The choice of materials will obviously affect the look and style of the kitchen, but it also has a strong impact on whether it feels cramped or spacious.
In the kitchen featured on these pages, designer Irene James of James Trent Design had a fairly tight space to work with.
"A small area had been allocated for the kitchen, but we wanted it to look as spacious as possible, to suit the rest of this new home," she says. "And because the kitchen didn't get afternoon sun, we also needed to warm the room up."
James chose cabinetry with clean lines and concealed handles, and paired it with a neutral colour scheme of white lacquer, stainless steel, grey and American oak veneer for the cabinetry and appliances.
"We thought these Smeg appliances were absolutely stunning, so we designed the kitchen around them. The design enhances the clean lines of the kitchen, and the stainless steel works really well with the warm tones of the timber," says the designer.