How to plan a kitchen you will love for years to come

How to plan a kitchen

At Debenvale we offer a free design service for our clients. But, if you are beginning your journey and thinking about a new kitchen then here’s some ideas on how to plan a kitchen to help you get started.

Whether you are planning a kitchen extension or changing the existing space, there are many factors to consider.  We have been offering kitchen design in Suffolk and East Anglia for 15 years. So, here’s a summary of some the aspects that you will need to consider when planning your kitchen.

What’s your lifestyle?

Its likely that you will spend a huge amount of time in your kitchen so its important to think carefully about what  you are looking to achieve. Be really honest about your lifestyle and how your kitchen needs to work for you. 

Are you regular entertainers? Do you need extra space that can cater for large family get together’s or social gatherings with friends? Think about dining table sizes, breakfast bars and seating requirements. Do you prefer eating at low level or high?

Are you planning to spend your evenings relaxing in the kitchen? If so you’ll need to create space for soft seating and if you are dreaming of an open plan kitchen you will need to be on top of clearing away after mealtimes! 

Do you have pets or a young family, if not now in the future perhaps? Whether you are a young family or busy grandparents you will need to use materials that are hard-wearing and will stand the test of time. Flooring and work surfaces in particular will need to be scratch and stain resistant so that your kitchen stays as good as new for many years to come.  

Your Home Style

Do you have a period property or modern home? Do you have existing features to enhance such as beams, period features or high ceilings. Your new kitchen needs to be in a style that suits your house and taste, whether traditional or modern.  Create a flow from room to room with furnishings and colours that compliment each other.  

Think about the style of kitchen that you are trying to achieve. Do some research, there are plenty of ideas in magazines and on websites like Pinterest and Houzz and you can collate your own ideas gallery on there. Or browse our project gallery for inspiration.

Door styles

Choosing your door style can be a great place to start. Shaker style kitchen doors are timeless and will suit both traditional and contemporary kitchen designs.

Flat doors can create a modern and clean look and can be completely free of handles and knobs. 

Do you prefer clean and straight edges or would you consider adding curves to your kitchen with curved doors or a social circular breakfast bar? 

Colours and finishes can be decided closer to the time but you will soon start to get a feel for your favourite colour pallets and what you works for you. A quality handmade kitchen will last for many years, and if you opt for hand-painted cabinetry you do have the option to alter the colour in the future.

Create a wish list

Put pen to paper and create a wish list that you can run through with your kitchen designer. Firstly, think about the essential appliances you must include.

Ovens and hobs

Your oven needs to suit your style of cooking and also compliment your kitchen design. Would you prefer high spec built in oven at eye height with slide and hide door or a feature free standing Range style cooker?

Do you prefer cooking on a gas or induction hob?


How much fridge and freezer space do you need? Is a single combination fridge freezer enough or do you need two separate models with full capacity in each?

American style fridge freezers can also include an ice-maker and chilled water. 


Are you a keen cook? Pantry units are great to keep all cooking ingredients organised in one area. You can also conceal toasters and neatly store breakfast cereals, plates and bowls in here.

felixstowe kitchen

Deep drawers are great for pots and and pans and there are many pull out storage systems available to provide easy access to hard to reach corners. Bespoke cutlery trays and dividers keep all your utensils in order and can be designed to your specific requirements.

If you love accessories and cook books you may want to include open shelving. Or make a feature by displaying your favourite home and glass wear pieces behind glass panel doors. 

Sinks and Taps

Sinks come in a variety of shapes and sizes from single to double or with a half size bowl for draining. And materials could be stainless steel, ceramic or composite sink in a colour to suit your scheme. Belfast sinks create a classic look and gives you a large capacity for soaking trays and pans. Rinse sinks can be a great addition to an island unit for rinsing and prepping.

Taps and handles come in a range of finishes and styles to suit. Brushed steel, polished chrome, aged brass and pewter are just some of the options available.   

Utility Area

Will you have a separate utility room or are you including washers and dryers within the kitchen? 

Optional Extras

And for those non essentials, but great additions, consider adding the luxury items that would complete your dream kitchen. Wine storage and cellars, drinks cabinets, coffee machines, an instant hot tap or waste disposal incinerators. TV and audio equipment will also need to be included in your planning.

Extensions and alterations

There is no doubt that a new kitchen is a big upheaval and, of all the rooms in your home, its likely to be the biggest expenditure.

This is your opportunity to add value to your home and ultimately get everything exactly as you want it so you can enjoy your kitchen for many years to come. So, after carefully considering your lifestyle and making your wish list you may need to make some alterations. Consider moving a door or a window if you need to. Or if you need to enhance the space consider extending externally or by knocking through some adjoining walls to really get what you want. 

At Debenvale we can undertake minor building works but for larger alterations you will need to consult a builder or architect.

Bi folding doors, orangeries and garden rooms create light and airy environments and make the most of outdoor spaces and pretty gardens.

Kitchen islands are simply great for extra workspace and storage and can often provide additional seating too. We love designing bespoke kitchen islands in all different shapes and styles using solid oak and quartztone or a blend of the two. But you will need adequate space all around.

Flooring & Worksurfaces

Your designer will advise on suitable flooring and worksurface options.

For a practical and stylish worktop, quartz stone is our best seller due to its hard wearing properties and with so many different colours and finishes it’s a great choice along with natural granite. Wood surfaces give a beautiful finish but be prepared for some future upkeep with a light sand and re-oil required. Corian, laminate and glass are all other options to discuss as possible alternatives.

Stone flooring is available in tiles of all shapes, sizes, colours and finishes to suit every style of kitchen. Porcelain flooring is a popular choice for kitchen floors as its low maintenance and resists wear even in areas of heavy footfall. Porcelain flooring can give the appearance of marble, stone or even wood. A thermostatic underfloor heating matt can be installed to gently warm the tiles beneath your feet.


Lighting is an important feature and your designer will work with you to create different moods and highlight specific areas. Consider low energy LED spot lights, under lighting on wall units, plinth lighting and pendant lighting over dining and prep areas.

Kitchen designer

A good kitchen designer will create a personal plan for tailored for you. They will include the basic kitchen design principles and create workable spaces for cooking, prepping and dining. But they will also take into account everything else you and your family needs from the space. An area for homeworking, relaxing in front of the TV or playing family games, whatever is important to you. 

There are many decisions to make and its important to work with an experienced designer that will guide you through the process offering technical advise and practical expertise. 

Debenvale can offer expert advice and take care of all aspects of the project, including plumbing, heating and electrics. For more extensive alterations we work alongside locals architects and building firms and can liaise directly with them on your behalf.

The beauty of bespoke…

Our workshop sits right next to our showroom where we make all our own furniture by hand.  We invite our customers to take a look around and see the expert craftsmanship that goes into each and every piece of furniture that we produce.

Cabinets are rigid built by hand to your exact specification. We use solid dove tail drawer boxes and the highest quality hinges and component parts.

Our skilled installations team are professional and pay great attention to the finest of details, taking care of the whole project from start to finish.

We are passionate about creating beautiful custom built furniture and innovative designs using the latest technology and features.

We offer kitchen design in Suffolk and East Anglia.

If you need help on how to plan a kitchen, take advantage of our completely free bespoke design service, and let us help you to create your perfect room with, no obligation.

To book your free consultation, get in touch today.

“What a wonderful thing it is to have a designer who listens to everything that one is saying but is not afraid to comment and advise” Mrs Stent


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