The kitchen we inherited when we bought our home two years ago was not the perfect kitchen design, but it seemed to be a perfectly fine kitchen. It had only recently been installed and most people wouldn’t have dreamt of changing it. In all honesty, whichever house we looked at, and we looked at many, we were always going to change the kitchen.

There are two aspects to kitchen design: The ergonomics – how the design works and the aesthetics – how the kitchen looks. Both equally important and in the kitchen of our new house both elements needed attention.

It is always wise when starting a project to ask yourself what you do and don’t like about what you currently have.

Assessing the situation

old kitchen plan

When designing the interiors of any room it is important to consider space, natural light and ease of movement through and around the room. The kitchen is no different.


There are a number of practical principles we adhere to when creating the perfect kitchen design. For more on this checkout our YouTube channel here →

Here are just five of our prefect kitchen design principles that we felt the layout of the existing kitchen failed to meet:

  1. Create as much work top space around the sink and the hob as you can and be sure that both are within easy reach of each other.
  2. Avoid having to bend down to reach your oven.
  3. Avoid creating areas that will be difficult to clean, especially above wall units.
  4. Position tall units next to each other where possible.
  5. Be sure any kitchen island is proportionate to the size of the kitchen.

The kitchen is quite large but the cooker and the sink were placed too close to each other leaving very little preparation space.

The oven, as you can see was a range cooker which meant having to constantly bend down to use it. The position of the oven was also too close to an entry door.

You can also see from this picture that there is a very small gap between the top of the wall units and the ceiling. Dirt trap!

grey style kitchen design range cooker small windows
The range oven was too close to the doorway and being at floor level meant having to bend down to use it.


The windows in the room are small as it is – placing the wall units around them in this way, as you can see on the picture below, blocked out even more daylight. This made the windows feel crowded and the room disjointed.

Looking at the plan view it is immediately obvious that the kitchen island is far too small for the size of the room. In addition, the ugly chrome support leg is unnecessary.

Personal preferences must, of course, be considered. The colour of the kitchen was not to our taste. Many people love the American fridge freezer. From an aesthetic point of view, we find them cumbersome. Especially, if you are trying to achieve a contemporary streamlined look.

We find American fridge freezers cumbersome.

New kitchen design

perfect kitchen design new plan

Looking at the new plan you can see the overall layout. The sink is in a similar position to the original. The oven is now built up in a tall housing and is further down on the right of the sink creating more worktop space to the left. A tall integrated fridge housing is next to the oven. These tall units are now together and safely well away from the entry door.

The small kitchen island has been replaced by a large peninsular. The hob is positioned on this, it is a self-venting hob. You can see there is excellent preparation space around the hob especially to the left- hand side. A seating bar area is on the reverse of this peninsular.

New aesthetics

We wanted a black kitchen. To us black is rich, grounding and smart. This image looking across to the sink run. Demonstrates that to break up the solid black we have introduced a contrasting wood grain finish for the tall housings. This brings in the feeling of nature and adds warmth to the black. You will notice that housings are filled in to the ceiling in black giving the appearance that the housings are built in to the wall. This also eliminates dust traps.

To create balance along this run, to the left we introduced a tall tambour shutter unit that runs from the worktop up to the ceiling. This is a unit using glass and a semi opaque shutter. Lit from the inside it makes a very effective decorative display. The walls are clad in black picking out the white windows helping them to stand out and look much bigger whilst allowing more natural light. You can see this clearly in the before and after pictures below.

before kitchen redesign
after kitchen design

Looking into the kitchen from the dining room you see the back of the peninsular. You can see the amount of work top space to the side of the hob which is just a turn-around from the sink on the adjacent run. Lots of space for food preparation and everything to hand. Large pan drawer units are underneath the peninsular all form part of the perfect kitchen design.

The cantilevered space at the end of the peninsular creates interest and visual space. Mixing the black with the wood ties the peninsular visually to the rest of the kitchen. The wood grain breakfast bar area is 90mm thick and breaks the peninsular into two distinct areas. See below the before and after pictures of this area.

before kitchen island design
kitchen island cantilevered

Finally, looking at what was the American fridge freezer wall, see left picture below. This area has been opened up completely without tall housings or wall units. Instead, once more, we have the black wall cladding broken up by accessories hanging on it. Herb gardens, spice racks, shelves and cookery book holders. There is also a feature light strip running down it. Here are the before and after pictures below.

before american fridge removed
after american fridge removed

Not everyone wants a black kitchen. This colour scheme may not suit your idea of the perfect kitchen design. However the practical improvements made to the original design makes this kitchen a joy in which to cook, eat and entertain. It is a much easier, safer and happy environment to work in.

Happy kitchen. Happy cook. Happy family.

We do understand how it can be quite difficult to picture a design from a plan so we utilise CAD for our clients. Here you can see the photos of the new kitchen against their CAD equivalents

Finished design
cad kitchen design
CAD design
after kitchen design cantilevered space peninsular
Finished design
cad kitchen design
CAD design
after american fridge area
Finished design
cad kitchen design
CAD design

If you would like to engage with our 50 years of design experience, please call us on 01948 302340

Robin, Christine & Josh
The Kitchen Design Experts

Witten by Christine Holt on | Tagged: Kitchen Design,