An independent source of kitchen design advice & ideas
Before you actually design your kitchen - or before you go to a kitchen designer - I'd strongly recommend having a look round, to find some kitchen design ideas and kitchen styles that you really like.
Don't worry about whether any of the kitchen ideas you see will fit into your room ... just collect pictures and write down ideas. Your likes and dislikes will quite probably change as you go along and your final collection of desirable features will be a very good guide for any designer to work from.
One of the biggest challenges in the UK, is that many of you need a design for a small kitchen. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a big extension or a lovely big room, perhaps in a new house. There's still a huge stock of Victorian terraced houses and early twentieth century semi-detached properties, in the UK, with small kitchens tacked onto the back ... and, in our cities, there are a lot of tiny kitchens in flats. The need for small kitchen design in this country is one of the main differences from the US ... which you'll have realised if you've ever accidentally bought any American books on "small kitchen design". Their idea of small is very different.
Here's a CAD view of a typical small kitchen at the back of a Victorian home in the UK; even when extended, they tend to be long and narrow
Kitchen brochures often aren't a big help ... when it comes to ideas for a small kitchen ... because the displays are photographed in huge spaces and tend, especially with modern styles, to have huge island features. Do look at brochures ... but also have a look round your local kitchen showrooms (which often have more limited space for their displays). Also look at "Beautiful Kitchens" magazine, which features real kitchens, and any other of the glossy home interest magazines that have special features on kitchens or kitchen makeovers.
Search on the internet for kitchen galleries ... have a look at our kitchen gallery here ... and pay particular attention to pictures of real kitchens, rather than displays. Looking for "handmade kitchens" or "bespoke kitchens" can also bring up websites with pictures of smaller kitchens (although the quality of the pictures can be a bit dodgy!).
If you're looking for kitchen ideas for a large kitchen, then you can look at any and all kitchen styles and brochures and can consider the features, like islands, which take up a lot of space. You're lucky, in that you can fit whatever features you like, into your new kitchen ... but you too need to be very careful with the layout of your room. It's easy to fill up the space well ... but then end up with a route march between say the fridge and the hob. Large kitchens can be just as difficult as small ones to plan efficiently.
Whilst you're gathering your kitchen ideas, have a look through Majjie's Blogs and you can also subscribe to our Kitchen Design Newsletters (top of the page), they're full of news and pictures. And, of course, there will be plenty of ideas in Majjie's Kitchen Design Guides (when Majjie finally finishes re-writing them!).
In the meantime, here are some of Majjie's previous blogs and articles (some from Majjie's Kitchen Corner over on Yell.com's Know How section) that might help (but bear in mind that some of them are from a while ago):