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Whether you prepare five courses daily or at most, make a cup of coffee and heat a microwave meal: a kitchen is an essential place in the house. The ultimate kitchen is different for everyone. It is, therefore, best that you design your kitchen yourself. This step-by-step plan will help you with that.

Step 1: make a plan and mood board.

Designing a dream kitchen starts at the kitchen table. The best part because this is where you can let your creativity run wild. Make an overview of all your wishes for the new kitchen. This can be done with pen and paper or by cutting and pasting: with a mood board, you make your plans visual.

Think about the desired kitchen layout, the materials, colours, equipment, sufficient storage space and workplace. Also, ask yourself what you want different from your current kitchen. Are you fed up with that sink with a raised edge? Now’s your chance to go for a recessed sink. Is that wooden countertop less scratch-resistant than hoped? Take a look at the composite for this new kitchen.

With a clear plan, you keep an overview during the design process. So stick to the plan! Inspiration can be found in home magazines and on social media such as Pinterest and Instagram. Both platforms have a feature where you can save favourites to a special board.

Step 2: make a cost estimate.

What should the kitchen cost? Determining your budget for the new kitchen is essential. Your spending limits determine which of your wishes you can implement and where you have to make concessions. Not only do you lose money on the kitchen itself, but the rerouting of electricity, water pipes and drainage also cost money. In the case of rigorous renovations where the kitchen layout changes, walls may have to be plastered again, and the floor has to be renewed. When calculating costs, consider lighting, equipment, labour costs and finishing touches such as painting and decoration. Add another 10 per cent to the total for unforeseen costs.

Step 3: Choosing the Layout

The space largely determines which kitchen layout is suitable. Where is the kitchen located about the dining area, sitting area and garden? It can be nice to look into the room from the worktop so that you can keep in touch with the others and keep an eye on small children while cooking. But maybe you love being able to look outside.

These are the most common layouts for kitchens:

The L-shaped kitchen or corner kitchen fits almost any room and is ideally suited for a smaller house. That makes it the most common kitchen setup.

Do you have some more space available? Then a U-kitchen is an interesting option. It offers storage space and workspace, and you have everything within reach because the distances are short.

A G-kitchen is a U-kitchen with a peninsula so that the layout from above resembles the letter G. Thanks to the peninsula, this kitchen has an extra worktop, and under that worktop, there is a lot of space for cabinets and equipment.

A T-kitchen is characterized by a peninsula that is perpendicular to a kitchen unit or cupboard wall. Realize that you always have to go around that peninsula to get to the other side of the kitchen. That makes it even more important to think carefully about the layout of the cabinets and drawers.

A kitchen with a kitchen bar, cooking island or peninsula quickly becomes a real kitchen diner. Not just a place to cook, but the centrepiece of your home. A point of attention with freestanding kitchen elements is that it requires the necessary space. Sufficient space around is not only necessary for a good passage but also for opening cupboard doors and (built-in) appliances.

Step 4: Organize the kitchen

Designing a kitchen allows you to re-examine the kitchen layout. Where do you want drawers, where is a carousel or pull-out cupboard useful, and where do you store the herbs and cooking utensils? Our tips:

Corners in the kitchen can be used, for example, with a cabinet with a revolving bottom or a system with shelves that rotate outwards.

Pans, spatulas and spices are nice to have on hand while cooking. A deep drawer next to the stove for pans, a rack for hanging spatulas and a spice rack within easy reach are ideal.

A high kitchen wall creates the possibility of equipment at eye level. Placing a (steam) oven, microwave and even built-in coffee maker a little higher protects your back and is safely out of the reach of small children.

Have you ever heard of the golden working triangle? That is the distance between the three most used parts of the kitchen, namely the hob, refrigerator and sink. The closer these three hotspots are to each other, the less distance you have to travel, which contributes to an ergonomic kitchen.

If you have a sleek and modern living style, you probably prefer a lot of built-in appliances and closed storage space with mostly sleek cabinet walls. A playful look is created by using open cupboards such as shelving units and shelves above the counter in combination with a nostalgic, freestanding (gas) stove with an oven. Beautiful in a rural interior.

Step 5: measure and draw

When designing the kitchen, you are primarily guided by the available space. Measure everything accurately, take a large sheet of graph paper and draw the kitchen, preferably to scale. If you find this difficult, you can fall back on software. At IKEA, they have a handy design tool in which you can design a kitchen yourself quite easily. Afterwards, an employee will look after you, and you can make some adjustments if necessary.

Today there is a lot of accessible, free software to make designing a kitchen easier. We tried the following to our satisfaction: Online Keukenplanner, the kitchen designer and Superkeukens.

Step 6: Choosing Materials

Now that you know how the room will be laid out and all the kitchen elements have been chosen, it’s time to think about the material, from the type of fronts and worktop to the sink, tap, washable kitchen rugs and runners and even the kitchen wall. The choices for this are almost endless. You’re fine if the materials chosen are resistant to moisture and heat and are somewhat resistant to impact and scratching. Therefore, popular in the kitchen are materials made of hardwood, natural stone or composite, stainless steel, concrete and high-quality non slip kitchen runners plastic.

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