Kitchen Design 101

kitchen design ideasBehind every great chef is a well-designed kitchen.

The perfectly designed kitchen workspace can be a chefs greatest tool when preparing gourmet dishes for friends and family.

Whether a kitchen will be used by a seasoned cook or an adventurous novice, the design and layout of a kitchen should be well thought out in the design process.

Our kitchen design guide will help direct and inspire anyone looking to design their own dream kitchen from start to finish.

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Kitchen Design & Planning Goals

Photo: Witt Construction

There are a number of kitchen design goals that need to be considered from the start. From the basic items such as square footage and appliances, to cooking needs and gathering space.

Today the kitchen has become one of the primary gathering spaces in the home. How many times have you been at a cocktail party or family dinner and wondered why so many people were crammed into a small kitchen space?

The kitchen has a certain magnetism about it.

With this in mind the design of a kitchen will need to be built around additional activities. How will your kitchen be used?

Gourmet Kitchen Design

Photo: Oakley Home Builders

In the eyes of a foodie no two kitchens are created equal. There are certain characteristics that separate an ordinary kitchen from gourmet kitchen design.

Among the hundreds of design choices available, a few of the most important items found in a high-end kitchen are professional appliances, extra storage for specialty cooking items and special work zones for food preparation.

Other design considerations include easy-to-clean surfaces, task lighting and additional serving space. Of course, most kitchens have limited space and make it essential to prioritize these extra features.

Additional appliances found in a gourmet kitchen:

  • Large Refrigerator
  • Professional-Grade Range
  • Double Oven
  • Warming Drawer
  • Convection Microwave

Optimizing Kitchen Layout and Storage

Photo: Venegas and Company

On of the greatest challenges that Architects and homeowners face is making compromises during the kitchen design process. There are usually more appliances, features and requests than there is space in the kitchen. The exciting part of kitchen design is making all of elements come together in harmony.

When designing your own kitchen it’s important to set priorities from the very beginning. What must be included in the design? Which elements would be nice to have but are not essential?

While these are difficult questions they are important to answer before it’s time to start designing. This will save you both time and money.

Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets can make or break a home’s value. As many are eager to point out, kitchen remodeling projects can usually provide a healthy return on an investment. But as you will see there are many elements of kitchen cabinets to keep in mind.

Whether choosing custom built or stock cabinetry there are a number of design decisions to make. From the wood type, grain style and finish it all must come together smoothly. Not to mention the style and design of the cabinets must fit with the architectural style of the house.

Elements to consider when choosing kitchen cabinets:

  • Custom Built or Stock Cabinetry
  • Wood Type
  • Grain Style
  • Cabinet Finish
  • Door Overlay

Kitchen Islands

Today islands have become a staple in contemporary kitchens. They offer additional food serving space, storage and sitting areas. The advantages are numerous but not every kitchen can accommodate a massive kitchen island. Fortunately there are other alternatives available. From movable kitchen carts, to small work tables and even professional butcher block tables all serve as excellent island alternatives.

Styles of Kitchen islands and alternatives:

  • Fixed Kitchen Islands
  • Kitchen Carts
  • Work Tables
  • Butcher Blocks

Kitchen Storage Solutions

Photo: Marie Newton, Closets Redefined

There is never enough storage space in a kitchen. Even the largest kitchen in your neighborhood is still struggling to find more room for pots and pans. When designing your dream kitchen and trying to find room for your favorite features, keep in mind these kitchen storage secrets.

Kitchen storage features and ideas:

  • Fully Extended Drawers
  • Tall Cabinets
  • Corner Base Rotating Carousel
  • Under-Sink Storage Space
  • Wall Hangers and Accessories
  • Adjustable Cabinet Shelves

As you can see kitchen design can be a very long and tedious process. It can also be a blast!

More kitchen design advice coming soon:

  • Choosing Kitchen Materials
  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Special Design Features
  • Kitchen Remodel and Construction Costs
  • Hiring and Managing Contractors
If you want actionable home improvement advice, join thousands of others and get free email updates!

NeighborhoodEnvy delivers practical kitchen design tips and inspiring ideas to help you build equity, save money & spend smarter. Join other homeowners taking charge of their home value.

P.S. When you sign up we’ll send you a special bonus welcoming you to our community…