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Kitchen design for renovators

Whether you’re completely replacing tired units and worktops or simply making a few well-chosen updates, a new kitchen should be both beautiful and functional, says Emily Brooks

Arenovation project is in some ways easier than a blank slate when it comes to kitchen design: if you’ve lived for a while with an existing setup, then you’ll soon find out where its faults are, from the wrong kind of storage to a fridge that’s miles away from the food prep area. Inefficient kitchens are not just annoying: impractical layouts and poor lighting can cause accidents, too. No wonder, then, that we all want to get it right when it comes to upgrading or replacing one.

Layout changes

With a renovation project, you are going to be working to some restrictions, even if you’ve decided to rip out everything in the zone. Your services – water, waste, electricity and perhaps gas – will be placed at existing fixed points in the kitchen, and while switching things around is feasible, it’s not always easy to achieve.

“If you have a floating floor you might be able to take it up and run the services underneath, but if it’s concrete then you’re going to have to chisel into it,” says Graeme Smith, senior designer at 1909, Biography and Second Nature. “It’s not impossible, but it will cost more.” The waste is probably the biggest challenge: water pipes are pressurised, but waste pipes rely on gravity to work, so they should be as close to the outside drain as possible.

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About Build It

The February edition of Build It magazine will help you get your self build, renovation or extension project off on the right foot. It’s packed with inspiration and advice, including: • A run-down barn transformed in to a stunning contemporary home (page 22) • A beginners guide to self build (page 62) • 8 hot ideas for stoves & fires (page 69) • Create your ideal kitchen with our in-depth guide (page 74) • Get room sizes right (page 96) … and more!