The kitchen is considered the ‘heart of the home’. That’s because it’s the center of so many activities. Preparing meals, breaking bread, helping the kids with the homework, holidays, craft projects, socializing, meaningful conversations; you and your loved ones spend so much time in your kitchen.
Since it’s such an integral part of your home, not only should your kitchen be functional, but it should also be visually appealing.
If your current kitchen is outdated, tired, or it doesn’t meet the needs of your family, you might be thinking about renovating the space.
In order to ensure that your new kitchen is both functional and aesthetically pleasing, here’s a look at some valuable tips that will help you plan an successful kitchen design.
Put Function First
- 1 Put Function First
- 2 Maximize Storage Space
- 3 Create a Multifunctional Design
- 4 Incorporate Plenty of Counter Space
- 5 Lighten Things Up
- 6 Don’t Forget a Backsplash
- 7 Ventilation is Key
- 8 Avoid Super-Trendy Designs and Features
- 9 Give the Sink Some Thought
- 10 Work with a Design Professional
- 11 Final Thoughts
According to interior design professionals, when redesigning your kitchen, function should be your first objective.
No matter the shape of your kitchen – U- or L-shaped, or a galley, for example – to ensure the space is as functional as possible, plan a triangular layout for the work area for the most commonly used features: the fridge, sink, and stove.
Laying these appliances out so that they create a triangular formation will ensure a smooth transition from each one. Make sure that there aren’t any obstructions in the path of the triangle.
No matter the layout of your kitchen, there should be no less than 10 feet and no more than 25 feet within the triangle.
If there isn’t enough space in the triangle, you and your loved ones will end up pumping into each other (so be prepared to do the prepping, cooking, and cleaning solo). On the other hand, if there’s too much space in the work triangle, preparing and cleaning up will become cumbersome tasks.
Maximize Storage Space
Countertop appliances, utensils, pots, pans, dishes; kitchens hold a lot of equipment. To avoid clutter while also ensuring access to all these items is as easy as possible, you need to maximize your storage space.
Even if your kitchen is on the small side, there are plenty of ways that you can make the most of storage.
For instance, consider installing upper cabinets that reach up to the ceiling, including cabinets above the fridge (which would make an ideal spot to store seasonal items that you aren’t used frequently).
Deep drawers can hold more stuff and will make accessing pots, pans, strainers, cutting boards, etc. an easy task. Don’t forget to include enough storage space to hold countertop appliances, such as blenders and mixers out of the way when they aren’t in use.
Create a Multifunctional Design
As mentioned, the kitchen is the heart of the modern-day home. They aren’t reserved just for cooking; they’re the center of social gatherings and important moments with your loved ones.
As such, move away from the utilitarian design and plan for versatility; in other words, make your kitchen a place that will obviously allow you to prep, cook, and clean with ease, but that also serves as a welcoming space to gather, entertain, relax, and unwind.
A key feature that will allow you to easily achieve a multifunctional design for your kitchen is an island that provides seating. It serves as a space to prepare food, as well as a spot where your family and friends can enjoy conversations while munching, have casual meals, or help your kiddos with their homework.
You’ll be able to slice, dice, boil, and sauté while entertaining your family and friends without feeling like your excluded, which will make cooking and interacting a lot more enjoyable. Plus, you’ll be able to turn cooking and cleaning into a group activity.
Incorporate Plenty of Counter Space
One of the most common complaints homeowners have about their kitchens is counter space. There isn’t enough of it. In order to effectively prepare meals and snacks, ample counter space is an absolute must.
An island will not only make your kitchen more multi-functional, but it will also provide much-needed counter space that you need. In addition to an island, incorporate as much countertop space along the walls as you possibly can.
While we’re on the topic of counters, make sure that you choose a great material.
Some of the most popular countertop materials include granite, quartz, marble, concrete, porcelain tile, soapstone, and solid-surface materials, such as Corian and Avonite (man-made materials that are comprised of a blend of acrylic pieces and resins).
There is no right or wrong material for a countertop; it really depends on your specific needs, the look you are hoping to achieve, and your budget.
Lighten Things Up
With so much going on in a kitchen, it’s a space that demands proper lighting. Not only does it make all of those tasks easier to do, but it also improves safety.
With proper task lighting, you’ll be able to safely handle knives and the various other tools you use to prepare your meals. Plus, you’ll be able to show off the elements of your newly designed kitchen when it’s properly illuminated.
Kitchens should have thoughtfully placed task lighting, such as under cabinet lighting or strategically placed pot lamps in the ceiling.
You’ll also want to have great general lighting to illuminate the entire space, and accent lighting that can highlight the key features; pendant lamps over the island and a large fixture in the center of the kitchen, for example.
To determine how to place lighting fixtures, assess your work spaces and focus on installing each area with the lighting it needs.
Don’t Forget a Backsplash
When redesigning a kitchen, many homeowners skip the backsplash in an effort to save money, or simply because they don’t think it’s important, but that’s a big mistake.
While it’s true that nixing a backsplash can save you some money in the short term, in the end, not having one could actually cost you more.
Splashes, spills, water, grease, steam; all of these elements can do extensive damage to kitchen walls. It’s a lot harder to clean crease and pasta sauce off of tile or metal than it is to clean paint or wallpaper.
Not only will having a backsplash help to maintain the structural integrity of the space, but it will also keep your kitchen neat and tidy. Plus, a backsplash can really pull together the look of the entire space.
Ventilation is Key
Even the most beautifully designed and functional kitchens will become less appealing when they’re marred by the smell of grease, oil, and other pungent cooking odors. If you’ve ever walked into a home where a really garlicky meal was cooked the night before, you know why proper ventilation is vital for a kitchen.
Don’t make the mistake of using an inexpensive range hood for effective ventilation. All it will do is recirculate stale, dirty air and can actually make the problem worse.
Instead, invest in a good-quality system that vents outside of your home. It will improve the air quality in your kitchen (and your entire home) and get rid of those stinky odors.
Proper ventilation will also help to ensure the cleanliness of your kitchen and extend the life of your appliances, walls, and other structural elements.
Avoid Super-Trendy Designs and Features
While you want your kitchen to feature the most advanced appliances and fixtures, when it comes to the design, avoid going super trendy. While you may love the idea of a specific color scheme, if it’s too vibrant or trendy, it’s going to shorten the lifespan of your kitchen.
Plus, if you ever intend on selling your home, you won’t see as much of a return on your investment if the space is too trendy; in fact, you may actually not see any return on your investment and could even deter prospective buyers.
Instead, opt for a timeless design; something that will look just as visually appealing 20 years down the road as it does right now. If you want to add some trendy touches, do so by incorporating decorative elements that can be easily changed out.
Give the Sink Some Thought
Don’t overlook the importance of a great kitchen sink. You want it to be deep enough to accommodate large pots and pans and that won’t run out of space when you have just two dishes set inside of it.
The faucet is important, too; a pull-down, single-handled facets that have a long neck are a great choice for a kitchen sink. A hands-free faucet could also come in handy.
Work with a Design Professional
Even if you have a keen eye for design, working with a professional designer is highly recommended. A kitchen redesign is a big investment, so you’ll want to make sure you get the input of someone who is professionally trained and has years of experience in kitchen design to help you create a visually appealing and functional kitchen that you’ll love for years to come.
If you’re planning on redesigning your kitchen, keep the above-mentioned tips in mind and you’ll be able to create the kitchen of your dreams; a space that is aesthetically pleasing, comforting, durable, and that you and your loved ones will enjoy spending time in.