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The Nordic Nature kitchen from Magnet, in a soft warm evening light.

How to design a kitchen

guiding you through the process from A-Z

Your kitchen is the heart of the home. Not just a place to cook and eat - but also a place for life moments. It should be the perfect gathering place and inspire a better way of living through multifunctional features.  

Find kitchen inspiration

To get started with your kitchen design, gather all the things you’d love to see, feel and experience in your kitchen.

This can include the styles, trends and interior themes you adore.

Or it could be practical features that you feel would make your life easier, such as built-in appliances or storage ideas.

Find your kitchen style

Here are some important things to consider when searching for inspiration:


Did you know that colours can impact your mood? Calming colours can be great for promoting relaxation, while certain bold hues can inspire creativity.

Integra Nova by Magnet. Matt finished handless option with trim brushed in aluminum for a high end feel.


Kitchen shape and layout can affect things like flow and movement, while geometric design can evoke different attitudes and emotions.


Do you love the cooling touch of marble? The rustic grains and grooves of hardwood? Or the speckled effect of granite? Textured surfaces bring a space to life.

Understand your kitchen goals

Before beginning any kitchen design project, it’s important to think about how the space is going to be used day to day.

Modern spaces now have to accommodate multiple cooks, they are sociable hubs to enable flow of conversation, and could even double up as a space to eat, work, study or entertain. 

The kitchen often provides different functions for each member of the family, so have clear goals and understand everyone’s needs.

Do you want your kitchen to...

Not every home has a designated dining space. Your kitchen can provide a secondary function, bringing everyone together at mealtimes. 

Formal dining rooms are great for dinner parties, but what about breakfast, lunch or a quick snack? Kitchen/diners give you a more casual way to eat with your family.

Kitchens make great home offices - as long as you plan your space effectively.

Make guests feel comfortable with an area that works well for entertaining and consider a layout that prioritises space, flow and movement.

If you’re a chef, serious home cook or baker, choosing the right kitchen worktops, appliances, storage solutions and kitchen design extras will make all the difference.

Find your kitchen inspiration

Create a kitchen moodboard

Our kitchen design service means working with a dedicated kitchen designer who can make suggestions after getting to know you, your personality, and your lifestyle requirements. But the best way to support this process is to have a moodboard ready.

You can do this with a Pinterest board (see the Magnet Pinterest for ideas) - and don’t forget to create a wishlist of things you want to see in your dream kitchen. While space or budget restrictions can sometimes lead to compromises, our design team will work with you to ensure you have a design that matches your perfect kitchen as closely as possible. 

Tips on moodboard creation

Measure your kitchen

It’s important to measure your kitchen as accurately as you can, as this will determine what products and features can be accommodated and will help us know how to design a kitchen layout for the space available. 

Make sure your plan includes:

  1. A rough outline of your floor space 
  2. Marked locations of doors, windows and other immovable fixtures
  3. Wall-to-wall measurements 

However, do not worry too much if you’re not providing perfect measurements down to the millimetre. At Magnet, we offer a free home survey as part of our kitchen design service. Your dedicated designer will come to your home to double-check these measurements.

Get more detailed advice on measuring your kitchen here.

Understand your storage needs

One of the most important aspects of planning a new kitchen is storage. Not having enough storage is a common challenge and while many people believe there simply isn’t enough space in their home, the real problem usually lies in poor design. 

Every Magnet kitchen is carefully considered with smarter storage in mind, and we go beyond just your basic cupboards and drawers. We can make family life run more smoothly and help you keep your kitchen in order - and it all starts with having somewhere to store things so your surfaces are clear and free from clutter. 

Overhead view of opened drawer in Winchester Sage utility room, with oak inserts sorting paper bags of seeds and other gardening tools.

Plan your kitchen layout

Once you’ve measured your kitchen, thought about desired style and must-have features, and considered storage requirements, it’s time to start deciding on layout and positioning. Here’s how to design a kitchen layout that makes the best use of space in 3 easy steps:

Step 1. Find the best place for your cooker

Make sure your main cooking area is in a safe, convenient place that doesn’t interfere with flow and movement or get in the way of walkways.

Step 2. Optimise the ‘golden triangle’

Use the ‘golden triangle’ or ‘kitchen triangle’ rule and try to place your main appliances (sink, refrigerator and stove) in a comfortable triangle shape. This helps you run your kitchen more efficiently. As all kitchens are different, this isn’t always possible, but aim to have your main workstations at an optimum distance from one another. 

Learn more about the kitchen triangle here.

Step 3. Adapt your storage to workstations

The golden triangle enhances the ‘cook, clean and storage’ functions of your kitchen. If you follow this theory when planning your kitchen, make sure your storage is also in the right place. 

While the above can help you plan your space effectively, we know that every kitchen is unique. Working with an expert kitchen designer is the best way to create an optimal layout, but we always recommend drawing up a quick floorplan and bringing it to your design consultation as a starting point.

Think about worktop space

Your worktop space is extremely important and will need to be ample for smaller appliances and other kitchen accessories.  

In addition to how much space you have, you’ll also need to think about the different material options, such as quartz, granite, marble, ceramic, Corian, Minerva, laminate or wood. All of these vary in pros and cons, as well as price. 

For instance, if you want a high-end luxury finish, marble is a popular design option for many homeowners. If you want durability and easy maintenance, our designers may recommend quartz. Or for low-budget worktops, laminate and wood can both be great options. 

Find out more about worktop materials here.

How to design a kitchen island or breakfast bar

Highly sought-after features in kitchen design include kitchen islands and breakfast bars. Both can add value to your home, and both provide multifunctional benefits. 

To design a useful, practical and beautiful kitchen island, here are some things to bear in mind:

  1. Rethink your space - kitchen islands aren’t just for huge kitchens and there are ways our kitchen designers can utilise ergonomic design techniques
  2. Try zoning - use your island to separate your kitchen space into different areas
  3. Turn it into a feature - elevate the area to make it a focal point in the room
  4. Make your island work harder - consider multifunctional use 

Get more useful tips on kitchen island design here

Don't forget about lighting

Last but not least, lighting is the final touch that can bring your space to life. A well-lit kitchen can make the cooking process easier, set the right mood and ambience, and make your room appear cosy or more spacious. 

On the flip side, bad lighting can cause unwanted shadows or make it hard to see what you’re doing. So it’s important to work with our design team to get this right. For modern kitchens that fulfil more than one purpose, it can also be helpful to modify lighting for different areas. 

But don’t worry if you’re not sure how to do this. The Magnet kitchen design service will ensure you have all the creative support to turn your dream kitchen idea into reality.

Book a design appointment

Our design service

Starting with your first, free consultation, your experienced Magnet designer will be by your side to walk you through the design process and give expert advice at every step. Same-day appointments are available on a limited basis.

Our design service

Starting with your first, free consultation, your experienced Magnet designer will be by your side to walk you through the design process and give expert advice at every step. Same-day appointments are available on a limited basis.

In-Store Design Consultation

Meet with your designer at your chosen showroom.
90 min
3D kitchen design & quote

Virtual Design Consultation

Meet with your Magnet designer on a video call.
60 min
3D kitchen design & quote
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