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Kitchen Design: layout your own kitchen remodel ideas

Updated on September 25, 2013

Kitchen Design and Layout: Where to Start

If you're planning to make your own kitchen design layout, you have plenty of choice on how to get started. On this page I'll show you two good ways to start, and you'll also get a variety of ideas that you can use in your own kitchen design.

The first way to get started is to begin with the kitchen layout and how it functions. That means, you look at the way your appliances are laid out, how the traffic flows, where you store food and equipment in relation to where it's used, etc.

The second way flows from the style of the kitchen you desire. Whether you love cottage, Tuscan, or contemporary minimalism, you can design your kitchen to fit.

Photo credit: kevinw1

The Kitchen Floor Plan

For people who care most about how their kitchen works

Are you someone who thinks function - how the kitchen works when you're cooking - is most important? In that case, you probably want to start by working on the floor plan. You don't need a carefully-measured scale drawing to begin with: a sketch plan of your room with the measurements, doors and windows, and the existing positions of gas, water and power lines marked on it is a great starting point.

The first items to place are the areas where you do most of your work. If you're using the classic work triangle concept, these would be the fridge, cooktop (or range or stove) and sink. If you prefer to work with today's idea of "work centers", this corresponds to the food-storage center, cooking center, and cleanup center.

Try making paper cutouts of your appliances and the sink, (or use one of the many planning kits which provide them, or kitchen design software) and move them around on your floor plan to make different arrangements. Save or make sketches of arrangements you think might be useful, or take a quick photo with a digital camera.

Kitchen Design questions for you to think about:

Where do you eat? Which work center should be closest to the eating area? Should it be the fridge for quick snacks and drinks, the range to serve cooked meals, or the sink to gather dirty dishes?

How much fresh food do you use? Where does it come into the kitchen, and where is stored?

What else do you do in the kitchen as well as cook? Where do these activities happen, and who is involved?

What's the main traffic flow through the kitchen, and can it be routed outside the main work triangle?

How many people cook together? Do you need two work triangles? Two sinks?

Does any one with special needs use the kitchen? Kids? Seniors? People with disabilities?

traditional kitchen style
traditional kitchen style

Kitchen Decorating

For people who care most about how the kitchen looks

The second main way to begin your kitchen designs (it's better to come up with more than one at the beginning!) is to start with the look. What's your favorite style?

Historic: Freestanding dressers, cabinets with face frames and inset doors, glass door upper cabinets, old-fashioned appliances (though they may have modern features hidden under the historic facade), porcelain and apron-front sinks, bin pull handles, zinc or wooden counter tops ...

Retro: Choose your favorite 20th Century decade and go wild with linoleum floors, boomerang or sparkly laminate patterns, vinyl-upholstered dinette sets, rounded appliances, and metal edgings ...

Contemporary: This is usually a minimalist look with clean lines, stainless-steel appliances, sleek backsplash, granite counters, undermount sinks, "all drawers" in the lower cabinets, and glass everywhere ...

Country: Open shelves with fabric or paper edging; wood everywhere; buffets and hutches; rough finishes and natural materials; round handles; even stenciled or stamped motifs (but nowadays not too many cows or ducks!)

Professional: huge stainless-steel gas range; glass-door fridge and freezer, often two separate appliances; open storage racks; array of shining pans and utensils; super-hardwearing and cleanable surfaces ...

Traditional: Glass cabinet doors with muntins; dark wood paneled cabinets; floral or other patterned fabrics; wood floors; discreet appliances in plain colors or stainless; pendant light fixtures ...

Euro: smooth cabinet-fronts, closed storage, minimalist color schemes, integrated appliances, stainless steel, tile floors ...

Of course, all of these styles have sub-styles within them, and you can also mix together styles for your very own eclectic style.

Photo credit: kevinw1

Image from Morguefile - used under license
Image from Morguefile - used under license

New model kitchen design layouts

Did you design your kitchen, or some of it?

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