7 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Kitchen
When designing a new home, the kitchen is often the hottest topic of discussion; and for good reason! Nowadays, the kitchen is so much more than a place to prepare meals. It serves as an entertaining area, a place to work, and a meeting spot to talk about your day. Because your kitchen is quite literally the hub of your home, it’s important to design it to be both stylish and efficient. To help get you started, we’ve put together a list of the most important things to consider when designing the ultimate kitchen. And when you’re ready to talk in more detail, call Modern Structure; an Evansville, Indiana custom home builder.
How to Design the Ultimate Kitchen
There’s a lot that goes into designing a beautiful and functional kitchen, but don’t let that intimidate you! Check out these simple kitchen design tips, and call us when you’re ready to put it all on paper.
1. Include Plenty of Storage
Your kitchen holds your utensils, pots and pans, appliances, food, cups, plates, cleaning supplies and more. Where are you putting it all? Storage is essential to a functional, organized kitchen.
Small countertop appliances like air-fryers, toaster ovens, and instant pots are wildly popular. When they’re not in use, they can really get in the way. Including a large walk-in pantry in your kitchen is a great solution for storing dry goods and for hiding your small appliances when they’re not needed. Take it a step further and have a few electrical outlets installed in your pantry, so you can use those countertop appliances without ever having to get them out!
And, from time to time, you probably find yourself searching your cabinets for a serving bowl that’s been hiding in the back since last Christmas. As you’re searching, you’re pulling things out to get access to that bowl. For easier access and to reduce searching and reaching into cabinets, consider including more pull-out drawers in your kitchen. For the cabinets you do have, there are several cabinet inserts available to help organize your cooking materials, baking pans, and more.
2. Focus on a Functional Layout
The layout of your kitchen is key, and plays a big role in how functional it is and how good it looks. Without a proper layout, getting around your kitchen can be frustrating, finding what you need takes longer, and items you use frequently are unreachable.
Before you start planning your kitchen layout, take some time to think through the following:
- Decide how you want to use your kitchen
This is your kitchen…design it for how you want to use it! Be sure to consider how often you cook, how many people will be using the kitchen, how much prep space you need, how much entertaining you plan to do, and what appliances you use most often.
- Measure properly for appliances
By choosing your appliances early on, you’ll avoid measuring mistakes that will cost you money and time. A poorly measured kitchen means your oven is too snug for the surrounding countertop, there’s too much room on both sides of the oven, or it sticks out further than the countertop itself.
- Decide if a kitchen island is right for you
If your kitchen has a smaller footprint, we recommend not including an island in your kitchen design. Forcing an island into a small space will likely mean poor circulation around the space, resulting in traffic jams and continued daily frustration. For a smaller kitchen, consider a peninsula over an island, if it suits your space.
- Consider your “work triangle”
Always take your “work triangle” into consideration. The “work triangle” is the distance between your stove, oven, and sink. Each edge of your work triangle should be between 40”-60”, for maximum efficiency. To avoid bottlenecks in high traffic areas of the kitchen, don’t get caught with too little space!
- Always keep your budget in mind
Be wary of professional grade kitchen appliances. Although they have superior functionality and looks, they often come with a very high cost that could break your budget. Typical ranges, ovens, and refrigerators provide the same functions at a more affordable price. On the other hand, don’t skimp on higher quality cabinets and countertops, just to save a marginal 10-15%. Lower quality cabinets and countertops won’t last as long and don’t look as good as the higher quality options.
For more information on kitchen layout, check out these common mistakes homeowners make when designing a kitchen, that you should avoid making yourself.
3. Plan for Proper Lighting
Lighting is ignored too often, and many homeowners skimp on lighting to save money. If you don’t include proper lighting in your kitchen, you’ll be left in the dark. Not all lighting types are required, but when you include a mix of lighting in all the right places, you’re on the right track.
Lighting types include:
Natural light streaming in from windows is on trend. Windows of any size are perfectly appropriate for a kitchen.
Ambient light is the primary source of light for your kitchen.
This light illuminates your work spaces such as prep and cooking areas. A great example of task lighting are LED strips underneath your cabinets, lighting up your counter space.
Accent lighting isn’t required, but can be really beautiful when used to highlight certain areas of your kitchen, such as your beautiful cabinetry or floating shelves.
This lighting is the most enjoyable to pick out during the design process. Decorative lighting, such as pendant lights over your island, should complement your kitchen, but not dominate it entirely.
1. Choose the Right Kitchen Flooring
Choose the kitchen flooring style that will suit your lifestyle and your kitchen’s overall design. Whether you’re looking for wood, tile, or luxury vinyl, pick flooring that is stain resistant and easy to clean.
Next, decide if you want your flooring to be a focal point of the kitchen, or a compliment to the rest of the kitchen. And if your home has an open layout, you may want to install the same flooring throughout so the entire home flows together.
Lastly, consider how much traffic will be coming in and out of the kitchen, how much wear and tear your flooring needs to withstand, and if there is potential for moisture to be tracked in. This will all help determine the right flooring for your kitchen.
When you hire Modern Structure to build your new home, we listen to your needs and concerns, and will help you select the best flooring for your home.
2. Select Appliances for Form and Function
Perhaps the most important part of the kitchen are the appliances that do all the cooking, heating, cleaning, and cooling. As we mentioned before, don’t get caught up with over-the-top professional grade appliances. We agree that they’re gorgeous and functional, but normal appliances can look just as good, and last just as long.
Even the more affordable appliances are built to be sleek and stylish and can blend in with your decor, or serve as a focal piece.
3. Design Your Kitchen to be Energy Efficient
In addition to selecting energy efficiency of appliances, there are other ways you can design an energy efficient home. We take pride in building homes with materials that provide more insulative qualities like roofing, walls, and windows. High SEER rated air conditioning systems, energy efficient lighting, radiant floor heating, and tankless water heaters are all normal materials we use in every home to reduce energy usage.
We even pay attention to the positioning and placement of your home on the lot. When a home is built at the right angle, and the floorplan is laid out correctly, you can make better use of natural daylight to illuminate your kitchen and take advantage of natural ventilation.
4. Install Proper Ventilation
Your kitchen may be one of your favorite rooms in your home, but it can also be one of the more dangerous ones if you don’t install proper ventilation. The range hood over your cooktop removes pollutants, odors, grease, smoke, moisture, and fumes both during and after you cook, making them an essential detail of your kitchen.
Aside from protecting you from toxins in the air, range hoods have also become a design element. Today, oversized range hoods are trending for their sleek style and impressive size.
The Kitchen Design Process with Modern Structure
There’s a lot that goes into designing the ultimate custom kitchen. Don’t be overwhelmed, we’re here to help! When you meet with us for a building consultation, we take time to listen.
First, we talk about what you need out of your kitchen, and how you plan to use it. We talk about how often you cook, and if you prefer gas or electric, as well as how many people will be using your kitchen, and how much entertaining you want to do.
Then, we talk about how you want your kitchen to look. We go over flooring, lighting, appliances, and storage solutions.
Last, we go to the drawing board, and flesh out your custom kitchen on paper, all while keeping your budget in mind. Overall, the most important thing to us is that your kitchen is built for you, and not for the next person that may buy your home.
To start your custom home journey, contact us to schedule a free building consultation!