29th July 2021
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, no matter what your budget.
From choosing the right kitchen layout to perfecting the lighting, read on below for kitchen design ideas to inspire you.
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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, they picture a lavish kitchen island. Kitchen islands come in many shapes and sizes - and fulfil different purposes. They are:
Think about how you are going to use it 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 useable space you will have around it. Think about the 'kitchen triangle' - it helps you plot out the distance you need to leave between different parts in your kitchen.
Our gallery includes a range of kitchen ideal 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).
They usually have legs - lifting it just off the floor or even creating more of a table, depending on what you opt for - and 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 utilised 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 ideas on 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 whilst you're cooking.
A fitted bench seat is the ultimate way to maximise space, especially if it has storage built-in too. You can add one to a corner - and use it as an eating space too if you include a table - or, if you have a bay window, add it there.
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. But there are some considerations you need to keep in mind.
So many kitchens now include the ability to dine within them. Whether your kitchen is small or your opting for an open-plan design, here are a few tips to marry kitchen and dining in one.
Whether you have the space and money to splash out on a lavish kitchen, or are on a tight budget, here are a range of ways you can add a feeling of luxury to a kitchen, even inexpensively.
Take a look at these colourful kitchens to get some ideas for how to add a splash of colour to your kitchen.
Unlike any other room in the house, your kitchen wallpaper will need 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, despite being more robust, we wouldn't recommend using them as a splashback or near where you cook and wash up, unless it's protected behind clear plastic, which could be another option.
The rest is all down to style. If you feel brave, don't hold back. Go for a bold design and colours, and don't stick to just adding it to a feature wall.
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 - from lyrical phrases to whole motifs - and 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.
Art is a great way to decorate your kitchen too. You can buy prints to put into photo frames or get ones that are printed onto canvas. You can also do the same with photos, which will give your kitchen the homely touch.
Lastly, what about painting a mural? You can find a design online to copy, or create your own for something truly unique. If you're not confident enough to do it yourself, there are plenty of artists that can paint something spectacular and one-off for you.
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 one that is moisture resistant, durable and wipe clean, especially if you have children. We'd recommend looking for a kitchen-specific paint that should do all of these jobs.
If it is also said to be grease and stain proof, it should help minimise any lasting damage from wear and tear.
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 the colour palates 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.
Other things to watch out for are:
The lighting in your kitchen is as important as your worktop or cabinets - it can make a scheme and elevate it to the next level.
Take a look at these lighting ideas for inspiration to get you thinking about your own kitchen design.
If you're on a tight budget, take a look at these tips to help you transform your current kitchen without breaking the bank.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
Repainting your kitchen walls and/or kitchen unit doors is much cheaper than replacing the whole kitchen, and can completely transform its look and feel. Make sure you use suitable kitchen paint, which is more moisture-resistant, and prepare the surfaces as instructed.
Updated lighting, your flooring or tiles can change the feel of your kitchen, especially if it’s a small room.
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.
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.