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Kitchen design luxury boutique feel kitchen larder


Remodelling your kitchen is a great way to update your home and add value to either how you live and use the space, or to the property itself.

Let’s walk you through our process to guide you with your modern luxury kitchen design project.

Who are you Designing the Kitchen for? 

Niki Schafer Interior Design creates homes throughout Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. Our clients are generally families with very busy lives and more often than not an animal or two to take into consideration. 

We start with some simple questions to assess the context:

  1. How many people live in your house?
  2. Who cooks?
  3. Do you cook three times a day or once a week?
  4. What kind of meals do you enjoy cooking?
  5. Are you very tall/very short?
  6. Do you have any disabilities (physical, visual)?
  7. Do you cater to large parties/dinners?
  8. Where do the dogs eat/sleep? 

Answers to these questions (and others regarding your taste preferences, lifestyle and budget) will have a huge influence over the designs we ultimately present.

How to Achieve a Professional Kitchen Interior Design Layout 

This may sound strange but if you ‘listen’ to the room, it will tell you where things should go. In an empty room, you will intuitively go to the most pleasing part; this could be the lightest area, or the coolest spot (depending on which part of the world you live in). This is where you will want to do the most of your work or could be where you want to enjoy the benefits of your work (i.e. eat). 

Ask yourself what you want to look at as you stand at the sink peeling vegetables, or at the hob frying an omelette? Do you want to be looking into the room, out of a window, or watching over kids at the same time? 

Equally, what is the ugliest part of the room, where no one will focus their attention? This is where you can put the dishwasher, where plates can get stacked and dirty pans can wait their turn, and no one will be overly disturbed by them. The darkest part of the room is for storage or the utility. 

Understanding Critical Thinking and Design Psychology when Designing your Modern Kitchen   

While your intuition will do wonders to get the design process started, it needs a guiding hand from some critical thinking. If you don’t have the budget to change the plumbing (this can be pricey) then moving the sink or the dishwasher unnecessarily is not clever. That money could be used on a prep sink or a fabulous tap. 

The ergonomic triangle of kitchen design also has to be considered. You will use the fridge, the sink and the hob most frequently, so keep them in short distance from one another. And don’t put the bin on the other side of the room. Think through how you make a spaghetti bolognese, a bowl of cereal and a pot of tea. Make sure the ingredients, crockery and utensils, as well as their associated appliances, are within reach. A breakfast larder dedicated to the morning’s activities can be a real luxury. Creating a ‘luxury boutique hotel’ feel to your home.

Kitchen design luxury boutique feel kitchen larder
Add a luxury boutique feel to your kitchen with a larder


You may well have fallen in love with a granite work surface or kitchen handles, but it’s important to get the layout right first before moving on to aesthetics. Once you’re ready, these are the different materials you need to consider (and make sure the kitchen design works well together).  

  • Cabinet style (shaker, handle-less, gloss, paint colour, wood type) 
  • Island cabinetry (same or different?)
  • Wall colours (paint, wallpaper?) 
  • Work surface (granite, quartz, Corian, wood, laminate, metal) 
  • Splash-back (glass, tile, metal) 
  • Fridge (integrated, metal, coloured) 
  • Appliances (brand, colour – silver, black, white, colour)
  • Extractor (ceiling, floor) 
  • Taps (metal choice) 
  • Handles (style, metal) 
  • Flooring (stone, wood, laminate) 
  • Furniture (island stools, dining table, chairs, sofa, rug)
  • Window treatments (blinds, voile) 
  • Lighting

Our Professional Top Tip – Ask for samples of surfaces you like and take them with you when choosing other items (e.g. take the cabinet door sample to the floor supplier). Ideally, bring them all back to your site so you can assess them in the real light of your home. 

Kitchen Design – Lighting

Maximising natural light in most rooms is key but it’s even more so in the kitchen where fresh food can be appreciated all the better in sunlight. On the other hand, don’t design the room around a window where very harsh direct sunlight will make you swelter more than your spinach. It’s a delicate balance in design and the cycle of the sun throughout the year needs to be appreciated. 

Here we inserted a large window into a dark room and reconfigured the space to enjoy the newly lit areas.

Kitchen design dark room
Kitchen design inserting window

This made a huge difference in the immediate vicinity obviously, but also in the far corner.  

Before & after:

Kitchen Installation Time-line – how to Minimise the Stress 

Being without a kitchen even for a few short weeks or even days, can be stressful on the household. So make sure you’re prepared for this time and set up a makeshift kitchen somewhere where you can access water relatively easily and have space for a small fridge and, at the very least, a microwave. 

Kitchen Installation Schedule – Checklist

  • Hire skip (think ahead then give precise instructions of where you want it placed!)
  • Old kitchen removal  
  • Build work (adding bi-folds, moving windows, removing walls etc) – if necessary 
  • First fix plumbing and electrics (are you installing underfloor heating?) 
  • Plasterer (always a safe bet as tile removal is never easy) 
  • Floor tiling
  • Cabinetry installation
  • Work surface templating (allow several days for cutting) 
  • Wall tiling 
  • Second fix plumbing & electrics 
  • Work surface installation
  • Decoration and sealing (mastic) 
  • Furniture and window treatment installation

We hope you have found our kitchen design guide useful. Take a look through our extensive project portfolio for more modern kitchen design ideas here and If you’d like to discuss your kitchen project with us, please get in touch via our website:  

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