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Bee Osborn’s top design tips for your kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home and its design needs time and thought. Our interiors expert, Bee Osborn shares years of design experience to help you create your ultimate kitchen.


Inspiration – Start with gathering ideas for inspiration to begin the exciting process.

Budget – Work out ideally what you would like to spend.

Layout – Then the key element is to work on the layout. Even at the outset plan where everything will go, as this will really help later on. Ensure enough landing space is allowed for near appliances etc. Hide as many unsightly things as you can. Allow pull out drawers for less used appliances. Consider the heights of microwaves and ovens for ease. Remember if you have youngsters, to allow for low seating too.

Triangle – Essentially you should space the cooker, fridge and sink in a triangle for easy access.

Wide Walkways – Make sure you have enough space between the island and floor units, to allow opening of a dishwasher and oven at the same time. We allow a minimum of 90cm here.

Corners – I always avoid corners where possible to stop cupboard doors clashing and awkward spaces to reachinto.

Open Shelves versus Wall Units – such a personal choice, and I wouldn’t pick open shelves if you are not naturally a tidy person! We recently designed some open shelves made from a raw wood but made the tops of the shelves smooth for easy cleaning.

Worktops – There are so many different options for worktops; marble, granite, quartz, Corian, concrete, zinc, wood and laminate. We tend to use a quartz, as it looks good, has the flexibility of many colours and patterns but is also hardwearing. Don’t forget to add a splash back. Either in the same material or we often used mirrored ones as they are easy to clean and add the feeling of space.

Bins – We tend to do cut outs in the worktops, directly over the compost bin for ease of putting all the vegetables cuttings in. Don’t forget to allow lots of bin space for recycling too.

Lighting – It is essential to consider lighting carefully. Task lighting, but also pockets of lighting under islands and pendants to create atmosphere at night. Make sure these are dimmable for added flexibility.

Electrics – Remember to allow for ventilation and electrical outlets. We use USB sockets to help with the amount of things that need charging in a kitchen. Don’t forget about ventilation, as this is always essential.

Flooring – There are so many options here, from wood (don’t use solid wood in a kitchen due to the moisture, so engineered wood is preferable), to resin/concrete, both of which look and feel lovely. Laminate & vinyl are more budget friendly options. Ceramic and stone very durable but more pricey.

Finishes – One thing to remember is that matte finishes mark less and show up less dirt than shiny finishes.

Refresh – A final point is that if you can’t afford a new kitchen, by changing the doors and handles gives the kitchen an immediate refresh, or even going a step further and changing the worktop too, works wonders.


Bee brings a personal approach to each client and over the past two decades has designed a vast array of residential and commercial properties, both in the UK and overseas.  Inchbald trained, Bee and her professional team provide expertise, attention to detail and exceptional creativity to every project they undertake, whether it is a home or a boutique hotel.

Bee draws inspiration from classical design and proportion, but always likes to infuse her work with a modern, up-to-date energy. Together, with her talented team, they produce balanced harmonious interiors that are both practical and visionary.

Studio Osborn 10 Middle Row, Chipping Norton, OX7 5NH.  www.studio-osborn.com

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