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Cworkshop's How To

How to plan a kitchen renovation

Improve the heart of your home.

Why should you renovate your kitchen?

We spend a lot of time in our kitchens. Cooking, eating, drinking, socialising; the kitchen is the heart of the homes. 

Considering the amount of time we spend in the kitchen, it's important that our space is functional, inviting, and has a visually appealing design. After spending a lot more time at home than usual in the last few years, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, it's no surprise that homeowners' demand for kitchen renovations has surged by 24%

A kitchen remodel can be as big or small as you want. You might be planning a complete remodel or just a few cabinet replacements or space reshuffles that will make a world of difference to your kitchen design.

But, as we know all too well, renovations can be stressful; there's always the risk that things might not all go to plan or that the design won't turn out exactly how you imagined. Fortunately, careful and precise planning can help you mitigate these risks and ensure that your kitchen remodel is as successful as you hope.

No matter how big or small your kitchen renovation is, here's everything you need to know about planning and designing your new kitchen.

1.

Pick a style for your kitchen remodel

Before you even start meeting with designers or picking out kitchen furnishings, you'll need to decide on the design style you want for your kitchen. 

Do you want a homely, country-style kitchen with soft lines and colours, attractive shaker-style doors for your cabinets, and rustic wood elements? Or are you drawn to the idea of a stylish modern kitchen with a spacious open-plan layout, sleek flat panel doors, and neutral colour palettes? Do you imagine yourself loving an eclectic kitchen design or a space with a minimalist design and layout? Or, do you want to combine some design elements from multiple aesthetics? 

If you're unsure what style you're looking for, spend some time browsing Pinterest or interior design magazines and take note of the design elements that jump out at you. Knowing the kitchen features you like will help you narrow your aesthetic.

Colours

When designing your new kitchen, colours can make or break it. Colour psychology tells us that different colours can impact our emotions and mood, so consider how different colours make you feel. Do you want to play it safe and stick to neutrals? Make a statement with stylish green accents that bring a nature-inspired element to your kitchen? Brighten the space with a pop of yellow or orange? Or design a calming and relaxing space with a beautiful blue theme for your cabinet doors or statement wall? 

Need more colour inspiration before you start renovating? Read our guide to picking a colour that will enhance your space

Create a mood board

We're big fans of mood boards here at Cworkshop. An excellent technique for bringing together designs, colours, textures, and patterns that you like, creating a mood board helps you refine your décor ideas and gain new inspiration for the new kitchen design. 

Although Pinterest and other online tools can help create a mood board on your mobile phone or tablet, we recommend making a physical mood board or folder. This way, you can physically move images and swatches around and see how they appear in your kitchen's natural or artificial light. A mood board will help you better visualise your ideal kitchen design in the early stages of planning.

2.

Set your budget

Budget, budget, budget! Setting a budget is one of the essential things when planning a kitchen renovation, so we recommend making this one of your first tasks.

Don't forget to set aside some extra money (maybe 5-10% of the total cost) just in case your kitchen remodel runs into problems or you need to make changes to the plans.

Got a tight budget? Here are 10 simple, cost-effective kitchen renovation ideas that are cheap yet effective.

3.

Plan your kitchen layout and design

With the help of a kitchen planner or on your own, the next step is to finalise the layout and design of your new kitchen. This is the time to pick the specific cabinets, worktops, drawers, lighting, flooring, splashbacks, and other fittings and finishes you'll need. 

Let's break it down into sections. 

Layout

When you remodel your kitchen, it's the perfect opportunity to make your kitchen layout work for you. 

When deciding on a kitchen layout, start by thinking about the sink. We recommend zoning your kitchen layout with areas for preparation, cooking, and cleaning, where everything you need is within arm's reach. You don't want to place the sink at the opposite end of the room to the stove and the fridge -- this will complicate your tasks and cause you a more significant hassle. 

When planning a new layout, a kitchen island is a popular choice. These are great spaces for food preparation or even sitting at a barstool. Ensure enough room to open cabinet doors without hitting the island and that it doesn't block access to appliances. 

Don't forget these kitchen planning tips:

  • Place the sink first and then put the other vital appliances around it.
  • A sink on a kitchen island makes an excellent and easy-to-use food preparation station where it's easy to wash and chop fruits or vegetables.
  • Remember to put the stove and oven on an exterior wall (not a kitchen island or interior wall) to make ventilation system installation easier.
  • Pick built-under appliances, keeping your counters free and making the kitchen look more spacious.
  • Leave space in your kitchen layout for walking around -- especially if you have a large family or multiple cooks; you'll need to leave room for people to comfortably move between counters, islands, tables, and appliances.

Need more inspiration for your kitchen layout? A galley kitchen is a popular design, especially for smaller kitchens with less space. Other timeless kitchen layouts include the one-wall layout, the L-shaped layout, the U-shape kitchen, and the island kitchen. 

Countertops

The counter takes up much of your kitchen – you want your countertop to look fantastic and complement the rest of the room. It's also essential that the counters are durable and easy to clean because you will be cleaning them frequently. 

A gorgeous natural stone is a unique and attractive choice for a countertop, although it can be pricy and requires more care than other materials.

Wood countertops are perfect in a farmhouse or rustic kitchen design and are cheap to install, but they do need to be kept dry and oiled frequently to prevent damage.

Homeowners on a budget might opt for solid surfaces or laminate for their countertops instead. 

Flooring

Like the counters, the floors need to be durable and easy to clean. Spills and scuffs are inevitable in any well-used kitchen; keep this in mind and opt for a resilient flooring material that can be cleaned with ease. 
Ceramic tiles are a smart option for kitchen floors.

Tiles are durable and easy to install; the downside of tiles is that the grouting may quickly become dirty and visually unappealing. Laminate or vinyl flooring options are resilient and easy to clean, while linoleum can be surprisingly attractive and provides a slightly softer floor that is pleasant to walk on.

A more expensive option is hardwood, which can be a great addition to your kitchen design and is available in a range of colours and shades. 

Lighting

Keeping your kitchen well-lit is essential. Bad lighting doesn't just make it hard to chop vegetables or read the next step in your recipe book; bad lighting discourages people from spending time in your lovely new kitchen. 
That said, kitchen lighting shouldn't be too harsh.

We recommend opting for spotlights which provide even lighting throughout the room and adding pendant lighting over tables or counter islands. Warm white lighting is a good choice because it isn't too harsh – it provides excellent visibility while inviting and pleasant. 

Don't forget to think about natural lighting in your kitchen. Where are the windows, and how will natural light fall on your kitchen?

Storage design

How much storage do you need? What kind of storage do you need? 

Every household is different, and your storage needs will be unique. Do you prefer having appliances on the counter for easy use, or would you like to tidy them away in a cabinet? Do you need storage space for awkwardly shaped items like wine bottles?

Don't forget to think about vertical storage in your kitchen layout. A storage wall can provide a large amount of storage for all your food and cooking equipment, while racks and wall hooks can also use overhead space effectively. 

And, don't waste space in the corners of the room. No need to write off those hard-to-reach spaces; you can install cabinets or drawers with space-efficient hinges and runners that make the most of the area.

Got a small kitchen? Read our guide to making the most of a small kitchen space.

4.

Think about your renovating timeline

It's important to consider how long your kitchen remodel will take and when to start it. A complete kitchen remodelling can take around 6-8 weeks, while a kitchen renovation that requires structural work on the kitchen could take almost double this amount of time. 
We recommend starting your kitchen renovation in the spring. Your kitchen will be out of action for a good chunk of time, so you won't be able to cook very easily – opting for a spring/summer renovation means that you can take advantage of BBQs, cold dinners such as salads that can be easily prepared, and al fresco eating. 
If the renovation is expected to take a long time, you might consider fitting a temporary kitchen in your home. With a sink, microwave, hob, and worktop, a temporary kitchen allows you to continue using most of your kitchen functions, albeit in a smaller space.

5.

Next steps

Hopefully, by this stage, you will have a clearer view of your new kitchen. Once you're happy with the design, layout, budget and timeline, you will need to finish off with these next crucial steps.

Get the right insurance for your remodel
Get the right insurance for your remodel
Don't forget to get renovations insurance if necessary or tell your insurance company about the work being done. You'll need renovations insurance if you make structural changes to the property or have to stay elsewhere while you remodel. If you are carrying out more minor changes, such as replacing cabinets or redecorating, you likely won't need to get renovations insurance.
Hire your builders or kitchen fitters
Hire your builders or kitchen fitters
Next, you'll need to pick a professional and qualified tradesperson or team to handle the kitchen renovation. Get a few quotes and ask for recommendations from friends or other tradespeople, such as those who have done your plumbing or decorating in the past.
Pack up your kitchen ready for renovation
Pack up your kitchen ready for renovation
Next, it's time to pack away your kitchen and put it in storage. Consider the essential items you'll need for the next few weeks and make sure that they are easily accessible; we recommend setting aside all the cutlery, pots, and crockery you use on a given day and keeping this elsewhere in the house for easy use.

6.

Finally, get started

Now, you're all ready to go with the kitchen renovation. It's exciting seeing your ideas and designs come together at last – don't forget to take lots of before and after photos to look back at the progress. 

While it may be tempting to go away on holiday while the renovation is in progress, you must stick around. This is because you may need to make quick decisions if things don't go entirely to plan. Plus, you'll feel more comfortable knowing that you oversee the entire process! 

Are you ready to begin your dream kitchen renovation? Browse our décor collections to find the perfect materials for your home.

Cworkshop specialises in shaker-style doorssliding doors, and a wide range of premium furniture fittings for your kitchen. 

Want to get started? Contact us or visit our showroom today.