Designing the most important room in your home requires careful planning. So, before you do anything else there are some key questions to ask yourself. 
 
What do you like and don’t like about your existing kitchen. What works for you in the current layout and what frustrates you? The negatives are just as important as the positives as they help you form a clear idea of what you do or don’t need in your new kitchen. 
There are few zones that will create a natural and efficient flow to your kitchen – cooking, food preparation, sink and storage. However, increasingly kitchens are used for more activities. Do you need a room that can cope with the rigours of a busy family? Are you going to dine in your kitchen? If so, plan enough room for a dining table or alternatively a breakfast bar is a great place to congregate.  
 
If you are a keen cook and cook for a large family a range cooker may figure in your plans along with plenty of worksurface space. You may want to turn your kitchen into an open- plan design in which case an area for a sofa and TV may be important. 
Ultimately, it’s your kitchen, and the most important thing is how you and your family are going to use the space. Design the space and features around the activities that will take place in your kitchen, and most of all ensure you match your kitchen to your lifestyle. 
 
Make a wish-list of your preferred products and materials. Consider what you will require from your appliances, work surfaces, storage solutions and sink & tap. You may already have a look in mind for the kitchen in terms of the styles, colours and finishes, but it’s a great idea to gather ideas from magazines or websites. 
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