Kitchen designer shares ‘go-to’ features every kitchen ‘needs’

With a kitchen’s status being the heart of the home, they are one of, if not the, most important rooms of a house. Households cook, eat, clean, work and socialise in this central hub, so it must be carefully designed with functionality at the forefront. Speaking exclusively to, Richard Davonport, managing director at Davonport, has shared his “go-to” features households “need” in their kitchens.

1. Layered lighting 

Lighting is often overlooked during the kitchen design process and ends up being a last-minute decision.  

However, layered lighting, which is choosing different lighting styles in the same space, can allow households to be playful and make a statement, especially if they have a kitchen island, according to the designer. 

Richard explained: “Choosing pendant lights adds a visual depth and draws your eyes upwards to take in the rest of your kitchen.

“If you choose layered lighting and pendants in particular, it works best if you stick to the rule of three as odd numbers tend to feel naturalistic compared to even numbers which can feel artificial.”

2. Drawers over doors

Creating a stylish and efficient kitchen demands great storage and while both cabinets with doors and drawers can provide it, it’s a question of choosing the right options for the room.

The designer said: “The go-to for kitchen cabinets has always been to have doors that you are able to open up or close in order to access the kitchen cabinets. 

“However, choosing drawers over doors for your base units should be a go-to as it can make such a difference to how you store food, pans, crockery and even glassware.

“Choosing this option means you can access everything you need, without having to bend down and route to the back of a deep cupboard to get it.”

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3. Cutting-edge appliance

While everyone wants their kitchen to look good, Richard noted that it also “need to be practical and enjoyable” to use.

He explained: “Advancements in technology have meant that the latest appliances offer the potential to do just that. 

“From steam cooking ovens to venting induction hobs, kitchen appliances now come equipped with incredible smart features to transform your cooking. 

“Refrigerators, ovens, coffee machines and many more appliances are available with impressive Home Connect internet-enabled technology which allows you to control your kitchen from your phone.”

4. Pantries

A pantry can work just as well in sleek contemporary kitchens as it does in luxurious classic styles. 

They help households to organise their kitchen and provide a stylish solution to storage. 

The designer highlighted that even small kitchens can benefit from a pantry cupboard as the organisation it provides helps the rest of the kitchen to remain clutter free, while also freeing up other cupboard space for other essential items. 

Richard said: “The trick to utilising pantries in smaller kitchens is to make sure the layout of the pantry cupboard covers all basics and has dedicated areas for different types of items.”

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5. Kitchen island 

Of course not everyone has the space for a kitchen island, but for those who do, the kitchen pro explained that it can change both how a kitchen looks but also the practicalities of how it can be used.

He explained: “It offers extra worktops for food prep and can also host your sink and/or your hob which can help when designing the layout of your kitchen to maximise the best flow. 

“It’s multifunctional role can mean it also moonlights as an eating area, making it a sociable addition for those who love company while they cook.”

For 2023, the designer revealed that kitchen islands will take on a new shape as well, which works particularly well in smaller spaces. Richard added: “Forget square angles, curves are in which infuse a kitchen with a softer, more relaxed feel.”

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