I have very fond memories of the times I spent at home around the kitchen table when I was a child, helping Mum bake some cakes, usually creating a real mess with flour all over the floor. Dad would be helping me with my homework, although his spelling was almost as bad as mine. And of course, Sunday lunch with all the family around the table was always a focus for the week, no interruptions from mobile phones in those days !kitchen design

So you could argue that with the pressures everyone is working under today, all running around in different directions, the focus of the kitchen as a hub for family life has become even more important.

Major developments in cabinet design, new wirework storage solutions, a vast range of stunning work surfaces, and the integration of technology are just a few of the elements that have enabled kitchen designers to go beyond designing a room just to prepare meals in. The kitchen today has to provide a number of different functions which may often include a computer work station, space to relax, watch TV and entertain friends over a coffee or glass of wine.

A problem often encountered is simply the space is too small, but a solution can always be found by opening up the kitchen into an adjacent room, or better still, adding an extension thereby creating a large family room. You would be amazed by just how much additional space can be created by adding a side extension to a rear kitchen, a layout often found in some of our late Victorian oKitchen Designer - hand painted kitchensr early Edwardian houses.

The development of sophisticated computer aided design software can be a great help in visualizing just how the room will look when an internal wall is removed, and we can also create detailed images of your new kitchen when installed in the new extension.

We are happy to advise and suggest ways to achieve your goals. Our initial design service is free of charge, but we never say no to a cup of coffee or glass of wine.


Considering The Kitchen Budget

When looking at any major new project, there can’t by many of us who can approach the situation without first considering the budget. Just how do you balance your ever growing wish list for that new kitchen against the constraints imposed by the bank manager and still incorporate all the latest innovations and technology.

Someone once said “don’t let the budget drive the job as you may end up being disappointed”. Our view is to find a more imaginative starting point. The ultimate goal must be to design a layout that will satisfy your needs and be a joy to work in for many years to come.

bespoke kitchens Brighton & Sussex

So how can we achieve the balance between good design and a sensible kitchen budget?


Two major areas that effect the cost will be the choice of cabinetry, and secondly, the choice of work surface. On average, a kitchen designed around a Fully Framed (or in frame) product will be 30% more expensive than a kitchen using “On carcase” cabinets. These figures apply to our product, the same may not apply to other manufacturers. The core mechanics of both products such as the soft close drawer runners, dovetailed drawer boxes and the 18mm carcase will be the same, but the look of a Framed Kitchen will always stand out as a classic example of a bespoke kitchen.

The second major option for controlling the budget is the choice of work surface. Taking as an example an average “L” shaped kitchen, the cost of the work surface could vary between £500 for a laminate worktop through to £1500 for solid Oak, then up to £2500 for a mid price Granite surface.

Further options to address the costs can be explored by looking at choices for sinks and taps, and of course, the vast range of appliances available today offer an amazing choice.

Our aim is always to offer value for money with compromising on the design, and we are happy to advise on any aspects of a new kitchen.



Hand Made Kitchen Design in Oak Hand Made Kitchen Design OakSituated on a large country estate in East Sussex, the design brief for this new build presented a number of interesting opportunities.
Initially working from the architects drawings, the first meeting focused on choosing a style and trying to decide if we should move towards a contemporary or more traditional approach.


When working with a client who has lived in their property for some time the styling is often dictated by the age or period of the building, but in the case of a new build you can start with a blank sheet of paper or of course, a blank screen on our CAD system.
The external elevations of this beautiful property consisted of a traditional Sussex flint finish together with a spacious and mainly open plan interior, creating a wonderful light and airy feel with stunning views over the Sussex countryside.
As the very large room where the kitchen was going to be located needed to also serve as a dining room, the owner asked if we could incorporate some old Oak door panels and a large Oak work top which had been rescued from an old school nearby. This would enable us to create a divide between the kitchen and the dining room, and introduce a contrast to the painted framed cabinets.
The drawer units under the Oak surface were configured to provide a small overhang, allowing the use of some stools on the dining room side. A great place for guests to sit and chat with the cook.
For the main work surface, the client chose a Kashmir White granite and we included to separate sinks, one of which was under mounted.
The use of a slightly darker paint for the base units added an interesting contrast to the light grey wall units.
The design and the use of different materials certainly added to the individuality of this kitchen and to quote the client “It’s an absolute pleasure to work in”

Talk To Your Kitchen Designer

Talk To Your Kitchen Designer

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges when embarking on a new kitchen design is trying to imagine the room empty of furniture, and avoid being influenced by the existing layout. You may wish to to go further and take out an internal wall, or that built in larder in the corner.
Visualising a new kitchen design and layout has been greatly enhanced by the development of sophisticated computer aided design software. In addition to vast libraries of cabinet styles, appliances, sinks, taps and work surfaces, we can now tile the walls and floors, dress the windows, and in addition to producing detailed floor plans and elevations, we can create 3D colour rendered images of the finished design. This may also involve seeing just what a difference taking that dividing wall out or adding a small extension.

But there’s obviously more to it than the ability to manipulate images on a screen. The first step is to start gathering ideas. Looking at the large number of kitchen magazines is a good starting point and you may also know someone who has been through the process recently with whom you can share the experience. You may even know someone who we’ve recently worked with.

bespoke painted kitchen designerThe initial research should help create a wish list which should include what sort of cooker are you looking for; keep in mind some of the recent developments such as:

  1. Combination microwave ovens
  2. Steam ovens
  3. What are your requirements for refrigeration?
  4. Are you happy with a solid timber work surface or would you prefer the solid beauty of granite or a composite such as Caesarstone.

Choosing a solid surface opens up a number of possibilities for under mounted sinks, and don’t forget new innovations such as hot taps.

Once your Kitchen wish list has been put together, it’s time to talk to your kitchen designer who will help you explore and develop your ideas.

The ingredients of our successful Kitchen designs are based on knowledge of the market, many years experience, and the ability to listen and translate your requirements into a design that will make the time you spend in the kitchen a more rewarding and enjoyable experience

Hand Made Kitchen Cabinets

If you are looking at remodeling your kitchen, one of the best investments you can make is in a hand made kitchen. There are many reasons why this is a good choice. At Painted Kitchens, we advice our clients on some of the benefits of choosing a custom made kitchen.

Hand made and hand painted kitchens add to the overall value of your home. It will cost you a bit more to install one, but in the end, when you get your home valued, this kind of kitchen will go a long way in upping its value.

Vegetables being prepared in a hand made kitchen

The Advantages Of Hand Made Kitchen Cabinets

You are able to choose all kinds of unique designs for your handmade kitchen and this means that you can have a kitchen that looks just the way you like it and that has been carefully crafted from superior materials. You can have all kinds of special pieces designed to your taste, and if you have any special requirements for your kitchen, a bespoke one is the way to go.

Experts will tell you that a hand made kitchen gives a much better fitting than if you were to go custom made. Each joint is measured to fit and the overall result is much better.

If you choose to go hand made, it only makes sense to have a hand painted kitchen. This gives you the chance to choose colours as you want them different parts of the kitchen can have different colours to complement the different hand made looks.

Choose a hand painter with experience that is specific to kitchens you will find some in the London, Sussex and Surrey area who do all kinds of projects but they do not have the in-depth expertise that is required to achieve perfect kitchens. You should make sure to involve him at the beginning of your project so that he can advice on the overall look that will be achieved when he finally applies the paint.

Contact Us for your free Hand Made Kitchen Quote

Kitchen Design Top Tips

As a Brighton kitchen designer, I work with many different clients, and one of the things I have learnt over the years is that many people do not know how to choose the best designer for their kitchens I fix a lot of poorly done jobs. If you are in London, Sussex or Surrey and are looking for someone to give your kitchen a new look, here are tips that will help you choose the best.

design blueprints

Top Tips For Kitchen Design

Kitchen Design Top 5 Tips

  • Look for someone who deals specifically with kitchens. You don’t want a general fitter because they have no defined expertise when it comes to kitchens. On the other hand, someone who does only kitchens will have spent enough time building their expertise on how to install different designs and what looks best for different kinds of kitchens.
  • Look for a designer who comes highly recommended. You can start by asking them where they did their last job and if its okay for you to call and get a referral.
  • Get a service that you can communicate with. You want someone who is willing to listen to you and offer an opinion without being imposing. We do a lot of painted kitchens in Sussex, for example, and we always make sure to discuss what they want.
  • Get a professional service that can be trusted. You want to have someone who is a professional without being distant as well as someone who you can trust around the house.
  • Talk to them about safety. Most of the activity in most homes happens in the kitchen so it should be a very safe area for all who live in the house. Your kitchen designer and fitter should be able to tell you how you can make your kitchen safe. Tiling, for example, should be rough to avoid slippage when wet, and a good designer will tell you this right away.

Finally, always make sure that your kitchen designer completely understands what you want.

The Kitchen Design Process

Loxwood Kitchen Cabinet Storage systems

The Kitchen Design Process

Having been involved with interior design for over 30 years, and kitchen design in particular, it will come as no surprise I’m regularly consulted by friends and family looking for ideas and suggestions about how they can improve their home, and the kitchen is generally at the top of the list.

The challenges have certainly changed since I produced my first hand drawn designs back in 1980. A first step is often finding a way to enlarge the space, taking out an internal wall or two, or perhaps a full extension which will create that multi functional room which seems an almost pre requisite for modern day family life. We are often asked to work with the appointed architect and liaise with the building contractor which we’re always happy to do.

As in most other areas of our lives, technology now plays a major role. Developments in computer aided design now help deliver colour rendered images, enabling us to view the proposed design from any angle and avoid making costly mistakes. Images can now include the chosen flooring, different work surfaces, the colour and finish of the walls and tiles, and we can draw on a comprehensive library of appliances and internal fittings to further illustrate the finished product. A new innovation shortly being introduced is the inclusion of a graphic import feature which will enable access to a vast and growing selection of online libraries from Google Sketch up. A recent example would be a roof lantern.

Technology doesn’t stop with the design process. New developments can now provide integrated audio systems with wireless connectivity, a great feature whereby you can use your iPod and iPhone to listen to your favourite music in the kitchen. Drop down TV screens can be hidden away under the wall units and tucked away when not in use.

Cabinets can now be fitted with a variety of sophisticated wirework systems which allow convenient and easy access to those difficult to reach corners, or just simply used to help organise the storage.

We’re constantly looking for new ways we can improve and enhance the design process so do let us have your ideas and suggestions.

The Kitchen Design Challenge

kitchen design Sussex

The Kitchen Design Challenge

If you’ve recently looked at buying a new car, you’re spoilt for choice. For any given budget, the range of options is endless, and keeping up with the technology available is quite a challenge.

The same can also be said about kitchen design. In the past, the work triangle was said to be revolutionary, simplifying the design approach by placing the fridge, sink and cooker within easy reach, and to some degree these elements still dictate the layout of many designs, but of course, the kitchen now has to fulfill so many other functions; a place for the computer, somewhere for that collection of cookery books and perhaps a television to keep up with the results from Wimbledon. We recently completed a kitchen which included two dishwashers and a second kitchen sink. A wine cooler was also an essential part of the plan together with a combination microwave, a product that has become increasingly popular.

One addition that has become very popular is the island. Access from all sides opens up a number of possibilities for additional storage, an overhang on one side can provide seating for a chat over a coffee, and the extra work surface is always welcome, especially when the children need help with homework. Careful consideration needs to be taken regarding the space between the main body of the kitchen and the island, but this can usually be addressed by paying attention to the width of the doors on the units where the main work is carried out. For smaller spaces or maximum flexibility, the island can be put on wheels which lock when in use, and can be moved out of the way when the guests arrive.

The ultimate solution to many design challenges is a bespoke product. Imagine what can be achieved if you can have any size, height or depth of cabinetry. Add in a mix of materials for work surfaces, the vast array of kitchen paint colours available, dozens of options for handles and you can achieve your dream, a kitchen that is totally you and reflects your personality and lifestyle.

Kitchen Design | An Eco Friendly Approach

eco friendly kitchens

An Eco Friendly Approach

Having recently completed a kitchen design project for a leading environmentalist, we were prompted to examine in more detail how we approach this aspect of our business.

As designers, we are responsible for a number of areas, and sustainability is often high on the list of priorities for a number of our clients.

Many people assume that sustainability is mainly about materials, but it’s also about the way we use our kitchens, the waste we create, the energy we use and the water we may waste.

Good research and the product knowledge gained from over 30 years in the industry can result in a number of significant savings and improvements and whilst we won’t save the planet over night, we can all help make a difference.

Domestic appliances are responsible on average for about half the energy consumption in a house, and the kitchen contributes a large percentage of that usage. Careful selection of appliances with a minimum energy rating of A+ or better still A++ will really make a difference to those energy bills. These ratings can also apply to water consumption, so don’t forget the dishwasher. Have a look at market leaders for some great and innovative products.

Recycling and waste in another challenging area. Waste disposal units are worth considering, particularly if you’re not able to compost and we can offer a range of waste management systems that can be integrated into the cabinetry with options to sort the rubbish as you go. The ultimate solution is almost certainly a compactor more information on this is available at

Returning to our approach, our cabinets are manufactured in Sussex and delivered to site with the minimum of packaging. Our suppliers are all aware of our environmental policies and we are always working on ways to improve the way we deliver our product and service in the light of the challenges we all face.

We are always happy to receive feedback or ideas, so get emailing.

Galley Kitchen Designs

fitted kitchen designAccepted by many as the easiest to work in, the galley kitchen design can often be one of the most difficult to design and can easily become a boring corridor.

The room can often be narrow, and with two people working in the kitchen, the traffic can become a problem.

One of my favourite solutions is to break-front the cabinets using angled units or simply drop the depth of one section back to a run of shallow cabinets. Reduced depth cabinets can be very useful and save you having to rummage around for those small items that always get lost at the back.

Try to avoid too many tall units as they will certainly make the room feel smaller and overbearing.

You can enhance the visual effect by introducing different surface materials or for something different, try insetting timber drawer fronts into a painted frame.

Open wall units or just shelving will also help reduce the tunnel effect, and again, they don’t have to be the industry standard depth.

Bespoke solutions for awkward spaces.

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