How to Plan a Kitchen Renovation

Our step-by-step guide on how to plan a kitchen renovation offers advice and info on the kitchen work triangle, kitchen work zones, kitchen lighting & more.

A Step-by-Step Guide on H
ow to Plan a Kitchen Renovation

So, who am I to give kitchen renovation advice? Well, after moving into our first family home early 2016, gradually we became aware that the entire house could really do with a makeover. Appliances were on their last legs, the heating was on the blink, most of the windows were misted, the decor looked older than me and don’t even get me started on the light fittings. So rather than spending the next few years trying to build a new home little by little, room by room, we decided to move out and undergo a complete home renovation. We were lucky to have the privilege of having my parents 15 minutes down the road, with a couple of spare bedrooms for us to borrow.

As you can imagine it has been quite a big year for my little family; I have two children, aged 2 and 4. The biggest roller-coaster for me, personally, was the kitchen. I thought it would be as simple as choosing a design and that would be it, this was certainly not the case. There are many logistics involved in the layout and design of a kitchen renovation that I hadn’t even given a second thought.
Using my own experience, I have put together some tips on how to go about achieving your dream kitchen…

Planning the Kitchen Layout

Getting the right layout is a pretty big deal; it’s not something that can easily be changed once the kitchen renovation is finished. For this reason it is important to do your research and really think it through.


Will you be using existing pipe work or will you be needing new pipe work fitted? Will your dishwasher be near the sink? (This makes the plumbing much easier). If you will be rejigging the pipe work for your kitchen renovation we have plenty of highly recommended plumbers for you to choose from. Luckily for us we had a blank canvas because we were having our kitchen in the newly built extension but we did opt for having the dishwasher next to the sink to keep the plumbing simple.

Electrical work

The same as with plumbing, you will need to decide whether you will be using existing electrics or will you be needing all new electrical work done. If you need to hire someone to come and add extra sockets, rewiring, moving of light fittings, or new electrics completely be sure to take a look at our local and recommended electricians. All of our electricians at Quick Find are vetted and recommended, certified and have relevant qualifications.

‘The kitchen work triangle’ and ‘Kitchen work zones’

‘The kitchen work triangle’

There is a concept called ‘the kitchen work triangle’ which was designed to help with the efficiency of your kitchen layout. Basically, if you draw an imaginary line from the middle of your cooker, sink and fridge it should make a triangle. This is because when cooking you will move between these 3 appliances often, it is advised that each line be between 4 and 9 feet with no obstructions. This is a widely known concept, but I was struggling to make my kitchen fit the mould! I wanted a multi-functional kitchen that I could use as a social room and a dining area as well as somewhere to cook. But this meant our dining table was sitting in the way of ‘the kitchen work triangle’, so I did a little research into kitchen layouts and how I could make this work.

As it turns out ‘the kitchen work triangle’ concept was developed back in the 1940’s when kitchens were more compact and used only as a cooking space. This isn’t always the case these days, with the kitchen being increasingly used as ‘the hub’ of the home for entertaining. If your kitchen is going to be used solely for cooking then the kitchen triangle concept is fantastic; however if like me, you are looking to have more of an open plan kitchen then there is a concept that may suit you better.

Our step-by-step guide on how to plan a kitchen renovation offers advice and info on the kitchen work triangle, kitchen work zones, kitchen lighting & more.


Kitchen work zones

The ‘kitchen work zones’ concept makes more efficient use of a larger area, the idea is that you have certain work zones and those zones are fully equipped with what you need. For example; in my kitchen I have a few zones including the cooking zone, the cleaning zone, the tea zone and the guest zone.

The cooking zone in my kitchen includes the cooker, fridge and everything else involved in the cooking process such as the spice rack, cooking utensils,pots, pans, ingredients and work space for preparation. The cleaning zone is based around the sink and dishwasher and is basically where I store most of the kitchenware, so once it’s been washed it can be put away within easy reach. The tea zone is the little station for making the brews, this includes the kettle, tea bags, coffee etc; placed near to the fridge if possible, for easier milk access! The guest zone is the place where guests can chill out while you get on with the cooking/making tea! Our guest zone is our dining table, however another good spot for a guest zone are islands with seating, if you have the space!

Our step-by-step guide on how to plan a kitchen renovation offers advice and info on the kitchen work triangle, kitchen work zones, kitchen lighting & more.



Being the hub of many homes and the room in the house with the most varied activities, a good kitchen lighting scheme is really important. Don’t plan any lighting until the layout has been decided, because knowing the layout is crucial when planning your kitchen lighting. Things to consider when planning your kitchen lighting:


So once you know the layout of the kitchen you can start to think about what each part of your kitchen will be used for. For example cooking preparation, homework, family dinnertime etc. You will need to make sure any areas that will be in use are adequately lit for appropriate tasks. I chose to put a light in each corner of the room, which I pointed toward the work surfaces, to add extra light when needed on the work benches and a light above the dining table for extra light when dining.

Types of kitchen lighting

Once you know where you want to position your lighting, you can move on to what type of lighting you want. You can use lighting to make a statement or add to the ambiance: I used pendant lighting over my dining table to create a look that complimented the style of my kitchen. You could use in-shelf lights that can be used alone to create more of a soft glow for a homely atmosphere. Spotlights, downlights and under unit lights can be very practical for lighting an area that requires more light.


Light Colour

Another aspect to take into account is the colour of your kitchen lighting. As you may already know lighting is measured in kelvins. A daylight like light measures at around 6,500 kelvins whereas a candlelit light would measure around 1,800 kelvins. With that in mind you might want to have a think about what colour lighting is most appropriate. I went for duller lighting for our pendant above the dining table to give more of a cosy look, and had our spotlights nice and bright. I also had dimmer switches installed to further allow me to choose the best lighting and brightness as and when needed.

Advice from my personal experiences

Keep an open mind

From my experience, if I was to pass on any advice, it would be to keep an open mind. Even if you have your heart set on something you definitely want, don’t rule out doing something different. My experience with this was with having a kitchen mantle, I had always loved the look of them and always said ‘one day I’ll have a mantle in my kitchen’. I didn’t even want cupboards that looked like a mantle, I wanted an actual mantle that was like a giant chimney breast. I also had an odd dislike for cooker hoods – which I didn’t even know I had until I started designing my kitchen!

I’d planned the look of the entire kitchen based on the mantle, I wanted a traditional country style kitchen (with a modern twist). However for various reasons, after drawing up a few different layout designs and managing to fit the mantle in, I actually ended up choosing to opt out of having a mantle. The reason I chose not to have one was to create more space in the room. We had already had a setback in the extension where we had to shorten the room by half a metre, so we needed to create as much space as we could to make sure the room didn’t feel cramped.

You wouldn’t want dull lighting on your prep bench just as much as you wouldn’t want super bright lighting during a romantic meal.

Stay flexible

Another thing to keep in mind: try not to expect everything to run smoothly because in the real world this very rarely happens. Again, as I mentioned before, we hit a hurdle with the extension which was quite disheartening; losing 0.5m from the length of the kitchen might not sound like a lot but it did have quite an impact and forced us to rearrange the layout of the entire kitchen. Now, although this wasn’t ideal, the new layout was actually much better and I am so happy with it that the hurdle actually turned out to be a bit of a blessing!

Another hindrance we had was when we ordered our cooker, once we had ordered it we received a call to say it couldn’t be delivered for about 6 weeks, 6 weeks!! This messed with our schedule and contributed to the kitchen finish being delayed; but, these things can’t be avoided. So, as long as you can accept that you will probably hit hurdles and setbacks, this will make the whole process easier.

Calling in the professionals

Who do you need to call?

So you know what you want, now how do you make it a reality!? It’s entirely up to you how you go about this; you could hire businesses individually for each step of the journey or you can use a company that can see your project through from start to finish.

The benefits of using separate businesses is that there’s a chance you could save some extra pennies. However, it takes a fair bit of organisation and you will need the ability and knowledge to be able to problem solve if you hit setbacks. Or you can opt to call in a business that can complete the kitchen renovation from start to finish. The benefits of using a business that will see your project through is that they take all the planning and organising stress away for you. Then you can just get involved in the fun bits like choosing colours and materials!

How can Quick Find help?

Checked and vetted Birmingham trusted traders

Whatever you decide to do, you will want to make sure the businesses you use are qualified, trustworthy and registered with relevant trade bodies. Quick Find can help you find many or all of the trades people you need along the way including carpenters, tilers, flooring services, double glazing, plasterers, painters and decorators and many more. All of our traders must pass a certain criteria to advertise with us, so you can rest assured you will receive professional, quality service. Alternatively, if you are looking for someone to take on the complete kitchen renovation, take a look at our vetted and approved kitchen planning and fitters  or our home improvements teams.

Read more about our vetting process or search now via the homepage; it’s as simple as selecting the type of business you are looking for and your area, and we will provide you with trusted and recommended traders local to you.

Lastly, if you’re not used to hiring trades people and are not sure what you should be asking, take a look at our previous blog,‘Looking for local trusted traders? Here are our top questions to ask when getting a quote’. Now you should be feeling confident to get out there and get some quotes, good luck!


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24th August 2018