The kitchen is the heart of any home. Not only meals are made there, but also memories, which makes it a place where you want to feel comfortable and inviting.
You should learn how to design a kitchen, as it may help you create the space you have always dreamed of.
Plan ahead and make a budget
Before you start shopping, you should make a budget because it’s essential to determine how much money you have to spend first. You should keep in mind that kitchen design may become very expensive, so it’s advisable to consider how much money you have before you determine what options are open to you, whether it’s new appliances or other big purchases.
Another thing you should take into consideration is who will carry out the design you’re after. You should decide whether to do the work yourself or to hire a contractor. You must make sure that you are able to make the things you design if you want to make these changes yourself.
Determine what kind of time constraints you have, since you may need to have this kitchen done in time for the family reunion or another important day. All of these factors will decide on how extensive your design will be and who will carry out the job.
Consider your design scheme
First, you should determine the overall style if you want it to fit seamlessly with the rest of your home interior not to make it look strange. It’s advisable to choose something you like and makes sense while being functional, too. You can get inspiration in modern, french country, cottage or farmhouse styles, depending on your preferences.
It’s recommended to determine the color palette before you start the work. The color theme should match the style you’ve chosen as well as the rest of your home interior, while keeping it with your personal tastes. The shades will determine sink, countert-op and cabinet color, and material, including the backsplash color.
Keep in mind to take your appliance material into consideration if you want these to match each other as much as possible, as well as the style of your kitchen. It’s advisable to pick something between brushed or shiny metal, white or plain white, but you can also choose other colored options.
Don’t forget to choose the type of flooring you will be using, because it will play a big part in determining what color theme and style you use. If your choices are limited to hardwood or tile, or any particular shade, you should take this into consideration.
Determine your needs
Start by deciding which large kitchen appliances you need, and if you are limited by electric or gas. Decide if you prefer a traditional cooktop or a more modern, induction type. When it comes to the refrigerator, it’s important to figure out what size would be best for you and the type of layout you desire. You ought to decide if you want your freezer at the top or bottom of your refrigerator and what other appliances meet your preferences and needs. Don’t forget to determine how you want to arrange these appliances, do you want to have a wall-mounted oven or you prefer to keep it on the stove or as a single unit.
Another thing you should consider is which small appliances you need, such as a juicer or a coffee making machine, because these can take a lot of valuable counter space so it’s advisable to determine what you really need before making any purchases. You should consider which appliances you use most and which you can store away or sell.
One of the most important things you should think of is how much counter space you need. Consider how you can minimize the number of items and kitchen appliances on your counter and how you can create some extra counter space. You may find it surprising that your kitchen is not that big! It’s advisable to choose pullout counters, which are very handy, as they are under your main countertop.
You should also determine how much storage space you need. Consider how much boxed or canned food you keep as well as empty jars you store to decide how many storage space is needed. You may want to create a pantry to store other things such as pans and pots, cookbooks and utensils, which is a great idea if it’s attached to your kitchen or another place nearby.
Use your kitchen space wisely
Start by placing your large appliances and sinks, keeping in mind that you may be limited by where you can place them. It’s important to take it into consideration and determine how much flexibility you have to get a placement you desire. Don’t forget that ovens and stoves may require gas or electric power, as well as refrigerators and sinks will need to be near the existing plumbing. You can also invest in moving your existing gas lines, electrical and plumbing, although it is often very expensive.
When it comes to placing the cabinets, it’s recommended to keep windows in mind while mounting upper ones and storage spaces in mind when placing your lower cabinets. It’s advisable to keep pots and pans next to your oven and stove, while cleaning supplies should go near a sink for a more productive kitchen organization.
Speaking of good organization, it’s important to consider usability and flow, as you place counters and appliances. It should be easy to get from one cooking area, even for more than one person to be cooking at a time. Try to create as much ample work space and ability to move around each other as possible. It’s recommended to have the sink near the stove in order to easily fill pots with water while cooking.
Don’t forget to find ways to save space, because no matter how big your kitchen is, you most likely still want more and more storage space. It’s important to plan ahead to find ways for saving as much space as possible. If you want to store your spices, you can use metal storage tins on the side of your fridge. Another great storage idea is to place corkboard on the inside of your cabinets to pin seasoning and other packets. You can also use vertical storage for cutlery, cutting boards and cookie sheets.
You can find a number of ways to draw out your design before you start the work, as well as figuring out the best way to use the space you have. In order to determine the best layout and get a good feel for how everything will work together, you can use design software or simply paper and pencil. Many software programs are available for free online, but you should make sure you download from a reputable source. If you prefer drawing the layout on graph paper, you should prepare one sheet with the layout of your room and draw all the pieces onto another sheet. Then cut them out and try to rearrange them until you find a layout you like most.
7 most common kitchen layouts
- One-wall kitchen – This one is perfect for the small home, as it works by keeping all appliances, cooking tools and ingredients within easy reach. You can even hide it behind pocket or slide doors in order to minimize visual clutter in a small, open space, like the studio apartment. It’s advisable to place the sink between the range and refrigerator, which is a convenient location for cleanup. Plus, it offers counter space on both sides of the range. Although if there are two cooks using the space, the food preparation may become a challenge, so it’s best to choose compact appliances such as a 24-inch range or 24-inch refrigerator. Also, it will add some counter space and provide more room for cabinet storage. Another great idea is to use the dining table or a moveable island to create some additional workspace. Consider creating a one-wall kitchen with a built-in cabinetry island across from it, which is a great solution not only for small home but for a one with an open floor plan, too. It’s a great idea for loft-style condos or narrow houses, as adding the island brings efficiency without closing off the kitchen.
- Galley kitchen – this is probably one of the most efficient kitchen layouts when it comes to the primary and original use: cooking. It’s a great solution if you have a small, cramped space to feed many people. Keep in mind, though, that this layout have no dining space and it limits interaction with your family and guests. If you create a galley kitchen that will be open on both sides, it will bring in more light and create feeling of connection to the rest of your home. In order to prevent your kitchen from feeling closed in, consider incorporating a decorative range hood and glass-front upper cabinets. You can also locate the sink and cooktop on the same wall, which will keep the messiest part of the kitchen close to the cleanup area. Another idea is to turn one of the walls of cabinetry and appliances into an island to create a more friendly update in your galley kitchen.
- U-shaped kitchen – This is an efficient kitchen design for one primary cook and it’s basically a wide galley kitchen with one end closed off, which keeps it open to other rooms of the home and allows traffic to pass. Keep in mind, though, that this style does not allow to have table and chairs. Plus, it may be impossible to fit the dishwasher next to the sink, depending on where it is located. In order to create more cookware and food storage near the range top and oven, move the refrigerator out of the main U shape. When adding a kitchen island, consider the space, as most U-shaped kitchen doesn’t have enough room for one
- U-shaped kitchen with island – if your kitchen is big enough, adding an island to it will increase its functionality as well as interactivity. You will be able to prepare the meal while facing out of the kitchen and keep the conversation with your guests going, whether the island is used for seating, work surface, the cooktop or the sink. Plus, if you have an island, it will be much easier for a second cook to help with cleanup and meal preparation. If you have a wall opposite the main area of your kitchen, consider using it for pantry storage, a bar, or a built-in desk.
- G-shaped kitchen – If you’re looking for a way to maximize your space, consider G-shaped layout. It’s perfect if you want to have plenty of storage space but doesn’t have enough room to create an island. A fourth leg which is attached to one side of the U should be about 4 feet long. Keep in mind not to make it too short if you want to provide enough room for your guests to seat. You can also place here some of your kitchen appliances such as breakfast bar or the cooktop. Plus, this layout makes the kitchen workable for multiple cooks.
- L-shaped kitchen – This is one of the most popular layouts. The L-shaped kitchen is great for people who like to entertain, as it provides the ability to incorporate multiple cooks and invite guests into the cooking area. Also, it’s perfect for long family conversation during dinner or breakfast. Keep in mind, though, that if you don’t have an island, you will still be facing away from the activities while meal preparation. If you want to turn your room into an eat-in-kitchen, you should incorporate chairs and table, which will also make everyone face each other throughout the meal. Plus, the tabletop can be used as a work surface, too.
- L-shaped kitchen with an island – If you need maximum flexibility in cooking, this layout is the way to go. This set-up provides enough space for entertaining your guests and hanging out. Keep in mind to create enough space between all kitchen zones to avoid collisions and catastrophes. Consider creating a clean-up station with the sink and the dishwasher. On the other side, you should make a cooking zone with a wall oven. If you want to have a space for casual dining, you should incorporate the kitchen island as it also provides the extra surface for meal preparation. Another idea is to place the cooktop on the island, especially if you don’t like to have your back toward someone while cooking.
Deciding on a layout and design for a kitchen is probably one of the most important parts of the kitchen planning. These determine how easy it is to cook, eat and spend time with your family and guest in your kitchen, so you should take some time to decide how you want your space to look like.