The essential elements of a well-designed kitchen

When it comes to kitchen design, the key is to create a space that is both functional, aesthetically pleasing and meets the owner’s unique needs. It is important to reflect upon how you plan to use the space. Are you a passionate cook with an enviable spice collection? Are you catering for a growing family or just need room for one? Is the kitchen a place for both food preparation and the sharing of meals? 

A first step in designing a kitchen that perfectly fits with your lifestyle is to make a list of your kitchen likes and dislikes, frustrations and wishes. Here are some of the top kitchen renovation design considerations to get down on paper during the designing stage.

Kitchen storage

One of the most common kitchen design problems is insufficient storage. Poor kitchen storage planning can lead to benchtop clutter but, with a little imagination, storage problems can be avoided. Clever storage options to consider include pan drawers (as opposed to cupboards), vertical wine racks, in-drawer charging stations, hidden spice racks and ceiling-high cabinets.

Don’t forget corner units – the jewel in your kitchen storage crown. Also, consider the depth of cupboards and how this will impact the accessibility of small appliances and pantry items. Sometimes shallow shelves are more optimal, as items don’t get lost at the back and are easy to reach.

Workflow & ergonomics

A good kitchen remodelling works to minimise movement throughout the space, so you spend less energy and time-bending, walking, twisting, lifting and cleaning. Central to many well-designed kitchens is the kitchen work triangle. This design principle applies both motion studies and ergonomics to achieve a minimum distance between the cooking zone, the storage spaces (pantry/refrigerator) and the cleaning zone (sink and dishwasher). Can you draw a triangle between these key areas in your kitchen layout design?

Tip: Make sure your dishwasher is near your glass and crockery cupboards, your benchtops are suitable for your height to avoid hunching over, and your appliance doors have optimal room to open.

Bench space

You not only need the right amount of bench space, but the bench space also needs to be positioned where you need it. Consider having bench space next to or opposite your fridge for ease of meal preparation and the unloading of groceries. The bench space next to your oven is also crucial from a safety perspective to avoid carry hot food across your kitchen.


Ensure you incorporate some open shelves to display your favourite kitchen items. It’s also worth reminding yourself that storage isn’t everything. It might seem tempting to fill every spare centimetre of your kitchen with cupboards and drawers, but that could leave your kitchen feeling cramped. Build-in some breathing space to keep things stylish. 

In addition, consider cabinetry in other areas of the home, such as the laundry and the bathroom. Is it cohesive or does it crash? You can create seamless interiors by factoring in other areas of the home when choosing colours, finishes and hardware for your kitchen – check out Laminex for inspiration.


Lighting is often overlooked, as you’re busy configuring cupboards, drawers and appliances. Make sure there is sufficient task lighting by including spotlights recessed into the underside of wall cabinets, or cabinet lighting to let you easily see the full contents of your cupboards. You can also make kitchen island task lighting functional and beautiful, by using statement pendants.

Is your kitchen looking worse for wear? If you are considering a kitchen renovation, Ashley at Craftsman Built has all the expertise, professional knowledge and design tips to give you an expert opinion. Browse our gallery here or give Ashley a call on 0413 028 331 to arrange a free onsite consultation. You can also fill out a quote form here.