When we moved into our current home one of the things we said we’d do — when we had the money — was a kitchen makeover.
Our old kitchen just didn’t work for our needs; the look and feel of it was OK (ish) but the layout of it was awful.
For a keen chef (my boy, not me, I hasten to add!) it just hadn’t enough storage for all the cheffy items he uses (and doesn’t use — breadmaker anyone?).
What’s Wrong With Your Current Kitchen?
The first step when planning a kitchen makeover is to work out what’s wrong with your current kitchen.
Doing this will give a clear indication of what to keep — and what to ditch — when planning your new kitchen.
Here is everything that was wrong with our old kitchen…
There was very little worktop or preparation space and ancient wooden cupboards that I painted when we moved in.
I liked the fact that they’re painted units but the fact that they’re cupboards?
This I don’t like! I’m the girl who leaves the doors open, then bangs my head because I’ve forgotten about it! Idiot.
When we re-did the kitchen in our old house, we did away with top cupboards entirely and replaced the base units with huge, deep drawers.
Perfect for pans and stacks of plates. Our old kitchen was designed to suit our needs and worked perfectly — and is poles apart from the one we have inherited here.
On a positive note, one thing did have, that I do love — but takes up an inordinate amount of room — is a gigantic AGA.
It’s a beast of a thing and is three base cupboards in width. It’s a huge use of space, particularly as half of it is switched off for 6 months of the year.
But we love it.
In the winter, cosying up to its glorious warmth and warming your gloves and socks on is heavenly. What you lose in space — and practicality — you gain in quirky charm.
And warm feet.
A fair trade-off, I think.
What Would You Like From Your New Kitchen?
Similar to writing a list of things you dislike about your current kitchen, writing a list of everything you do want from your kitchen makeover will ensure you don’t miss anything!
Points To Remember When Planning Your Kitchen Makeover
Set a Budget
Determine how much you are willing to spend on your kitchen makeover. This will help you make decisions regarding the scope of the project and the materials you can afford.
Are you going to go for a bespoke kitchen? Or off the peg? Companies such as DIY Kitchens offer a great alternative, as you can create a high-end, bespoke look for a fraction of the cost of a fully bespoke kitchen.
Set Your Goals
Consider what you want to achieve with your kitchen makeover. Are you looking for a complete overhaul or just minor updates?
Do you want to improve functionality, enhance aesthetics, or both? Clearly defining your goals will guide your decisions throughout the planning process.
Save or bookmark images of kitchens you love to help develop a cohesive design concept. This will help your builder — or kitchen designer/maker — when you’re ready to create your new kitchen.
Assess Your Space
Evaluate your existing kitchen layout and identify any shortcomings or areas for improvement.
Consider the traffic flow, storage needs, and work zones. Assess the condition of your appliances, cabinets, worktops, and flooring to determine whether they need to be replaced or can be refurbished.
Develop a Design Plan
Based on your goals, inspiration, and space assessment, create a design plan for your kitchen makeover. Determine the colour scheme, materials, and finishes you want to incorporate.
Decide on the style (modern, traditional, farmhouse, etc.) and consider the overall aesthetic you wish to achieve. Again, using images from Pinterest or IG will help to consolidate this.
Research and Select Contractors
It may be that the kitchen company you’ve chosen is a one-stop shop and will take care of every aspect of your kitchen makeover. But, if not and you plan on hiring professionals for certain aspects of the project, such as electrical work, plumbing, or cabinetry installation, research and select reputable contractors.
Obtain multiple quotes and check references to ensure you choose reliable and experienced professionals.
Choose Appliances and Fixtures
Select new appliances, lighting fixtures, taps, and other hardware for your kitchen. Will you choose aged brass? Contemporary chrome? There are so many fantastic options to choose from. Make sure you do your research.
And remember, there are affordable ways of creating the look you want just by thinking outside the box. Instead of super expensive aged brass handles, you can age your own brass and bronze yourself at home.
Consider energy efficiency, functionality, and style when making your choices. Ensure that the sizes of the chosen appliances fit within your existing or planned cabinetry.
Determine Materials and Finishes
Decide on the materials and finishes for your worktops, tiles, flooring, and cabinetry.
Visit showrooms, consult with experts, and collect samples to help you make informed decisions. Consider durability, maintenance requirements, and longevity. Limestone flooring may seem like an expensive option initially, but it will last forever and will never need replacing.
Create a Timeline
Develop a timeline for your kitchen makeover, considering any necessary permits, contractor schedules, and the availability of materials.
Be realistic about the time required for each phase of the project to avoid unnecessary delays and ensure a smooth workflow.
Plan for Temporary Kitchen Arrangements
If your kitchen is out of commission during the makeover, make arrangements for a temporary kitchen setup.
Set up a space with essential appliances, a sink, and storage to help you prepare meals while the renovation is underway.
Execute Your Plan
Once you have finalised your design plan, obtained the necessary permits (if you’re knocking walls down, you may need planning permission — or need to have the work signed off by building regs at the very least), and secured contractors, it’s time to start the renovation.
Follow your timeline, communicate effectively with your contractors, and monitor progress to ensure everything proceeds according to plan.
After the major renovation work is complete, focus on the exciting bit! The finishing touches.
Add accessories, such as curtains, rugs, wall art, and plants, to enhance the overall ambience of your new kitchen.
Some Kitchen ‘Must Haves’ to Consider
This is all subjective, obviously, but here are some kitchen ‘must haves’ you might like to consider when planning your kitchen makeover.
A Larder Cupboard
A larder cupboard, or ‘pantry cupboard’, is a freestanding (or built-in) storage unit typically found in kitchens or dining areas.
The primary purpose of a larder cupboard is to offer a dedicated area for storing and organizing dry food items, perishables, and kitchen essentials.
Larder cupboards often feature adjustable shelves, drawers, and compartments, allowing for efficient organization and easy access to stored items.
They may include specialised features like spice racks, wine racks, pull-out baskets, or hooks for hanging utensils. Some larder cupboards also have built-in cooling systems to provide a cool environment for storing perishable goods.
The design and style of larder cupboards can vary greatly, ranging from traditional and rustic to contemporary and sleek. They are available in different sizes and configurations to suit various kitchen layouts and storage needs. Larder cupboards can be standalone furniture pieces or integrated into the kitchen cabinetry, offering a practical and visually appealing storage solution.
Consider a hot water tap. These space-saving devices offer state-of-the-art technology. Why take up valuable worktop space with a kettle when your tap can give you boiling water?
Fabulous Clever Storage
Storage is key. Maybe think about replacing cupboards with deep, wide drawers fitted with clever racks and holders for your equipment.
Plus integrated recycling bins to negate the need for boxes and bags all over the floor.
A Kitchen Island
OK — a lot of folk just don’t have the room (or the money) for luxuries like this! But a kitchen island can offer so much more to a busy family home than just a glorified food prep area.
It can house your bins (and recycling) and give stacks of storage whilst offering a great place to dine, chat, and do homework — let alone a place to prep the dinner!
To have a look at more ‘dreamy’ kitchen ideas, I’ve put a little Pinterest board together— pop over and have a look.
Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.