Kitchen Design Tips Every Amateur Should Know

So you’ve decided to renovate your own kitchen. Good for you! Going the DIY route will save you precious dollars and give you complete control over your custom kitchen. Of course, it’s important to do your homework before ripping up the old floor and installing that first kitchen cabinet. To help you avoid common mistakes and benefit from the wisdom of experts, we’ve compiled this list of essential kitchen design tips every amateur should know.  

  1. Your kitchen’s layout is essential. Start by taking a look at the 5 basic kitchen layouts to determine which one best fits your space. Next, design your kitchen’s “work triangle”, the high-traffic area between the stove (or cooktop), refrigerator, and sink. For maximum efficiency, kitchens should allow for a straight line from the center of the sink to the center of the stove to the center of the fridge, and back to the sink again. Will your kitchen include an island with seating? This design feature lets you cook while entertaining guests or enjoying time with family. Breakfast nooks and dining areas are also smart ways to maximize seating. With so many options to think about when creating a floor plan, consider using one of the many available software design programs. If you need more detailed planning rules and guidelines, The Kitchen and Bath Association Planning Guidelines with Access Standards is available for purchase online. And for customers of Cabinetmakers Choice, our professional consultants are available to assist in planning the placement of your new cabinets, free of charge.
  2. The style of cabinets you select will have the biggest impact on the look and personality of your kitchen. Pick a line that is well-made and fits your budget while complementing your home’s overall decor. Make the most of your kitchen’s size and layout by designing the cabinetry placement to maximize storage, allowing room for appliances and utensils that would otherwise clutter up countertops. Innovative designs like utensil pull-outs and pegboard drawer organizers let you take full advantage every nook and cranny. Finish off the look with decorative accents. Drawer pulls and knobs, mouldings, valances, and table legs are just a few of the many accessories available to enhance the look of kitchen cabinets, all of which are available at
  3. Lighting serves two basic functions in the kitchen. Brighter task lighting is needed for cooking and working, while ambient lighting is best for entertaining or creating a cozy atmosphere. Recessed ceiling lights are commonly utilized for task lighting, as are undercabinet lights which won’t cast shadows. Pendants lights provide ambient lighting and are ideal for kitchen islands. Make them serve double-duty as task lighting by purchasing pendants with adjustable lengths and setting them on dimmers.
  4. Flooring should be both practical and visually appealing. Choose a style that is in keeping with your home’s decor. Next, decide whether you’d like the floors to be visually neutral or have eye-catching appeal. Consider materials and colors that clean up easily and don’t show staining. Comfort is important too. Tile floors can be hard on the knees and feet while wood floors are attractive and more comfortable, but wear out faster. Less traditional materials such as cork, bamboo, or rubber are becoming popular options too.
  5. Finally, it’s a good idea to create a budget before getting started. As you finalize your choices of cabinets, flooring, and lighting, factor in a plan B for each of these major purchases. That way, you will have options at the ready if you encounter unexpected costs such as pest damage or wood rot.

Renovating a kitchen is a big project with the potential to add considerable value to your home, and enjoyment to your life. The proper preparation and know-how will help make your beautiful, practical new kitchen a reality.