Our 10 Top Tips For Designing Your Dream Kitchen

Your kitchen will be one of the most expensive purchases for your home, alongside your bathroom, so you’ll want to make sure that you carefully consider what you need and what you want from your kitchen, so you get it right.  

We’ve been designing and installing luxury kitchens and bathrooms in Bristol and South Gloucestershire for over 30 years and have a whole wealth of knowledge and experience under our belts. So, to make it easier for you to design your dream kitchen, here are our 10 Top Tips.

1 Budget

This is the first thing that you should consider when designing your new kitchen, as your budget will determine what type of kitchen you can have. If you’re dreaming of marble worktops and gold taps, then expect to pay top dollar for them.

You need to be realistic, but that doesn’t mean your dream kitchen is out of reach or that you have to settle for low-quality. Do your research and look around and you shall find what you seek!

2 Layout

You don’t want to fluff this up because it can make or break your kitchen. In the 30+ years that we’ve been in the kitchen and bathroom design business, deciding on the layout is what takes our customers the longest. That’s because there’s more to deciding on where to place your cupboards and kitchen appliances than meets the eye. Think about the space you have and how you want to use it. If you have a big room then an island in the centre with a hob makes a good focal point, as well as providing extra seating for the family and a place that people will always want to hang out at parties.  Smaller rooms benefit from Galley or ‘L’ Shaped kitchens, and there are many space-saving solutions on offer.

Kitchen storage and appliance placement is an important aspect of your kitchen design. Does your new kitchen have everything where you need it to be? For example, are you walking miles to your fridge to get the milk out every time you want to make a cup of tea? Or are you lugging plates through the kitchen to fill up the dishwasher?

Space around your kitchen appliances and cupboards is important not only so you can move around freely, but also to avoid any accidents or injuries. Think, panhandles being accidentally knocked off, and trip hazards caused by open drawers, or the dishwasher being left open.

3 Colour

If clean lines and simplicity are your thing then you might want to choose soft neutral, earthy tones, or even brilliant white. For those of you who fancy something a bit bolder, choose a colour or pattern splashback or create a feature wall using wallpaper, paint, or tiles.

You’ll need to take the size of the room into consideration though, as darker colours and busy prints can make a small room feel even smaller. But, if you’ve had your heart set on beautiful midnight blue, then perhaps use that colour on one wall instead of all of them. 

4 Kitchen Units & Storage

With so much choice we understand that it can be hard choosing your kitchen cabinets, however, we say that it’s good to think about what style units will go with your property. For example, if you’ve just had an ultra-modern extension built, then a traditional country-style kitchen will look a little odd, as will space-age, high-gloss, handless, curved units, look out of place in a thatched cottage.

Storage is another very important factor because otherwise where will you put everything? The last thing you want is to use valuable space on your countertop to store crockery that could be stored in a cupboard, especially if you don't have a large worktop area. You’ll need to think about how you can store bulky items, like pots and pans and oven dishes. Deep drawers are good for this, as are cupboards that have a pull-out organiser.   And, it’s often the little things that you’ll forget about, like salt, pepper, and spice pots. If you have space, a spinning spice rack or a bespoke spice rack built into a kitchen unit is ideal.

5 Countertops

When choosing your countertops, you’ll need to think about how they’ll tie in with the cabinets and what type you want. Slate, Granite, and Marble are all highly durable and add that luxurious feel, whereas solid wood or wood effect brings the beauty of nature to your kitchen.

You might choose to make a saving on your kitchen units and instead splash out on the worktops.

Whatever it is that you’re looking for, our experts can help you at every step of the way.

6 Taps

There are some very stylish taps out there, but when choosing one make sure it’s functional and practical too. This might sound boring, but you want a kitchen tap that’s easy to use and not a challenge like something out of the Krypton Factor.

Choose levers instead of traditional handles for a modern look. Pull-out spray kitchen taps are brilliant for washing plates, pots, and pans, as well as washing fruit and vegetables.

7 Sinks

First, you must consider the size of the bowl and what it’s going to be used for. If you prefer to wash your dishes and not use a dishwasher, then you’re going to need a decent size sink to fit your crockery and pots and pans in.

The type of kitchen units you’ve chosen will also need to be thought of, and what kind of finish you’re looking for.

Black composite sinks are a popular choice because as well as offering a sleek look, they’re highly scratch-resistant. Large Belfast sinks suit a traditional style kitchen, whereas stainless steel sinks suit a more contemporary look.

8 Lighting

Food prep and cooking in a dimly lit kitchen can be hazardous. The bottom line is when you’re cooking you want to be able to see what you’re doing. So, ceiling spotlights, under-cabinet lights, and cooker hood lights will light up your kitchen so you can whip up whatever culinary delight you fancy, without chopping your fingers off. However, when you’ve got friends over, sat around that island that we mentioned earlier, you probably won’t want bright spotlights on your face like you’re a contestant on Mastermind. So, opt for dimmable pendant lights, LED colour changing lights, or the very on-trend Edison industrial style lights, to create the perfect ambiance.

9 Appliances

No kitchen is complete without appliances. But, with literally thousands on the market, what do you choose?

Our advice is to start by thinking about what you’re going to use the appliances for and who’ll be using them. Take your cooker, for example, if you have a large family who all like to cook, then a large cooker like a Rangemaster is ideal if you have space. And likewise, if you prefer to eat out and hardly ever cook then splashing out on a high-spec cooker will be pointless. The same goes for your Fridge Freezer. American-style fridge freezers are suited to those with families as they fit a lot of food in them and have ice dispensers which are ideal for when the kids want an ice-cold drink on a hot summer’s day. Whereas a person living on their own may not want or need that and prefer something smaller. 

10  Flooring

Choosing the right kitchen flooring will instantly tie together the whole room. It should compliment the kitchen units, worktops, and colour of the room as well as being durable to withstand the amount of traffic it’s likely to see.

Tile is very durable but yet cold underfoot, so you may want to consider under-floor heating.

Laminate and Vinyl are popular choices because they’re stylish and easy to maintain.

LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) is hardwearing, waterproof, slip-resistant and comes in a wide range of gorgeous styles and patterns. LVT mimics the natural beauty of stone, slate, marble, and wood, so you can add the wow factor to your kitchen without paying the hefty price tag!

Specialist Kitchen Design and Installation in Bristol

If you’re looking for a trusted and reliable, bespoke kitchen design and installation company in Bristol, then please contact us and we’ll be happy to help you.

We're a family-run business based in Bristol and have been installing luxury kitchens and bathrooms in Bristol and South Gloucestershire since 1966.

As FSB (Federation of Small Business) members, our family-run business primarily serves residential clients and local authorities within a 20-mile radius of Bristol.

Downs Brothers Ltd in Bristol offers a range of home improvement services including:

Bathroom Design and Installation

Kitchen Design and Installation

Disability Adapted Kitchens and Bathrooms

Property Renovations and Conversions

Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help you.


Contact us today for your free quote on 07748 647266 or 01275 834382 

Or, if you'd prefer, you can fill out the form in your own time with details of what you're looking for and we'll get back to you shortly with an estimate. 

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