FAKQ’s: The Top 9 Most Frequently Asked Kitchen… | Lansdowne Boards
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22 June 2020

FAKQ’s: The Top 9 Most Frequently Asked Kitchen Questions

Do I need a working triangle? How do I make my tiny kitchen bigger? Can I have an island? Fear not! We’ve answered all your biggest kitchen conundrums!

So you’ve probably done your research, checked out a few blogs, maybe you’ve already read our Kitchen Design eBook, you’ve picked up every local and international Interior Mag that Exclusive Books has to offer but you still have questions, BIG questions . . . well you’re definitely not alone! Below we answer a few of the big questions that come up when it comes to designing a new kitchen . . .

1. What is the first thing you should do when redesigning your kitchen?

After you have established your budget you should definitely start with the fun stuff: find your style! The go to spots for inspiration: Pinterest, Instagram, interior blogs and magazines are full of fabulous ideas for your new kitchen so go wild putting together storyboards with the looks and details that you love and try to whittle down what you love to just one or two styles. You can also take our quick quiz in Kitchen Design eBook (click here) to find your perfect look.

2. How do I make my small kitchen seem bigger while making the most of the cooking/entertainment space?

While it often isn’t possible to physically extend the kitchen, there are some nifty tricks that can be used to make the space seem bigger. We would suggest utilising the full height of the walls with wall units as a first step i.e. opt for tall units that reach almost up to the ceiling to maximise storage space but make sure you don’t overcrowd the space with wall units on every available wall as this can make it seem smaller too, mix in some open shelving or create a bit of open space so there is balance but maximum storage too. You can also opt for glass doors on some of your wall units with downlighting within them that way it’s another layer of lighting and glass makes them seem less bulky.

Maximise wall space with floor to cabinets units. Image via HemnetMaximise wall space with floor to cabinets units. Image via Hemnet

Smart storage is essential in small kitchens for instance hidden corner pull outs, pantry units, etc. so consider spending on these to make sure you make the most of the space.

Foldable, extendable and stackable furniture works really well and is common place in Europe where space comes at a premium. It allows you to keep the layout flexible for ease of use during the day and then when it comes to dinner you can bring out the folding chairs and extend the dining table or island and turn your kitchen into a dining area. It’s also worth considering built-in appliances which will give the space a cleaner and less cluttered look.

Consider using mirrored splashbacks to help create the illusion of space and light.


Mirrored splashbacks give the illusion of space & light. Image via Architectural Digest.Mirrored splashbacks give the illusion of space & light. Image via Architectural Digest.

3. How big does my kitchen need to be to be able to fit an island in?

An island is such a great addition to a kitchen but it doesn’t work for all space. One way to check if you do have enough space is to ensure that there is a minimum of 850mm (up to 1100mm) between opposite kitchen units otherwise you might find that you can’t open your oven door fully or dishwasher door or you’re scooching and squashing past each other to try make your way around the space.

Making space for an island. Image via Architectural Digest.Making space for an island. Image via Architectural Digest.


If you are dead set on an island or need some extra work space why not consider a moveable island/cart on wheels that you can wheel into the centre of the space when you’re cooking and then move it up against a wall when you’re not. They can be fabulous unique looking pieces that add an industrial or traditional feel to the space so definitely worth looking at!

4. Is the “working triangle” really essential?

The main reasoning behind the working triangle is to make your life in the kitchen more efficient. Having your essential items at hand when you’re working means you don’t need to constantly walk up and down to get things from the fridge or pantry cupboard etc. Everything is within reach. It’s all about ease and making the best use of your space.

5. How do I know if I am making the most use of my space?

We touch on this question in our eBook, it all goes back to analysing your current kitchen. There isn’t a one size fits all for kitchen storage. What do you do in it? What annoys you about it? What do you love about it? What do you want to be able to do in it? For instance do you love to cook every night? Then you will need to ensure there is enough space for food storage, a pull out pantry/butler unit will be essential and spice pull outs near the cooker. If you love baking consider that you will need a cupboard to fit your blender, baking tins, scale, etc. If you can tick the boxes on all of your essential/favourite tasks then you’re doing well!

There are also a whole host of nifty in cupboard/drawer storage options like drawers within drawers, storage boxes that you can neatly label (great for those high up wall units that hold less frequently used items), plate organisers, etc.

Smart Storage options via Blum (Space Tower) & Hafele (Hidden Corner Unit). Image via Robyn Kronlund Interior DesignSmart Storage options via Blum (Space Tower) & Hafele (Hidden Corner Unit). Image via Robyn Kronlund Interior Design

6. Can colour work in a small kitchen or should we keep it all white?

The simple answer to this is definitely YES! Colour can be brought into your kitchen in so many different ways depending on how brave you are. You could simply opt for the new neutral: all 50 or more shades of grey or go two tone and bring in a darker colour option for the floor units and make it lighter for wall units or chose a specific unit (such as the island) to make a contrasting colour, you could opt for a bold cooker or toaster & kettle combo (Smeg’s range of fabulous primary colours is always a win!) or go with one of the most popular colours of the past few years: green whether its deep forest or sage, green is such a calming colour in the home and a great addition to the kitchen!

Groovy Green. Image via Robyn Kronlund Interior DesignGroovy Green. Image via Robyn Kronlund Interior Design
No colour is off limits in a kitchen. Go with what you love! Kitchen designed by Neil Beckstedt, image via Architectural DigestNo colour is off limits in a kitchen. Go with what you love! Kitchen designed by Neil Beckstedt, image via Architectural Digest

Tiles are another great way to add colour whether it’s as a spashback or floor tiles, in fact it’s a key trend for kitchens in 2020 and gives you a chance to add your personal touch to the kitchen.

Go boldly with flooring. Image via PinterestGo boldly with flooring. Image via Pinterest

There are a whole host of ways to bring colour into your kitchen! We say go wild! It’s a space to be enjoyed by friends and family and feel happy there and colour can definitely contribute to that!

7. To go built-in or not to go built-in, that is the question?

Built-in appliances have their obvious advantages and but there is one major disadvantage to built-in: the cost! These appliances always tend to carry a higher price tag than your standard appliances. If cost isn’t a factor then we suggest built-in as it gives a clean and streamlined look and feel to the space, especially if its small. Alternatively, if the budget doesn’t stretch to built-in if you can keep your appliances in one colour – either all white or all grey or all black! Especially if your kitchen is going to be one of those colours or similar, the appliances will fade away.

But who’s to say that appliances that stand out can’t work? Smeg has made it their business to create striking appliances, so whatever your budget or style there is an option to suit you!

Smeg has made a name for themselves with bold stand out appliances. Images via Smeg.Smeg has made a name for themselves with bold stand out appliances. Images via Smeg.

8. I only have a small budget, is it still possible to redo my kitchen?

Absolutely! There are so many ways to save money when redesigning your kitchen. What is essential is to first assess your current kitchen and decide exactly what you NEED as that is what it will come down to when ensuring you get the kitchen that you want within the budget that you have set. You can also opt to do elements of the kitchen yourself like the painting or putting together the units yourself.

There are also so many less expensive alternatives to achieve the look you want for instance opt for laminate worktops instead of marble or granite, PVC wrap or melamine doors instead of sprayed or hand painted, both of these might seem like too much of a compromise, but the latest technology and finishes means that most times you can’t even tell the difference and the longevity factor on PVC wrap vs spray might actually be a deciding factor for you in the end anyways!

Creating a beautiful space on a shoestring budget. Image via Architectural Digest.Creating a beautiful space on a shoestring budget. Image via Architectural Digest

Shaker doors in super matt white PVC wrap give a high quality finish at an affordable price. Kitchen in London, England designed by Lansdowne BoardsShaker doors in super matt white PVC wrap give a high quality finish at an affordable price. Kitchen in London, England designed by Lansdowne Boards

9. How do I brighten up my kitchen?

It is so important to get lighting right in a kitchen not only to create ambience but also to give you enough lighting when preparing food. Layered lighting is essential, especially in smaller or darker kitchens. It’s essential to plan out your lighting at the same time as you plan your kitchen cabinets.

There are three types of lighting: mood, task and ambient. All are important.

Ambient lighting can be in the form of hanging pendant or downlights.

Task lighting is there to perform a function so it needs to be good and shouldn’t allow for shadows to form. Often under wall cabinets in the form of a strip lighting or downlights.

Mood lighting is relevant if you plan to use your kitchen for more than just cooking. For use in a separate seating area for dinners or drinks around the island you might want to consider adding dimmer switches to your downlights or a pendant or two to create a cosy atmosphere.

Maximising lighting. Kitchen designed by GNI, manufactured by Lansdowne Boards.Maximising lighting. Kitchen designed by GNI, manufactured by Lansdowne Boards.

We hope this helps answer some of your questions, if you have any more questions please let us know, we are always here to help!

If you have any more questions about small kitchens we discuss some key ways to maximise the space in this article.

For those that are ready to get going with their dream kitchen why not click this link to our kitchen planner and get designing!

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