How to design your kitchen – Part four - Koivu Kitchens

So far in this series we’ve recapped Doug’s talk at Grand Designs covering budgeting basicschoosing cooking appliances and worktop and unit options.

On this week’s blog we bring you the final part including the importance of lighting and other things you will need to consider.


Lighting is worth spending some time on as you can make a good design look even better with the use of clever illumination. If you choose spotlights think about where you want them, don’t just let your electrician put them in a straight line down the middle of the room. Dot them around where you need to work, but make sure they’re not behind you casting a shadow on anything you’re working on.

For efficiency and mood use dimmer switches so you can change the lighting as necessary.

Lights under wall units look great and can be used to move around in the room in the evening. Or for a modern look use LED bead lighting on plinths and under worktops. Be aware that you may be able to see dots in the reflection of this though – try some out to check you’re happy with the look before investing.


You’d be surprised how often bins get forgotten when it comes to kitchen planning. Bin collections are different in different areas and requirements do need to be factored into designs.

You’ll find a massive selection of waste receptacles from small ones for kitchen waste with a drawer above for bin liners, to drawers that pull out offering multiple sections for different types of waste.

If you’re tight on space have a small bin under the sink. If food waste needs to be kept separate you can buy a little caddy from John Lewis that will easily fix to the back of the cupboard door.

Whatever you do, don’t get to the end of a beautiful kitchen design and then stick a giant bin in front of a cupboard.

On the walls

One of the final things to think about is your walls.

Traditionally people chose tiles to go on the wall behind the hob. These can still be a great cost-effective choice, but there are now so many more options.

Splashbacks can add a pop of colour or detailing that is easy to replace if you fancy a quick kitchen change. You can use glass, stainless steel, exact colour match or there are even splashback companies that will print a picture on the back.

Just be aware that depending on where the light source is in your room a glass splashback may act as a mirror – think about whether you’d be happy to watch yourself cooking.

Keeping things tidy

When you’re planning your kitchen think about areas of mess that build up at the moment. Perhaps incorporate an ‘in tray’ to manage all that incoming post or install a designated charging point for the family’s phones and tablets. Sockets with a USB in the side are great for this – and you could even put one in the back of a cupboard if you really want to hide everything away.

Do you need bookshelves in your kitchen? Lots of people say they do but, in reality, are you more likely to grab your iPhone and ‘google’ the recipe you want? It might be that those bookshelves are just a waste of space and you can, in fact, keep the recipe books tidily elsewhere.

A word of warning

It is the kitchen industry’s job to sell you a kitchen. Your job is to get the best kitchen for you. But the temptation for kitchen companies is to sell you things you don’t need. Do you really need that pull-out wine cooler? Or stylish, bespoke shelves?

Picture your kitchen in five years’ time – is it useful or would a cupboard be better? If you worry you may just be creating a dust trap, we suggest you listen to your gut instinct and put that cupboard in instead.

If all this really does seem like too much to manage by yourself, why not get in touch with Koivu? We can talk you through all the important points and help get to the bottom of the perfect kitchen design for you and your family.

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