A designer kitchen stands out from the rest and are often the realisation of a lifetimes dreaming often savings, too. Exceptional kitchens at this level are very rarely available off-the-shelf, so seek out the best materials available beautiful stone, glass, wood and metal. This kind of investment, in terms of time, effort and money, has a pay-off in the huge amount of pleasure it will bring to all who use it.
Do your homework
Research your options thoroughly, exploring all the materials that interest you, as well as the current trends and new advances. It will clarify your ideas and, importantly, help eliminate the things you dont want as well as achieving the things you do.
Find your dream team
Having great people on board will make a massive difference to the whole process, so allocate a budget for this. Choose an architect, interior designer, kitchen designer (which may come with the cabinetry), lighting consultant, builder, even a stylist. And make sure they are trained, experienced professionals who you have a good rapport and understanding with. Kitchens at this level take time to achieve, so get a clear idea how long its likely to take right from the start. If its part of a big project, it may be worth moving out for the duration.Every project should have a budget, so allocate one and refer to it throughout, and always build in a contingency fund for unexpected extras.
Beautiful materials take centre stage in a kitchen. Your designer can help you discover new types of wood, stone or cutting-edge modern surfaces, including walls and floors, and will ensure they all work together to create a striking overall effect. Whether its moody geometrics or retro pastels, work your favourite colours and patterns into your scheme. Get your designer to help you express your personal style.
Not just for show
As lovely as your finished kitchen will be, part of the joy will be seeing how well it works. Good design will enhance your experience, so think about how you spend your time in there and how you like to cook and eat.
Stainless-steel kitchen island (shown)
Curved islands direct the flow of traffic around the space and bring a dynamic shape to the layout. This island provides the majority of worktop space within the kitchen and is the focal point of the room. The breakfast-bar area has a metallic finish that works well with the individual style of the cabinetry.
Low-level cabinets and open shelving create a highly contemporary look. To add to the sleek, streamlined feel, fully integrated appliances are hidden behind the door fronts, a downdraft extractor is installed next to the hob and an undermounted sink has been chosen for its neat finish.
Kitchen design and cabinetry
Ewe at Searle & Taylor
In this contemporary design, the dining table mirrors the island's floating design - it's anchored to low-level storage that can double as extra seating if needed.
The concern that an architect will run away with a project and that costs will spiral out of control is unfounded architects are known for their forensic attention to detail at the planning stage and this often saves money in the long run. Shown here is a bespoke and oiled-walnut kitchen by B E Architecture.
Fine furniture maker Rupert Bevan has used a wide range of striking materials and finishes to create a real one-off design in this church conversion. Highlights include a patinated brass-clad island, burnt and ebonised oak cabinetry, a polished concrete worktop and bespoke ash trolleys. Kitchens from £100,000.