Kitchens: the ultimate guide to planning, designing and furnishing your kitchen

Looking to plan, design, decorate and furnish a new kitchen? This ultimate guide to kitchens has all the information you need to take you from start to finish as you transform your space

Laminate flooring in a light kitchen
(Image credit: Neptune)
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The design elements of your new room – from tiles to flooring, window dressings to kitchen island seating – will have just as much of an impact as the cabinetry you choose. We take you through the options, plus offer design inspiration.

When you're done here, go to page three for buying guides to appliances small and large.

kitchen by Blakes London

(Image credit: Blakes London)

Kitchen design elements

Picking flooring and wallcoverings that are practical and good-looking, a lighting scheme and window treatments, plus design elements such as kitchen island seating will give your room's design cohesion.

How to choose the right kitchen tiles
Pick out the best kitchen tiles for your floors and walls – we talk you through the different materials and options, tile shapes, designs and patterns.

Choosing the right size tiles for a small kitchen
Designing a tiny room? You can make your small kitchen feel spacious and bright with these expert design tricks – achieved simply with tiles.

How to choose the best kitchen flooring
Engineered wood or tiles? Rubber flooring or concrete? Resin or solid wood? Which finish is good-looking and practical? We take you through the options.

The best paint for kitchens
Want to give neutral cabinetry a lift with a bright colour scheme? Or just want to pick a light colour to make a small kitchen brighter? We've got the best kitchen paints.

How to plan kitchen lighting
Getting the lighting right in a kitchen is a must – from picking the right fittings to getting light levels just right in the room's different areas. Here's how.

Kitchen window treatments
From roller, Venetian and roller blinds to shutters and curtains, which will be best for your new kitchen? We take you through the choices and looks.

Kitchen island seating
If you've design a kitchen island or a breakfast bar into your new kitchen, kitchen island seating is a must-have. What you choose will make a major impact.

Kitchen design inspiration

Whatever your kitchen's shape, size or layout, and whatever your budget, we have design inspiration to get your project kick-started. Browse our design ideas galleries for inspiration.

Galley kitchen design ideas
Typically suffering from small proportions, galley kitchens can still be practical to work in and good-looking. Use these ideas to inspire your scheme. 

L-shaped kitchen design ideas
Find out how to create the best kitchen design within the limits of an L-shaped layout, using these kitchens and our expert advice as your guide.

U-shaped kitchen design ideas
U-shaped kitchens needn't look cramped and space-starved; with a little clever planning and design know-how, even the smallest kitchen can look sublime...

White kitchen design ideas
Timeless, elegant and beloved by future buyers, you can't go wrong with a white kitchen. Best of all it will look smart in both period and modern homes.

Grey kitchen design ideas
Looking for a kitchen that's right on trend for both period and contemporary homes, that's easy to redecorate and style around? Look no further...

Dark kitchen design ideas
Do you love the looks of a dark, dramatic room scheme? From more of that on-trend grey to dark greens, blues and even black, there's plenty of inspiration.

Colourful kitchen design ideas
Create a kitchen that's a step up on the colour stakes from safe neutrals – we explore ways to add a splash of colour to your room's design.

Luxury kitchen design ideas
These are the kitchen designs we'd copy if money were no object – but there's nothing stopping you a) saving up or b) mimicking these high end looks.

Contemporary kitchen design ideas
Love a sleek, glossy look for your kitchen design? Check out these modern kitchen designs – perfect as a centrepiece for a modern home.

Country kitchen design ideas
Be inspired by these cottage-style kitchens to create a welcoming, pretty look for your newly transformed room. Ideal for small spaces and large.

Shaker kitchen design ideas
This popular kitchen design style suits both contemporary and modern homes and (we predict) will never go out of fashion. Grab yourself some ideas.

Farmhouse kitchen design ideas
Brimming with character, farmhouse kitchens make the perfect heart of a country home and great family rooms. Be inspired for yours here.

Click on the links to go to the sections that interest you
Planning a kitchen
Designing a kitchen
Kitchen appliance buying guides