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DIY Kitchen Design: Worktops, Safety & Style

Designing a kitchen can be a painful process, if you don’t know what you are doing. Luckily, we have put together this helpful, simple and practical guide to kitchen design to make things easier for you.

Here is kitchen design distilled into four easy steps, and written in plain English, decipherable to those who love DIY, and those who say DI-Why?!

1. Choosing the Right Materials

Every element of your kitchen can be built from several different kinds of materials. For example: a kitchen worktop can come in quartz, granite, wood, laminate, stainless steel or glass.

Making your choice is about finding the right ones for your budget, style and usage intentions.

According to kitchen experts Modern Worktops, stone worktops last longer than wood counters or laminate. Steel counters are a good choice, but mostly reserved for catering kitchens rather than homes.

If you’re looking for stone worktops and want the most hygienic surfaces, consider quartz which is non-porous. Alternatively, you may want your country home to be more rustic so wood suits better. Bear in mind though that wood requires regular maintenance.

Depending on the materials you choose, for your worktops, floors, or cupboards, you may want to consider working with a professional. DIY doesn’t mean you do everything yourself (although you can try). Tiling your kitchen is a task you can certainly do, but laying a stone worktop is better left to professionals.

2. Picking a Layout

Unless you are remodelling your whole kitchen, the shape of your room will be set. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to make the space work for your specific needs.

Creating breakfast nooks, for example, can give you a cosy area to enjoy a snack or quick meal. Breakfast bars are popular but watch out for electric and plumbing issues that might affect your choices. Typically drainage points are fixed, but you don’t want to have your sink right next to where you eat. Equally, you’ll be frustrated if you plan to have your kettle and toaster in the corner, only to find you don’t have easy access to plugs there.

Take inspiration from other kitchen layouts and don’t be afraid to make changes to suit you. Once you decide on a design, have it drawn out to scale and map it out in the space with string. Imagine going through your day to see where issues may arise.

3. Stay safety smart

The kitchen is one of the most high-risk rooms in the house. Potential hazards include sharp knives, appliances, open flames, hot food and boiling water. If you have young children, safety is definitely a priority, but even if you don’t, you have to look out for yourself.

Practical design considerations can increase a kitchen’s safety: keep stoves away from curtains so they do not catch fire; keep stoves and sinks separate, again to avoid fire; don’t use hanging lights to avoid bumping your head, falling into the stove and fire.

4. Think style and comfort

Even though all of these things are important, you cannot forget the reason you embarked on this entire project in the first place: to make a great kitchen. Think about the style you want for your own personally bespoke kitchen, and think about how comfy you want it to be.

Kitchen design trends change over time, so try to be as timeless and individual as you can. Here are a few kitchen design suggestions if you are yet to make up your mind.

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