Now you been inspired its time to move onto Part 2 of Designing the Kitchen.

3). Take a piece of paper and draw out your kitchen space in width and length (using your architect plans for reference). Draw in any structures that you need to work around (i.e.steel pillars, doors, windows, chimney) and include measurements. This gives you the total amount of space you have to work with. Alternatively use the Handmade Kitchens of Christchurch planning kit.

4). Select your inspiration photo(s). Download the Handmade Kitchens of Christchurch catalogue and choose the cabinet shapes similar to your desired look, cut them out and stick them on the paper (remembering to make note of the ordering code). Alternatively, use an IT package i.e. 'Paint' to transpose them.

My inspiration photo (specifically back wall cabinets):

Contemporary shaker kitchen

Transposed to paper (incorporating my own ideas):

Designing a contemporary shaker kitchen

Using Paint:

Designing a contemporary shaker kitchen

Inspiration Photo (specifically the island):

Contemporary shaker kitchen

Transposed to paper (incorporating own ideas):

Designing a kitchen island

Once you've cut out the cabinets/transposed them into an IT package, they can be moved around to achieve the best layout, to meet your needs. Imagine cooking and eating a meal, will this layout work for you? This 'Blue Peter' inspired approach, also provides a great insight into what your new kitchen will look like.

10 Things to Consider when Planning the Layout:

1). Consider using fewer cabinets and making these larger i.e 800 mm -900 mm wide (dependant on your space). This can make the space feel bigger and will reduce costs overall (as you are only purchasing and painting 1 cabinet, rather than 2).

2). If you are allowing space either side of the range cooker (within the chimney) allow a minimum of 150 mm and ideally 200 mm, to make this space usable i.e. providing enough room to put a pan down, storing a knife block/pot of utensils.

Designing a contemporary shaker kitchen

3). Remember to leave space for utilities i.e. plumbing in a kitchen island if you are placing a sink in it. This is especially important if you are placing cupboards on the other side of the island.

4). In a smaller space think about using open shelving, rather than wall cabinets, this can make it feel bigger.

5). Ideally allow 1000 mm of space all the way around an island (900 as a minimum). If planning in seating, allow 500-600 mm from the edge of the worktop to the back of a stool and 300 mm of knee space underneath the counter.

6). Consider your appliance sizes i.e. for a range - 900 mm, 1100 mm. For a dishwasher a standard size (600 mm) or a slim line (450 mm). You may not have finalised the exact make of product you plan to purchase at this stage (you should do this before getting your plans drawn up professionally).

7). Although the bespoke nature of this company's cabinets means there is no need to use fillers, it can be useful to include a couple of small fillers in your design - this allows for some flexibility if the final build size varies by a few millimetres.

8). Symmetry and sight lines

The human mind is drawn to anything that embodies some aspect of symmetry. Symmetry can make your kitchen design 'feel' more expensive. How did I achieve symmetry in this design?

Firstly, through the design of the cabinets, see the coloured stars below:

Symmetry in kitchen design

Secondly, through the use of sight lines. There are 3 sight lines in my design. 1). The crosses on the two wall cabinets 2). The crosses on the wall cabinet above the drinks fridge and the crosses on the bi-fold doors 3). The sight line across the top of the drawer pulls and drawers (left to right) on the main run of units and the island.

Symmetry and sight lines in kitchen design

Thirdly, through the heights of the cabinets - they are all the same height in this design.

Finally, through the use of tongue and groove panelling - all the exposed sides are tongue and grooved (see drawing above).

9). Wall cupboard heights should be in proportion to the height of your ceilings (the designer can help fine tune this).

10). Consider whether the cupboards will need to open to the left or to the right and ensure you order the correct cabinet for the correct location.

N.B. I am not covering the kitchen triangle as there are lots of great websites providing advice i.e. houzz in relation to this.

5). Finally, we used the designer (used to dealing with these products), to double check our design and ensure it worked in the space, money very well spent (thanks Graham!). Below are the hand drawn plans he produced (these contain important detail for your builder and kitchen installer).

Designing a contemporary shaker kitchen

Designing a contemporary shaker kitchen

Work through these 5 stages, to ensure your kitchen not only looks stunning, but is practical too.

Look out for the next installation of my blog STEP 3: Let there be light.

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