Request a Callback

What Are The Must-Haves in a New Kitchen?

We explore the 5 ‘essentials’ and the 5 ‘luxuries’ you should consider in your kitchen design

It’s not often you get to create your perfect kitchen, so when it’s time to update the most important room in your home, you’ll want to make the most of the opportunity. 

When it comes to the ‘Must-Haves’ for your new kitchen, there are some practical design essentials, which should be considered first, before you get to the more exciting must-have design features and accessories, which adorn everyone’s kitchen wishlists.

Although everyone’s wishlist is different, there are certain elements which are essential for practicality, functionality and style, which we will explore in the blog, and there are some items which are a luxury, but great to include, if the space and budget allow. 

The Essentials:

1. Sufficient Worktop Space:

One of the biggest frustrations for our customers, when we ask them what they dislike with their current kitchen, is worktop space, and more specifically, not having enough.

When planning a new kitchen, designing sufficient worktop space is crucial, and its the position of the sink and hob which will heavily influence how much space will be available.

A good designer will plan the room so there is enough space for cooking preparation, washing up and drying, seating and dining space (if appropriate), and of course countertop appliances, if they can’t be, or don’t want to be… hidden in a cupboard, such as a coffee machine, kettle or toaster. 

If an island or peninsula is possible in the kitchen design, the worktop space should be designed to maximise the usability of the island worktop space. If there is a hob on the island, the position needs to be carefully considered so that there is sufficient space on one or both sides for food prep.

If you have a number of countertop appliances, which you want to display or keep at hand on the worktop, a good designer will ensure the kitchen design accommodates them, otherwise we would suggest point 2 below for storing or keeping them hidden…

2. Enough Storage:

Often we are seduced by beautiful kitchen designs, purely because of their style, without considering how practical and functional they are.

If you’re a busy family household with drawers full of tupperware and, like us, have several kitchen appliances to make cooking quicker and life easier, we’re talking Air Frier, Slow Cooker, Pizza Oven, Bread-Maker, Ice-cream Maker? (I have one, never been used!) Well, you’ll need plenty of cupboards to accommodate everything, before you even consider the storage required for all plates, dinner sets, cups and glasses, cutlery and other kitchen gadgets.

A good designer will ensure they have considered all of your storage requirements and designed enough storage to suit your needs. If it’s one of our design team, we will also suggest clever storage solutions and pantry or larder cupboards with incorporated sockets, so that you can have a permanent place for your countertop appliances, to access and use them easily and hide them away behind a cupboard door too. Oh I forgot to mention the counter-top beer dispenser, I have one of those too!

3. Reliable Appliances:

Invest in high-quality, reliable appliances that meet your cooking needs.

We are not suggesting you chose the highest specification though, unless your culinary skills demand it of course, but the entry – level ovens, for example, from reputable brands like Neff and Siemens, are proven to be the most reliable.

It’s worth investing in a good quality brand for your fridge, freezer and dishwasher too, as the stress and headaches it can cause if they breakdown is quite significant, especially if you have a fridge or freezer full of food. 

4. Durable Worksurfaces:

Choose a durable material for your worktop which is easy to keep clean.

A quartz which is easy to wipe over with an e-cloth saves lots of time and is easy to keep looking its best.

If the budget allows, consider ultracompact surfaces like Dekton, which perform and look the same as quartz but offer additional benefits such as scratch-resistance and heat-resistance, which means they are even better at standing up to the daily use of a kitchen.  

5. A Good Layout:

Last in the list, but by no means least (and probably the most important aspect) is an efficient and ergonomic layout.

We’ve all heard of the kitchen working triangle, which advises to have the key elements in close proximity, i.e. oven, sink and fridge, well although things have moved on a bit, especially with open plan living, the principles remain the same, the key is to find a great kitchen designer who understands what you want to achieve in the space.

They will then use their expertise, together with your ideas and wishlist, to maximise the space and ensure an effective layout.

Often, simple tweaks in a space can make a huge difference, such as repositioning a doorway or moving a window.

Ultimately, you want to ensure that the kitchen space flows effortlessly for the tasks it’s going to be used for, because it’s for more than just cooking. 

The Luxuries

1. A kitchen Island:

A kitchen island can transform your cooking space from ordinary to extraordinary, the benefits of including a kitchen island in your kitchen design go beyond just additional worktop space.

A good kitchen designer will design your kitchen with the island in the optimal position and the perfect, proportional size for the space, which will ensure the most efficient kitchen layout and also direct the flow of traffic in the kitchen.

It’s important to consider which doors will be used most frequently in your kitchen and therefore which direction people will walk around the kitchen island.

One of the most obvious advantages of the island is the additional worktop space it provides, which is invaluable for meal preparation. It also provides a perfect spot for setting out food during gatherings, making it easier to entertain guests.

A kitchen island will also provide enhanced storage options, especially deep pan drawers. This can be a game-changer, helping to keep your space clutter-free and organised by providing a place to store all your pots, plates, pans, and other kitchen essentials.

Your kitchen island can also be used as a casual dining area. Adding a few stools transforms the island into a breakfast bar or a spot for guests to chat while you cook. This versatility makes it a hub for entertaining.

In summary, a kitchen island is more than just an extra worktop. It’s a multifunctional piece that enhances storage, seating, workflow, and overall kitchen aesthetics, making it a worthy addition to any kitchen design.

2. Drinks Cabinet

A drinks cabinet or home bar is a luxury feature which will add style and functionality to your kitchen space.

Start by choosing a dedicated space where it will be located, our design team will of course advise you about the bestlayout, preferably it should be near the dining area for easy access.

We always incorporate adjustable shelves to accommodate various bottle sizes and glassware. We will often include a wine rack or built in wine cooler/drinks fridge underneath the counter, for optimal storage of wines, beers and soft drinks.

Make sure to include soft lighting to highlight the cabinet’s contents and add a touch of elegance. We recommending choosing materials and finishes that complement the overall kitchen design.

For added convenience, include a small countertop for mixing drinks and a drawer for bar tools. This thoughtful design ensures your drinks cabinet is both practical and looks great.

3. Quooker Boiling Water Tap

With a Quooker you can get instant 100°C boiling water, filtered chilled and sparkling water, and regular hot and cold all from the same tap.

A Quooker consists of a tap on the worktop and a tank underneath the sink. As well as 100°C boiling water, you can have the addition of filtered chilled and sparkling water all from one tap – if you add the CUBE.

There are a range of finishes now available to complement your kitchen aesthetic including patinated brass, black, rose copper, gold and the original stainless steel and chrome.

We have Quooker taps in our own homes and in all of our showrooms. We use them day in, day out, so we know their features inside and out.

We only promote products we truly believe in, usually after rigorous testing in our own homes and showrooms. We can say with confidence that the Quooker tap is a game-changer. Once you start using one you will wonder how you managed without one.

Having instant boiling water on tap means we can stay fuelled with cups of teas (on the hour, every hour) and with the additional Quooker Cube, we’ve got filtered chilled and sparkling water readily available too, which means no more plastic water bottles.

4. Statement Splashback

What’s the best splashback material for your kitchen design?

This is a frequent question we encounter. At first glance, the answer seems straightforward: select a durable material to protect your walls, particularly behind sinks and hobs. But it also provide a perfect opportunity to add a style statement to your kitchen space.

You’ll need a surface that’s easy to clean and can endure cooking splatters, water spills, and steam. However, splashbacks are more than just practical—they’re also a key style element.

Choosing the right color and finish for your splashback can significantly enhance your kitchen design. Traditionally, walls would be tiled, but we advise for more practical alternatives, as grout lines can quickly get dirty.

Our most popular choice, provided the budget allows, is a splashback in the same or a contrasting quartz or Dekton material, not only is it easy to keep clean and wipe over, but the right material choice looks stunning.

In the kitchen here, the island material is a white Dekton, but the sink area is a beautiful Carrera marble with a matching splashback, to add a design statement and impact to the room.  

5. Two Sinks & a Food Waste Disposal

A food waste disposer is a great way to keep your kitchen bin free of food waste, which creates unwanted odours.

It’s also more environmentally friendly as it will grind almost any food type in to tiny particles, which are then carried away with the waste water.

The best way to get the most out of a waste disposal is to include 2 sinks in your kitchen design.

If the space allows, having an additional prep sink in the kitchen can be a great feature, however the more simple solution is to select a sink bowl which has a large and small bowl seamlessly combined and next to one another.

It takes up a similar amount of space as a single bowl, but it means you will have an additional waste, which can accommodate the waste disposer. 

We hope you found our guide about the Must-Haves in a new kitchen useful. Of course, this is just a starting point and our design team have a wealth of knowledge to ensure your kitchen design will be unique to you and your needs.

If you would like us to prepare a design and quotation for your kitchen project, don’t hesitate to get in touch.  

Share This Post

Take the next step

Let us create a free design and quote for your project