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Designing Your New Kitchen: 8 FAQs

Designing a new kitchen can be daunting and we understand that there are a lot of questions along the way. As designers, we want to do all that we can to support you on this journey and give you peace of mind! That’s why we’ve put together our answers to all of your burning kitchen design questions.

1. How can I maximise my space?

Storage Solutions! Smart Storage can mean so many things, but in theory, it is quite simple: Using storage options to make the most of the space available to you. We offer a wide range of options that can fit in larders, corners, and standard base units. Your designer can help you work out which solution is right for your needs, so you pick products that actually work best for you and not just ones that look pretty.

As well as adding storage solutions, you can create smart storage through the use of cabinetry. For example, choosing tall larders and wall units allows you to maximise height and utilise otherwise wasted space. You can also stack cabinets or add bridging cabinets to the top of your larders to make the most of those higher spaces. This is a great place to store those kitchen items you only need on special occasions.

Butlers pantry storage solution with light oak interior and pale green cabinet doors (Eden).

2. Where can I save money?

Although it might feel awkward to discuss your budget with your designer, it’s one of the best things you can do when designing your new kitchen! We are here to design something beautiful, practical, and most importantly affordable for you and your family. If your designer knows your budget they can make suggestions on ranges, materials, and accessories to keep you on track. It’s not about them trying to use up your budget but more about them trying to get you the right kitchen at the right price for you.


Worktops are usually one of the most expensive elements in any kitchen design. But there are so many options and alternatives on the market today, so you don’t necessarily need to go for the expensive ones to get the look you want. We have alternatives to Quartz such as Minerva, a blended acrylic worktop or Compact Laminates that can cost a fraction of the price but give you a similar finish.


A clever, yet simple trick is to use the widest available cabinets in your kitchen design. By using bigger units, you need less of them to fill up your space. This doesn’t work in every kitchen but it’s a small thing to consider that can save you a large sum of money in some cases.

If you want to check our prices before you start designing your new kitchen, why not use our Pricing Calculator?

3. Can I fit an island in my kitchen?

Contemporary minimalist kitchen design with handleless j profile gloss cabinets in colour Chalk (off white) and white terrazzo compact laminate worktops. Design includes kitchen island with hob. Accented with green tile splashback, gold tap, and green and gold bar stools.

This is a question we get a lot! The answer is sometimes no… but for good reason. There are many regulations when it comes to kitchen design to make sure your kitchen is safe, practical, and accessible. It’s also important to think about what will look good and whilst an island might sound great in theory, cramming one into a small kitchen could be a poor use of your space and it wouldn’t look great either.

Every space is different, but effectively here’s how to know if you can make an island work in your space… Between parallel runs of kitchen cabinets, you need a minimum of 800mm to allow for a comfortable passage and enough space to open all your cabinet doors. A standard island is 900mm deep, to figure out if you have enough space, you need to ensure you have at least 2500mm between your run of cabinets and the opposite wall/run of cabinets.

The best thing to do is measure up your space and get in touch. We can then get one of our designers to chat through your options and help you make the most of your space – they’ll also be able to confirm if you have enough space for that dream island!

Scandi kitchen design with matt finish cabinets and drawers in colour duke (blue), brushed brass kitchen knobs (Form collection), and white quartz marble worktop. Design shows a large kitchen island with a hob, soft matt navy cabinet storage, and a white quartz worktop. Styled with barstools and gold pendant lighting.

4: Can I repurpose my current appliances?

You absolutely can! We encourage you to make savings wherever you can so that you can get the most out of your budget and this is a great place to do it. Our designers will work with you to make sure we accommodate any appliance, new or old.

Another common question is: ‘Can you integrate freestanding appliances?’ The answer is fairly simple… Yes, however, freestanding appliances tend to be a little deeper, so depending on the look you’re aiming for will depend on how well you can do this. If you feel like you need to replace those old appliances with new ones then you can get 10% off appliances from our friends at as a Smile Kitchens customer. Ask your designer for more details.

Tandem larder storage solution with high gloss grey cabinets (Leende collection) and satin brass door handles (Hugo collection)

5. When should I start planning my kitchen?

It’s never too early to start planning. As long as you have your dimensions and a vision, we’d love to hear from you and help you start the process. Although you may still have building work to be done or you might feel that a kitchen is a lifetime away (we understand how stressful living on a building site can be) right now is the time to get planning. Having a design in place at this stage really helps your tradespeople understand where you would like your service outlets to be and it can help you budget the project!

6. How much does a new kitchen cost?

Another popular question, but one without an easy answer… Kitchen costs vary based on so many factors such as the range, worktops, handles, sinks and taps! That’s why we have a video call prior to your design so we can get a very detailed brief. This allows us to provide you with a design that is your desired aesthetic, and your quote is a true reflection of the kitchen you want. We’ll also be able to suggest alternatives to ensure you get the look you want at a price that works for you.

You can visit our pricing page and take our pricing quiz to get an estimate for your new kitchen. This will help you to quickly compare our ranges to find one that works for you and you can compare us to our competitors (we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised).

Contemporary open plan kitchen design with industrial textured slab cabinet doors in concrete finish and rust finish (Lofte range) and oak wood worktop. Shown with overhead shelving and house plants.

7. Should I stick to the Kitchen triangle layout?

The kitchen triangle layout is based on the idea of keeping your most used areas (hob, sink and fridge) within a triangle. In theory, this allows you to have all your important amenities close to each other. So, do you have to follow this rule? Not necessarily…

When you design your new kitchen, it’s important that your new layout works for you. It doesn’t need to abide by the triangle if you really consider how you and your family will use the space. Naturally, you’d aim to give all three elements a designated space to use them efficiently but that can be in whatever format you and your designer decide. We will always advise you of the practical implications that come with your chosen layout to ensure it will work for you for years to come!

Bright, contemporary Scandi kitchen design. High gloss minimalistic cabinet doors in colour Chalk (white) with antique copper bar handles (Hugo collection). Design features our copper Rouille compact laminate worktop and splashback. Modern angled kitchen island with a waterfall laminate worktop, styled with barstools and pendant lighting.

8. Can my small space handle dark or bold colours?

Although many of us love dark or bold colours, we are often nervous to try and implement them ourselves. But a smaller space doesn’t necessarily mean you have to choose a light or white kitchen… With the right kind of design, a small space can look just as good with darker cabinetry.

Our advice is simple… Be bold and be you! We can work with you to showcase different colour options to help you visualise the space with different colours and we can help you find a balance that feels right to you.

There are, however, design tips that will help brighten a space too if that is a concern… Firstly, lighting is crucial within darker kitchens so really consider where you invest in lighting and the type of lighting used. For example, spotlights can help brighten the overall space and lighting below your wall cabinets helps when prepping. Swapping wall cabinets for open shelves gives an airy look and makes the kitchen brighter and more spacious. They also allow for a focal point and can showcase some of your precious kitchen items.

If using a darker shade all over the kitchen doesn’t work for you, opt for darker elements; go two-tone, mix darker and lighter cabinet shades or consider including a darker worktop to create a standout feature within the kitchen. You could also include darker accessories as an accent. Regardless of what you choose, never be afraid of colour!

Kitchen design showing shaker style cabinet doors in colour Onyx (black) with brass gold bar door handles (Henry collection). Kitchen worktop is a black laminate with white vein running through it (Black Pietra Grigia). Large kitchen island with a gold tap and pendant lighting over it.

We hope this has answered any of your burning questions. If you have any additional questions or would just like to chat through your ideas, reach out to us, that’s what we’re here for!

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