How to design the ultimate kitchen

How to design the ultimate kitchen

You know what they say, the kitchen is the heart of the home. We spend a lot of time in our kitchens, from preparing a quick breakfast and coffee in the morning to family dinners and parties with friends, most of the time, you will find your guests casually gathered around the kitchen. For these reasons, it is really important to ensure that your kitchen is an area of your home that you love and can be proud of.

how to design the ultimate kitchen

Image source and design, Obumex

When designing and planning a new kitchen, there are a few key elements that need to be considered:

1. Budget
2. Function
3. Style
4. Features
5. Space

In this week’s blog post, I wanted to share with you, my tips on designing the ultimate kitchen.

1. Budget

Due to the variety in choices and finishes that a new kitchen or kitchen renovation offers clients, it is an important first step to establish and set your budget. Doing this will give you a firm foundation to work from and will set you off on a good start, whether or not you are working with an interior designer.

If you are renovating an existing kitchen, it is a cost factor to keep the plumbing and electrical points more or less where they are, but if this interferes with the new design layout, then it is worth looking at alternative electrical positioning.

It is possible and recommended to fine tune the design utilising the space to your advantage, it will be more cost effective to consider cabinetry and appliances that are standard in size and profile.

A bespoke or custom kitchen becomes a greater investment, because of the nature of the design and the availability in the choice of finishes and detailing, that is because nothing is standard. Counter tops are thicker or have more elaborate profiles and the choice in joinery hardware (handles and knobs) is greater and much more elaborate. I call the knobs and handles the jewellery of joinery.

how to design the ultimate kitchen

Photography By Tom Blachford  Styling By Ruth Welsby
Image source here

2. Function

How do you want your kitchen to function? Consider bench heights, the placement of key elements such as your cooktop, fridge and sink. To start with, you might want to base your design around appliances, after the layout of the space itself. Will you be installing a large, oven? If you have chosen an Aga stove/oven, this can become a feature that you can design the kitchen around.

The internal components of the cupboards can be tailored to the client’s needs, whether they choose drawers or shelves, pantry spaces, cupboards and even walk-in pantries. Cupboards can cleverly conceal appliances such as a toaster and kettle, keeping messy cords and unsightly electricals hidden and tidy, keeping the bench space clean and minimal.

When considering how your kitchen will function, your lighting is also very important. Ensure that your main work areas are well lit, as well as accent lighting that can offer visitors a beautiful feature to cast their eye over. I always like to make sure that kitchen lighting can be dimmed, to ensure that you can introduce mood lighting once dinner preparation is done and you can sit down to a meal and socialise afterwards.

how to design the ultimate kitchen

Kitchen design- Marylou Sobel, photographer Maree Homer


3. Style

The choice of style for your new kitchen is open and endless- coming to a final decision on a style is an important choice to make. But once it’s made, you can have a general direction and vision in mind and your choices and decisions can now be based on your style preferences.

Your style will then influence your choice of finishes, colours, and the design of your cabinets. Whether you want contemporary, sophisticated clean lines, or detailed joinery and hardware, all of these selections will impact the aesthetics of your kitchen.

When making finish selections, it is a good idea to start with a mood board, bringing all of the samples and hardware elements together to see how it is all going to look and work in together. The choice available in finishes are endless, it is all about honing in on your style and vision.

The style of the kitchen needs to be sympathetic to the style of the home and architecture so that there is a seamless blend from room to room.

Designed by Marylou Sobel, photographed by Maree Homer


 4. Features

You should consider the existing features that the space is offering you and then highlighting them. Does your space offer natural light, with a window overlooking a beautiful view or garden? It is so nice to be able to look out at something that is kind on the eye, particularly when you are at the sink or preparing a meal.

If you have a space that is large enough, consider a walk-in pantry, or potentially a butlers pantry. Having open shelving in your pantry will make your life much easier in the kitchen, but you can still keep everything hidden away.

An island bench is always functional and practical. It can be used as a workbench or an eating area, or both. It can house a sink, a cook top, even have cupboards and draws for additional storage. There are endless possibilities to what could become a beautiful feature of your kitchen.

How to design the ultimate kitchen

Kitchen design by Marylou Sobel, photographed by Maree Homer

5. Space

There are also compromises to make when designing a kitchen whether the space is big, or small. It can be a big help if one has the freedom to use the space to its advantage and design to maximise space, ie. build the cupboards up to the ceiling.

Be sure to maximise exposure to natural light, which will make your kitchen feel larger. A kitchen that is well and thoughtfully designed, is one that makes the most of the existing space.

how to design the ultimate kitchen

Kitchen designed by Marylou Sobel, photographed by Maree Homer


Overall, the end result of your kitchen design is individual and unique, a reflection of you, your family and your lifestyle.

Are you considering a kitchen renovation, or potentially building a new home and are interested in working with an interior designer to help you to maximise your space, but staying within budget?
I would love to hear from you about your vision, and help you bring your dream kitchen to life!
Click here to learn more about working with me, I can’t wait to hear from you. 


  • Kitchen Factory
    Posted at 12:45h, 11 December Reply

    Great post! You’ve covered all the important parts; from budget to functionality and style. Definitely a big help for homeowners planning to build their dream kitchen!

  • Kitchen Lighting Online
    Posted at 12:02h, 05 September Reply

    Great post and nice information. Explained in a very innovative way and also got some ideas. Thank you.

    • Marylou
      Posted at 23:14h, 23 October Reply

      Thank you very much for your kind comment, glad you got some good ideas.

  • bedroom organization
    Posted at 08:37h, 27 June Reply

    Remarkable! Its really awesome post, I have got much clear idea concerning from this article.

Post A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join my Design Tribe

And receive my monthly newsletter as well as my latest eBook: ‘Selecting the Perfect Paint Colours’ as your free gift.

View the Terms and Privacy.