and pans that end up there. So it's wise to go for a durable option.
Stainless steel One of the most popular options, stainless steel will endure plenty of hardship in a busy kitchen and makes for an affordable option.
Granite composite They can really add a unique character to your kitchen but can get pricey. While it is a durable material you may want to consider.
Ceramic These tend to be durable and look traditional.
Composite This can be a more affordable option that the granite counterpart.
The lights in your kitchen are as important as your worktop or cabinets, elevating it to the next level. You can use statement lighting to make your kitchen distinctive.
Take a look at these lighting ideas for inspiration.
If money is tight, take a look at these tips to help you transform your current kitchen inexpensively.
Keeping electrics and plumbing in the same places helps to keep costs down, as it’ll reduce the need to hire specialist contractors. Even if you need to get a professional to install new appliances, it will take less time and money if they’re being wired into the same spot as before.
You may be able to pick up an ex-display or even a second-hand kitchen for significantly less than a brand new one. As well as saving you money, it's a sustainable option as it could also prevent the kitchen from ending up in landfill.
Some builders' merchants, local kitchen manufacturers and specialist companies will supply new kitchen unit doors, drawer fronts and worktops, at a fraction of the price of an entirely new kitchen. For more pricing details on these updates, head to our page on .
If materials such as marble and granite are out of your price range, there are a lot of laminates that do a good job of mirroring the real thing while giving it a high-end look.
Steer clear of fixtures that are too different from those you already have. For example, handleless doors may not be compatible with your cabinets, because they operate on a runner.
Attractive tiles add instant glamour. Rather than paying to cover the entire room, create feature areas with small collections of tiles.
Repainting your kitchen walls and/or kitchen unit doors is much cheaper than replacing the whole kitchen and, as we said before, can completely transform its look and feel.
Deep shades and rich tones look particularly luxurious. Be bold and paint the entire room, or choose specific areas to draw the eye.
Make sure you use suitable kitchen paint, which is more moisture resistant, and prepare the surfaces as instructed. Find out more about the for kitchen walls (although these won't be suitable for wooden kitchen cabinets).
You don't have to spend a fortune to get a bold, distinctive floor.
Vinyl flooring is generally the cheapest type, starting at around £10 per square metre. Ceramic tiles are generally cheaper to buy and have fitted than porcelain or stone. You can buy cheap tiles for less than £10 per square metre.
Always get at least three quotes to compare and ask for a total price for the job including all fittings and fixtures, rather than a rate per day. With a fixed cost for the whole project, there are less likely to be nasty surprises.
Visit our to find out what you should expect to pay for a new kitchen, including price guides for some well-known kitchen brands, and to find tips from experts and thousands of kitchen owners on how to keep your costs down.