Kitchen Design Guide

How to Design Your Dream Kitchen

A kitchen is said to be the heart of any home. Even if cooking is not your forte, a kitchen is a place to entertain and enjoy time spent with your family. This means your kitchen should be a spectacular space for everyone to enjoy. Designing a brand new kitchen or remodeling an old one can be a stressful process. In order for the finished product to fit your needs, it’s crucial to plan and prepare ahead of time. Here, we’ve determined three simple steps that will lead you to the kitchen of your dreams.

By Laura Beth Edwards


STEP ONE: Time to Plan

Planning and preparation is the most important part of this process. Try making a list of things you like and dislike about your current kitchen.  Then, in order to visualize exactly what you want, try asking yourself some questions to determine how you intend to use the space:

What works in your current kitchen and what doesn’t?  

Do you want a dining area, an island with stools, or a high top table?  

Will you be entertaining often?  

Do you like to cook?  

Asking yourself these questions will help you establish exactly what you want in your kitchen layout. Now start thinking about storage and what you need the most amount of space for. Do you have a lot of dishes, pots, pans, and skillets?  Do you need additional pantry space for certain foods?

“The art of good design, when it comes to kitchens, is really a matter more of space planning than decorating. A good layout starts with the components that are a ‘given’.  For instance, the cooking triangle (sink, refrigerator, cooking surface) should be centrally located. Then the items that are flexible can be placed, such as storage features and decorative pieces.” Juliet Braly, Norcia Fine Cabinetry 


 STEP TWO: Design Kitchen Layout 

One of the main things to consider when designing your kitchen layout is the work area.  In every home there are three components that make up the kitchen work space. The refrigerator – that holds most of the food, the sink – where the food is washed, and the stove/oven – where the food is cooked. When considering a floor plan, it is crucial to see how the three areas fit into your kitchen layout.

L Shaped Kitchen

A natural work space is created from continuous counter space and work stations on two adjacent walls. The L shape with an island has become a popular and contemporary design. This layout is perfect for one cook or multiple cooks, because there is ample counter space for all.


U Shaped Kitchen

This layout is the most versatile because it offers continuous countertops and ample storage that surround the cook on three sides.

“One of the best inventions of the last 10 years is the microwave drawer. By placing it just under the counter, it is conveniently within easy reach for both short and tall cooks. It also frees up wall space, where many people have placed the microwave in the past.” Haskell Matheny, ASID, CAPS, Haskell Interiors


G Shaped Kitchen

This layout is very similar to the U Shaped Kitchen, with the same amount of counter space and storage options that surround the cook on three sides. The difference is that this floor plan includes a peninsula or partial fourth wall of additional cabinets.


“My favorite kitchen designs are when the architectural plans allow me to have windows on more than one elevation. Typically you will have a window over the sink which brings the outdoors and nature into the kitchen. I love it when I also have the ability to locate several windows on the cooking wall which allows the light and the outdoors to surround the people working in their kitchen.” Carol MacKinnon, Ana Woodworks



Galley or Corridor

The space of a galley style kitchen is very efficient and is perfect for spacious living. The work stations face each other creating a smaller work triangle.

 “No matter what shape, design, style, or size – the kitchen is often the place where a lot of living is done by a family and often needs to be planned to accommodate much more than cooking. The importance of asking the questions about how that special room will be used by all family members and then using the information in the planning cannot be underestimated.” Becky Worley, Classic Cabinetry



Single or Straight Kitchen

This is an ideal layout for a smaller home. The working space is instead a working line with many of the kitchen’s major components along the same wall.

“In kitchens today, we have recognized the ‘old school’ kitchen triangle rule may not apply to everyone’s needs. I love placing the refrigerator outside the busy kitchen triangle, because everyone in the home uses the regrigerator. Although it may be a few more steps for the cook, it’s nice to keep everyone out of their way. Guests and children can help themselves to snacks while the cook of the home is busy preparing the meals. If the kitchen is large, refrigerator doors can also be placed close to the sink and coooktop for items used frequently while cooking.” Jackie Howard, Scarlett’s Cabinetry


STEP THREE: Determine Kitchen Style

Last but not least, consider what will “wow” family members and guests about your kitchen design. From traditional to eclectic styles, there are countless things you can do to add character to your kitchen and make it a continuation of the rest of your home. Pick a striking backsplash to make wiping up grease content a breeze, or add a countertop lamp to make it feel homier. Make sure you don’t skimp on lighting – it’s not only a design element in a kitchen, but a safety precaution too when taking sharp utensils into consideration. Sconces, pendant lights, and under-cabinet lighting are all good options for a kitchen space.

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