Are you considering redesigning your kitchen but don’t know where to start? This article is for you. I’ll walk you through the basics of kitchen design, from layout to materials, so that you can create a space that’s perfect for your needs. By the end of this post, you’ll have all the information you need to begin designing your dream kitchen. So read on and get inspired!
The kitchen is the heart of a home. You use your kitchen for a range of essential daily chores, in addition to entertaining guests and hosting family dinners. So, it makes sense to make it functional and attractive. I understand that not everyone is a professional designer, but there is always an aesthetic that reflects a person’s style and personality.
Whether you are starting from scratch or you need some kitchen renovation ideas, I’ve compiled some helpful tips for planning and designing your dream cooking space. Knowing how to design a kitchen is not only helpful for you, but will aid in communicating with professionals, should you choose to hire them.
In this guide, you’ll find information on everything from determining your dream kitchen aesthetic to picking the perfect cabinetry, kitchen flooring, and so much more.
How to Design A Kitchen: The Basic Elements
The way you use your kitchen has an impact on the final design. Here are some of the things that you need to do first before bringing your dream kitchen to life.
Set up a budget for your design.
At the onset of the makeover, you should have a definite knowledge of how much you will spend on your kitchen. It’s important to set a realistic budget based on the design you want. You must figure out how much you can afford for the construction and renovation, design, appliances, flooring, wall space, lighting and fixtures and furnishings.
You should also factor in the cost of any finishing touches for styling and accents you want to add to your kitchen.
Create a floor plan.
You need to consider the floor space you will be working with, and drawing a floor plan is a good way to do it. Make scale illustrations of your kitchen’s floor plan with the help of an architect. But if you’re confident with your skill, you can do it yourself with graph paper.
Begin by marking up the precise location of internal and external doors and windows. This is to provide a good interaction across your kitchen, the outdoors, as well as the entire house.
Knowing how much or little room you have will provide you a clearer concept of the cost before you start the actual design process. Making sure you’re on board with all the expenses by the plan you choose. It can also avoid unnecessary cost planning stages if your ideas don’t go with your budget.
Consider the materials.
Investing in the best quality material means getting the most out of your kitchen. This still depends on your budget. But keep in mind that the more you invest in your home, the more valuable it becomes.
For traditional kitchens, you can use either hardwood or plywood. Hardwood is the most durable and long-lasting material for cabinetry. Plywood is also a fantastic option, and it’s generally less expensive than solid hardwood.
But if you desire a stylish, modern kitchen, you may opt for fiberboard cabinets, which are often economical and last long. They also provide a completely smooth finish for that trendy, minimalist aesthetic.
It is common for wood veneer cabinets and cabinet doors to scratch and chip over time. This can happen to particleboard, too. Yet, both materials are cost-effective, so if you’re looking to reduce your costs down, they could be a good choice.
Measure your kitchen’s floor space.
A nice layout and sufficient space are crucial when planning a kitchen. But making sure everything fits will depend on precise measurement. Experts warn against going overboard with freestanding pieces when planning your kitchen. Especially if you have a big family. This could take up space in your kitchen.
To make sure that your island can fit nicely in your space, you have to take the exact measurement of your floor. If you place it in the center, there must be ample freedom to move around your kitchen. You may have adequate storage space for kitchen necessities under the island’s surface, including compact fridges and drawers.
Consider electrical outlets.
A coffee maker, oven, food processor, and other appliances require lots of power outlets. You may have a licensed electrician install extra ports along with the backsplash and on your island. This way, you’ll have power wherever you’re working in your kitchen. Equipping drawers with plugs and USB ports for a concealed charging station will also be a good idea.
Make the Most Out of Your Kitchen Space
Organizing, making things more accessible, and making things more convenient is what I mean. If you follow the ways to make the most out of your kitchen, it can increase your productivity. Listed below are a few things you can do.
Keep things within reach.
Keep in mind the way and place you normally use things in the kitchen while organizing it. You may want to keep breakfast items and dishes on hand, near your dining table. When it comes to packing leftovers, place wrappers and containers in a convenient location near a working surface. And when you unload your dishwasher, keep dishes and flatware close by.
In your pantry as well as other storage spaces, keep commonly used items and snacks accessible. When arranging goods, remember the wants of your family. So, if you have little children, always keep their favorite foods and snacks on shelves where they can access them.
Leave enough space for walkways.
Incorporate enough space between your kitchen cabinets as well as the island in your kitchen’s floor layout. This way, you can simply navigate around the space. You also have to keep kitchen pathways at least 36 inches wide as per general rule.
When there is only one cook in the kitchen, your aisles need to be 42 inches wide, and 48 inches wide when there are two cooks. Islands and peninsulas should be sized appropriately when creating a kitchen layout.
Plan spaces for your appliances.
When planning where you should place your kitchen appliances, always look at the corners. Consider the clearance and swing direction of cabinet and fridge doors. When opening multiple doors at once, you must keep appliances far from corners. Also, ensure they don’t bump into one another.
You may place it 15 inches just above the countertop. This is an ideal microwave height for adults. If you want your kitchen to be child-friendly, a below-countertop installation may be preferable.
Consider a landing spot near your appliances.
While you’re cooking or preparing food, you can put items in the landing space that surrounds appliances. Provide 15 inches of extra space on either side of a stove and your fridge. Your microwave and other compact appliances, like a coffee maker or toaster, require landing space.
Consider your island’s function.
Before deciding on a concept, consider how you’ll use your island. Do you like cooking and dining on the island? Then you need to make sure there is adequate distance between the stove and the dining area. To make it more practical, you can also install a sink or a dishwasher on the island.
Keep things in order.
The area directly surrounding the stove is a good place to keep essential utensils. To store cooking oils, tools, and spices readily available, add a shelf next to the stove. You can hang cookware that you always use to the range hood using S-hooks.
Make recycling easy.
Plan garbage and recycling areas to make sorting an easier task. You can install individual glass, plastic, and metal containers in your kitchen cabinets to prevent spills. Also, you can use an extra drawer to reuse old newspapers.
Consider a pot-filler.
When storing knives, magnetize them to the backsplash. Mount it over the area of your counter where you usually prepare food. In addition to making it easier to choose the proper knife for the job, it prevents dangerous stuff out of small children’s hands.
Cut down cleaning time.
You can make cleaning a breeze by thoughtful design considerations. Matte surfaces are less likely to reveal dirt than glossy ones. Glass fridge shelving, for instance, collects drips that wire racks don’t. In the case of sinks that are flush-set or under-mount, they don’t have a rim that can collect crumbs.
These are small details that many don’t always pay attention to. But they make a big difference in reducing cleaning time.
Which type of layout?
You may obtain a clearer image by exploring relevant factors while evaluating alternative kitchen design and layout concepts. Ideally, you need to plan the layout that complements your lifestyle. Or how you use your kitchen every day. Here are the common layouts you can use.
With a single wall of cabinetry, this plan is usually observed in studios and lofts since it is the most space-efficient option. It has wall-mounted cabinets and appliances. Additionally, the kitchen island is a common feature in modern kitchens. The result is an open kitchen with a central walkway.
It’s a sensible layout for small to medium-sized kitchens since L-shape maximizes corner space. An L-shaped kitchen has counters on two adjacent walls that are perpendicular to one other. Creating a 90 degree-L-shape. It’s up to you how long your legs of the L are. But having them around 12 to 15 feet will help you maximize your workspace.
Since it is practically impossible for your kitchen to be a highway, an L-shaped arrangement eliminates traffic. With this plan, you also have the option of adding an eating area and several workstations, if you like. But if your kitchen is spacious and can accommodate different arrangements like a kitchen island, or if you tend to cook with other people at the same time, this may not be a layout for you.
Kitchens with a horseshoe or U-shape layout feature three walls of cabinets. A kitchen island has replaced the third wall in a horseshoe kitchen, which used to have three walls. This layout works effectively since it facilitates traffic movement and workflow. Inviting more cooking staff in the space.
In addition to providing more workspace, a functioning kitchen island might contain appliances and drawers for storing. With bar stools, it may be used for cooking and eating. You can transform a one-wall kitchen into a galley. Just as you can turn an L-shaped kitchen into a horseshoe.
However, the most common misconception regarding kitchen islands is everybody should have one. As a matter of fact, most kitchens lack the space to accommodate an island.
Essentially a connected island, a peninsula kitchen turns an L-shape into a horseshoe. Or, a horseshoe kitchen into a G-shaped layout. Peninsulas and islands are designed for the same purpose. but they provide more space that lacks the space for a real island.
Single-cook kitchens and smaller cooking spaces will benefit from this design. There are two opposing walls in a galley kitchen or two parallel counters with a walkway in between. In addition, there will be no cumbersome corner cabinetry to arrange that might add up to your budget. Galleys maximize every single inch of space in smaller kitchens.
Kitchen Storage and Cabinetry
When designing a kitchen, the most exciting aspect is coming up with cabinet designs. You should think about the aesthetic and feel of your kitchen, especially for your guests. Remember to consider how it could fit into your home’s entire design. And not simply the kitchen or dining spaces — particularly if it’s an open-plan space.ink about your cabinetry’s proportion scale, and symmetry
If you’re looking for a classic kitchen design, consider cabinetry details. For their ageless charm and the ease with which they may be repainted periodically to give a new appearance and feel, painted kitchens are ideal.
As for modern kitchens, brainstorming ideas might be a challenge. Be honest with yourself when it comes to a modern flush kitchen. There is definitely one item you don’t want to alter. And that is the cabinets. But there’s always the option to repaint the walls for a refreshed look. You can also replace your backsplash.
Think about your cabinetry’s proportion scale, and symmetry
There should always be a careful balance between practicality and aesthetics. For a more practical space, you must consider your cabinet size. You should also pay attention to dimensions. And strive to develop a feeling of symmetry by setting essential components in the center.
Additionally, you must know your space dimensions and height to calculate the parameters. To establish a sense of proportion, experts generally start by drawing out a standard kitchen in 600mm-wide sections.
Another thing I’ve learned from seasoned designers is that it’s always preferable to bring taller appliances up to the ceiling. You can also bring them just below it if your ceiling has coving. If you have a higher ceiling, it’s best to cover the gap with extra cabinetry. You can use it to store stuff that you don’t always use.
Say no cabinetry blocks.
Your kitchen walls might look heavy and boring when they are entirely obscured in cabinets. To avoid this, you may add attractive elements. You can put glass doors and display shelves to break up lengthy blocks. As an alternative, you may also consider putting wine storage or windows in between each cabinet section.
What kind of kitchen storage do you need?
Good storage ideas and proper planning are important in making sure you have a kitchen that’s both functional and peaceful. One of the keys to getting the most out of your space is to consider the number and kind of storage you will need from.
This way, when you’re cooking, you can find what you need fast and easily. I like having a well-organized space because it makes me feel more relaxed and calm.
If you think of your kitchen as a series of zones, each with a unique purpose, you can design storage for every section and create an effortless movement across the space. You can add a dresser in between the kitchen and dining spaces. For instance, to provide fine china and cutlery storage at your dining table. As well as a dishwasher nearby.
Also, in a drawer with a 1290mm width, you can keep all your cooking utensils in one convenient location. This will be much simpler than digging through the back of a cabinet to find a hefty roasting pan.
Add a pantry.
For keeping dry and canned products, a pantry or cupboard is essential. You may leverage the shelves in your pantry to organize your dried beans, nuts, and seeds in recycled glass jars. You may easily create simple, tidy labels for each vessel. Just to make adding in ingredients easy.
Add a breakfast cupboard.
I also recommend having a breakfast cupboard or coffee bar to keep all the necessary items in one location, such as mugs and cookies. You may also add bi-fold doors for quick access. A fridge drawer may also be a great addition to keep dairy in the area just below the cabinet.
Tidy things up.
To avoid visible cables on the surface, you may consider a drawer with built-in outlets for charging gadgets. As well as a designated place for bins that need to be tucked away out of sight.
When it comes to a great kitchen design, there’s always a balance between functionality and beauty. In my mind, a 250mm-deep wall shelf could be a wonderful and practical way of stacking up some cookbooks in colors picked to match the curtains. Then, you can add a few decorative accents.
Flooring and wallings
In a hectic cooking space, whatever you place on the walls of your kitchen is crucial. In addition, it’s a good idea to put tiles around the area where you get the busiest. When it comes to flooring, it has to be durable to withstand spills and high humidity.
If you opt for tiles, you can choose from porcelain, ceramic, or natural stone. Consider both the care required and the expenditures.
It is not advisable to use solid wood in any kitchen due to humidity. But I would suggest you get engineered wood as an alternative. It’s intended to withstand the environment. Plus, it looks like genuine wood with a rustic look.
Laminate flooring is a great alternative for those who enjoy the look and feel of wood or tile but don’t want to spend a lot of money on it. A good rule of thumb is to purchase the highest quality laminate you can afford. If you opt for a cheaper kind, it might seem a bit glossy. Which I won’t recommend since you tend to spill water and oil on the floor while cooking.
In addition to being a cost-effective choice, vinyl is known for its resilience, resistance to abrasion, and ease of cleaning. Rubber is another option if you’re looking for a flexible and modern floor covering. Because of its durability, hygienic properties, and convenience, it’s becoming a more popular alternative among many households.
Another good option is concrete. Flooring made from resin or concrete is attractive and gives your kitchen a modern twist. Making it a popular choice for modern houses. Concrete and resin are robust and impervious to spills, grime, and discoloration, Which makes them a useful solution for kitchen and bathroom floors.
Consider the kitchen color scheme.
From appliances and flooring to window coverings and cabinetry, there are so many color options to choose from. The key is to decide how much of a long investment you’re going to take before you begin your project. If you want an affordable and easy solution, consider painting a wall that you can readily change in the future.
Glass-fronted cabinets may have its inside painted one color. You can also paint the door frames a different color, and alter the knobs to your liking. Also, a vintage china cabinet or sideboard can give your kitchen more character. This will also keep the fitted cabinets from seeming too identical.
Light colors are the best for small kitchens.
Dark color choices may make a tiny area seem smaller and less welcoming by shrinking it. You visually broaden a tiny kitchen with soft tones on your cabinets.
Add attention-grabbing elements.
The main piece of your kitchen design should be something that catches the eye or makes a great impression. Attention-grabbing elements might include a colorful backsplash. As well as a beautifully tiled floor or a large range hood.
You can turn your kitchen into a calm and soothing place with vibrant, warm, and striking wall colors. Alternately, adding subtle flashes of brighter colors to a neutral kitchen may also offer depth and charm.
You can also add colorful cabinetry and a decorative countertop. Choose a central focus and add a few subtle yet striking elements around it.
Consider your countertops.
For countertops, a minimum of 600mm on either side of the sink and cooktop will be ideal. For hot meals, a space near the oven is vital.
It’s important to choose a countertop material that has a strong aesthetic effect when picking a surface that blends elegance and usability. This means understanding each material’s unique qualities to find the ideal option that suits your lifestyle.
Always choose what resonates with you. But you cannot take the importance of balance in your design for granted. Certain countertop materials with marble effects and a lot of speckles may be too much. So it’s best to stay away from that many loud features.
If you pick, say, a Verde Green granite for your island, you may also want to balance it with a more subdued option for the other counters. When it comes to kitchen countertop designs, the material you choose is crucial. You can pick from the selection of materials from the following:
This material is composed of quartz combined with pigments and polymers. It’s more resilient than most other types of natural stone. And it’s immune to staining and abrasion. Quartz countertops are also heat resistant and are easy to clean and upkeep.
Another great advantage of quartz is that it can seem to look like marble. Although I don’t suggest using real marble for countertops since they are porous and prone to staining. When it comes to aesthetics, quartz is a great choice for big kitchens that require a homogenous surface. In addition, a few of the newest models are crafted using a substantial percentage of recycled material.
Being a natural material, every granite block is unique. Which makes it the perfect choice if you’re looking for a distinctive style with a timeless aesthetic. Additionally, it is long-lasting. And it requires little care after sealant.
This ceramic material has been fired at extreme temperatures to form a non-porous surface. It’s highly resistant to heat and staining. This also makes it another great choice. Book-matched and vein-matched appearances are also offered for added impact. As are thinner forms starting at 12mm compared to quartz’s 20 to 30mm thickness.
The countertops in many kitchens are made from a variety of materials like wood. And being a natural material, it requires maintenance. But its warmth, variety of wood species, and an array of finishes make it a perennial favorite.
A solid surface, such as Corian, is built with acrylic resin and minerals. Because it’s so flexible, it can be reshaped into naturally curving forms. All while still maintaining its flawless finish.
Don’t forget about the lighting scheme.
You must incorporate a lighting scheme into your kitchen design as early in the process. For you to manage sharp kitchen knives and hot dishes, there should be sufficient ambient light. You can use wall lightings coupled with ceiling spotlights.
Cooking and sink areas should be well-lit. With under-unit lighting and ceiling spotlights that point in different directions. You can pick accent lighting from pendants for your islands or your dining table, to LEDs underneath units. Which gives them a floating appearance.
Think of illuminating the interiors of cabinets to display exquisite dinnerware housed on glass shelves, as well. Also, break up circuits for each lighting. And make sure to plan this in advance.
What about kitchen windows?
Each of the window shades in your kitchen must be water-resistant and easy to clean. There are so many options you can explore to make the best choice that matches your decor.
When it comes to a kitchen expansion, shutters suits both windows and French doors to give the room an overall uniform aspect. Kitchen blinds are functional and come in a variety of styles. Window films offer seclusion and don’t occupy much room on the sill.
I personally like tall or wide windows, especially if the outdoors has a nice view to offer. Welcoming natural light gives your kitchen an airy feel. And if you add some indoor plants near the windows, it will benefit a lot from the sunlight.
As a nature lover, I’ll always find it so soothing to have a touch of greens around the kitchen and the house. It makes preparing meals a little less stressful.
I cannot stress enough the importance of a smart kitchen design – thinking through all the details beforehand will result in the best space for you and your family for years to come. Learning how to design a kitchen, or at least understanding the basics of planning your kitchen, will help you achieve the result that you want.
Now you have the building blocks to conceptualize everything yourself. The next step in the design journey would be to consult an interior designer or architect to get more professional input on how to best execute your vision.
I hope you find this guide helpful in learning how to design a kitchen. Don’t stress out about getting it perfect – there’s no such thing. What’s more important is you pick from the designs that you’re most comfortable with and highlight your personal style. Good luck with your planning process!