10 Tips for Planning your Kitchen Extension

We’re lucky to work with many clients who are able to build complete new spaces for their kitchens. Whether a renovation or an extension the ability to create a dream kitchen is something that we love to be involved with.

However, we’ve learned that there can be some pitfalls along the way, so in this blog we offer some advice on what to consider when planning the perfect kitchen.

1. Make sure there’s a comprehensive plan

It may seem obvious but it’s worth repeating, plan what you intend to do in as much detail as possible. There is more to a kitchen than cabinets and appliances so you need to give proper consideration to plumbing, drainage, electrical wiring, sockets, lighting, heating and extraction as well as the positioning of appliances, cabinets and island.

2. Involve an experienced designer early

The beauty of involving a great kitchen designer early in the process is two-fold. Firstly they are used to planning unique kitchens from scratch so they will have a checklist of all the elements that need to be considered, from the position of sockets to the optimum position for the island. Secondly, they will produce meticulous plans and be able to show you 3D CAD drawings so you can see the end result and make adjustments early in the process.

3. Don’t let egos hinder you – get the designer working with the architect

We have been privileged to work with some wonderful architects; generally they have a vision for a property and the kitchen will be an important part of it. However the devil is in the detail, sleek slim cupboards for example, may look fabulous on paper but they can be inadequate for storage. If the kitchen is to be a living space you need to make sure it’s built around the way you’re going to use it.

The answer is to get your designer to work with your architect. In our experience, we’ve found that once we understand the architect’s vision we can create a kitchen that both fulfills the desired aesthetic look combined with the practical needs of a working kitchen.

4. Think about how you’ll use the space

For some people the kitchen is a statement space that looks impressive but doesn’t get used for much more than boiling a kettle. For others the kitchen is a combination of entertainment and living area, creative culinary workspace and the hub of the home. Each kitchen will have different requirements, the former for example may just need a simple stack oven arrangement, minimal refrigeration and discreet cabinets, while the latter may need an AGA or large hob, copious storage and space to seat a large family. Everyone’s kitchen usage is different but as with everything else talk to your designer about how you’re intending to use the space and let them help optimise it for you.

5. Plan the layout for efficient use

You have probably heard about the working triangle, designed to minimise effort and walking distance between sink, fridge and cooker by placing them on 3 points of a triangle. Obviously this makes for an efficient workspace but you shouldn’t feel constrained by the concept, instead use the principle of shortening walking distances between the practical elements in your space as a guide. For example, if you have a hob in the island and a range cooker you may want to locate them parallel to one another so you can work efficiently between the two. It is also worth considering how much space you have between the island and cabinets or cooker; make sure there is plenty of room to create a spacious workspace that can accommodate two cooks if necessary.

6. Consider the cabinetry

The majority of your kitchen consists of cabinets so you should think carefully about the design, their uses and how they are positioned. Most kitchen companies work to standard sizes so can’t be very flexible. The benefit of using Langstaff-Ellis is that everything can be bespoke. So no matter how awkward the space or whatever unique need you have – for your collection of Claris Cliff ceramics or single malt whiskies for example – we can create perfect solutions.

7. Create a bespoke Island

No kitchen is complete without the focal point of an island with its multiple uses as a hub to cook, eat and socialise. Planning the size, how you’re going to use your island, the appliances you want to include and the materials it is finished in need careful consideration. Many clients opt for a Bora Professional hob, incorporate a wine fridge or have bookshelves; others may have a sink with a Quooker hot water tap, integrated microwave and seating for the whole family.

With finishes ranging from beautiful wood to quartz, marble, granite, concrete, or a solid surface countertop the options to express your kitchen’s unique character are endless so make sure to think through your needs and use a professional designer to help you create the perfect island for your kitchen.

8. Plot the plumbing & electrics

This is an area where working with your designer, architect and builder really will pay dividends. Knowing well in advance where your appliances, basins, waste, drainage and ducting need to be located will enable your builder to get it right first time. Changes late in the process can prove to be expensive!

9. Plan underfloor heating wisely

Most new kitchen extensions will incorporate underfloor heating but you need to be careful where you put it in relation to your cabinets and appliances. For example, heating pipes in the floor beneath fridges and freezers will mean they have to work harder to achieve their low temperatures, equally there’s no need to have heating under cabinets, firstly because wood expands or contracts depending on temperature and secondly because you could be heating whatever food you may be storing in them. Again, issues can be avoided by careful planning with your designer, architect and builder.

10. Do your research

We are privileged to have worked on hundreds of unique kitchens in all kinds of homes so have an excellent command of what does and doesn’t work, however we love to learn, so while we can help design and plan everything you should want we always encourage Langstaff-Ellis clients to do their research.

If there’s a funky new appliance we haven’t encountered we want to know about it or if you’ve seen an amazing piece of design you’d like to emulate let us know. Everything you discover will help you to brief us so we can translate your vision into a unique bespoke kitchen.

Designing and building a new kitchen extension doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task if you plan well, avoid the pitfalls and involve all the right people. Our experience can make your job easier so contact us using the details below to find out how we can help to design and plan your kitchen extension.