Make sure your new kitchen not only looks good but also functions beautifully
When you’re planning a new kitchen, the layout is, of course, the key to making the space work efficiently. But there are other things to think about. Take a look at this checklist to ensure that you tick off seven essential elements of a well-designed space.
1. Sufficient Storage
If you want your kitchen to be functional, one of the most important features to consider is storage space.
Think carefully about what you need to store, and choose cabinets that work with the size and layout of your kitchen. Research space-saving designs, such as pullouts and tall wall cabinets.
It’s a good idea to take an inventory to figure out exactly what you need to store. Be realistic, and if there are any unused items that are cluttering up the space, now’s the time to recycle them. Once you know what items you’re storing and where you’re going to use them, you can consider the best options for your space.
This kitchen in an Arlington, Virginia, new build fits in a variety of storage options, including floor-to-ceiling cabinets to the left of the fridge, upper and lower cabinets and open shelves for displaying the homeowner’s pottery collection.
2. Strong and Stylish Counters
If you like to cook, your kitchen work surfaces will see some action, so besides good looks, they need strength and durability. To help you decide which type of countertop to go for, consider exactly how you use your kitchen.
Think about how much wear and tear particular areas in your space will get, as this will determine how durable your counters need to be.
In this project by 50 Degrees North, for example, there are two counter materials. The preparation areas near the oven and on the island have a tactile wooden surface, while the sink area has a waterproof stainless steel surface.
When you’re searching for appliances, consider how energy-efficient they are. One thing you can do is look for products with an Energy Star label, a U.S. government-backed symbol of energy efficiency.
As soon as you’ve planned your kitchen’s layout, think about where you’ll locate the lighting. Complement functional spotlights with strategically placed task lights to create a lighting design that adds depth and practicality to your space.
In this project, pendants hang above the island. They illuminate the island work surface and, along with lighting above the upper cabinets, create an ambient glow. Undercabinet lighting brightens the perimeter countertops. Recessed ceiling lights illuminate the center of the room and the dining area.
If you’re thinking about where to splurge, it’s worth paying attention to the fixtures. A beautiful handle can enhance a standard cabinet, while a well-chosen faucet can give a basic sink a high-end look.
The fixtures and hardware in your kitchen are going to be used a lot, so it makes sense to invest in quality to ensure that they’re strong, durable and nice to touch.
This rustic-looking kitchen is part of an open-plan living space by Plus Rooms.
In a heavy traffic area like a kitchen, the floor needs to earn its keep. There are many surfaces you can go for, including natural stone, concrete, ceramic and porcelain. You also could choose beautiful wood, but be sure to get advice on how to seal it and protect it from water damage.
Think about how your floor will look with the rest of your design and whether you’ll want to change it in the future. Classic stone tiles like the ones in this kitchen by Kristina Crestin Design will work with most styles and colors. However, a patterned floor also can look stunning and, if you really love the design, it could be worth being brave with your flooring choice.
7. Attractive, Easy-Care Backsplash
The surface you install behind your work surface can transform the look of your kitchen. Of course, a backsplash’s main function is to protect the walls, but it’s also a great opportunity to get creative in your space.
Choose a durable material that you can wipe clean easily, but also go for a design that suits your style. In this kitchen by Forward Design Build, for example, the hexagonal tiles add interest and texture to the room.