We moved into our large and rambling home 16 years ago and we’ve spent the intervening years renovating it and raising our four children. We have, in all honesty, spent more time with the children than we have on the house and have now reached the point where the house isn’t yet finished but the rooms we did at the beginning really need a revamp!

I visited my oldest friend and his lovely wife in Oxford last weekend and came home with a serious case of kitchen envy – mine is looking very dated. When we ‘designed’ it back in 2001 we thought it was fabulous but time has shown that we didn’t really think it through.

Since then I’ve been wandering around Pinterest and reading articles which explain how to design a kitchen to suit your lifestyle and have realised that we made some pretty fundamental mistakes when we rushed into designing ours.

So, here are my Top 6 Kitchen Design Wishes second time around!

  1. Work Space – we didn’t think this one through AT all. I do have a lot of workspace but it is all in the wrong place. Where I actually need it I have enough space for a chopping board and that’s it. Useless.
  2. Double oven and Eye Level Grill. We bought a fabulous Smeg oven with massive shelf space. I can cook three trays of cookies on the same shelf BUT I don’t need to do that very often and, as the children grow and leave, I need the big oven less and less. It would make far more sense to have a double oven – more economical and environmentally friendly than firing up my furnace for a quick supper. I’d really like an eye level grill too so I don’t have to kneel down and squint to see what’s going on.
  3. Easy Clean Surfaces. Mr TS made my wooden work surfaces for me and they are very beautiful. I love them but easy to keep clean they are not. I long for something I can wipe down with a wet cloth without worrying that I will rot the wood or that my surface will split! But look at that joint, isn’t it beautiful?! You don’t get that with an off the peg work surface! (and it hasn’t split, not one bit!)how to design a kitchen
  4. Storage. I do have a lot of cupboards but the carcasses behind the doors are battered and old and I seem to spend a lot of time on my knees, grovelling around at the back of them for tins or trays or wotnot. My friend has those drawers which close themselves and units with clever storage solutions inside them and I’m envious! We need to design the space better so that I can easily access the things I need without swearing a lot in the process. I’d also like my white goods hidden behind matching cupboard doors like my friend has – secret cupboards hiding delicious things!how to design a kitchen
  5. Seating. We made our kitchen by knocking three rooms into two and it is a T shape with an arch through to the garden room where we all sit to eat. I would like this room to feel more a part of the kitchen so that it is easier for me to chat to people while I’m cooking. Some seating at a breakfast bar in the kitchen itself would be nice.
  6. View. We installed the sink and oven at the end of the kitchen which has a view of the drive. Why we did this when we could have installed it at the end which overlooks the garden AND which has more space I have no idea. Clearly we had taken leave of our senses and just wanted something, ANYTHING, to spare us from any more takeaways or microwave meals!

So – lovely readers – tell me what I should do. Inspire me! What are your top kitchen design tips?

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