In my experience many people find it tricky knowing where to start with their new kitchen. You could say the same for any room in your home, but kitchens are highly functional spaces so there’s not only more room for error, but making a mistake can be a source of never ending frustration: Why didn’t I make the island bigger? I should have had a double oven; I wish I’d had pull out drawers in my pantry. However, if you ask yourself the relevant questions in the first place you will avoid making mistakes, both big and small. These 36 questions will help you create your dream kitchen.

Your ultimate kitchen

  • What do you like or dislike about your current kitchen and what would you retain or change? making process; spend time gathering your research and remember ‘form follows function.’
  • What would you most like that you haven’t got?
  • Do you feel strongly about ‘buying Australian’ or sourcing products that are environmentally responsible?
  • What look/s do you like: Minimalist; Traditional; Country; Painted; Industrial or Classic?
  • What kinds of flooring do you like?

Your household

  • How many people will be in the kitchen at various times?
  • How big are they now and how big will they become while living in this house?
  • What will people do in the kitchen?
  • How many people will actually work in the kitchen?

Serving, eating and cleaning up

  • What eating facilities do you need and where?
  • Do you, or would you like to eat in the kitchen and when?
  • Do you have, or want, an adjacent family dining area? 
  • Who clears up, loads the dishwasher and puts everything away? Does the dishwasher ever get left open?


  • What kinds of foods do you store? (Frozen, fresh, lots of tins etc.) 
  • What size fridge and pantry do you think you need?
  • How much crockery do you need to store, including everyday and occasional sets?
  • Are you storing anything you haven’t used for years? Could you cull what’s in your kitchen?
  • Do you have any particular storage requirements?
  • What are your garbage and recycling needs?

Other activities, flow and furniture

  • Is the kitchen part of a living/family room?
  • What furniture has to be allowed for before built-in cabinetry gets nailed to the floor? For example, dining table and chairs, sofas, coffee table, TV unit etc.
  • Does the configuration allow for good ‘traffic’ flow – in, out, through and around?
  • What other activities apart from the obvious ones take place in the kitchen? For example: Homework, family admin, watching TV.
  • Do you need a computer area or space for things such as filing or a notice board?
  • What do you need or want to see from the kitchen, both internal and external? Consider everything from facing your guests when you’re cooking and entertaining and watching the children in the pool from the sink.
  • How will you integrate a sound system in this area?

Plumbing and power

  • What sort of power do you have or could you have?
  •  How many power points do you need for small appliances and where do you want your task lighting?
  • Can you move plumbing and wiring easily? Are you on a cement slab?
  • What heating and air conditioning requirements do you have?

Kitchen designer, Sydney