Tips: Design Elements for the Perfect Kitchen

More than any other room in a home, kitchens require a lot of thought. These are personal spaces, after all, and they need to function in a way that aligns with how a family operates.

Here are the questions we ask all our clients when designing their kitchens:

  • How many people will be cooking in here? Does your family cook together or one at a time?
  • Is there any specific equipment you must have? These can include double ovens, a baker’s area, mixer, perhaps an insane espresso machine or built-in coffee maker?
  • Will people be eating in here on a regular basis? How many?
  • How do you like to entertain? Do you like people to congregate in the kitchen while you cook or do you need your space?

Go big with your dreams. We can always scale it down as needed, but you will be surprised by how much impact we can fit into a kitchen, no matter the size.

9 Tips to Designing Your Dream Kitchen
  • Make the kitchen the heart of the home. Because this is the most visited room, we like to place it in the middle of the house. You’d be surprised how doing this naturally draws family members together.
  • Give ample space around islands. Traditionally, three feet is the standard distance between the sink and an island, but we prefer at least four. This is largely driven by trash pull-outs, drawers and multiple people working in the kitchen at once. Nothing’s worse than working in a cramped kitchen.
  • Give it the best views. Because so much time is spent in the kitchen, why not give it a beautiful view? Trust us. The person tasked with washing dishes will thank you.
  • Double islands. Because the party ALWAYS ends up in the kitchen. We like incorporating two islands: one devoted solely for prep work and the other for comfortably containing guests and charcuterie boards. That way, well-meaning guests stay close to the action but don’t get in the way.
  • Think beyond the work triangle. Everyone focuses on the relationship between sink, fridge and stove, but those aren’t the only areas that need to connect in a thoughtful way. Things like microwaves, prep sinks and pantries change the dynamic of the traditional triangle and need to be considered.
  • Replace upper cabinets with a pantry. We believe kitchens should feel light and airy, so we love the trend of eliminating upper cabinets in favor of pantries. This makes it easier for kids and seniors to reach items and gives more opportunity to show off accent materials on walls, like tile. Use a pantry to store food and all the equipment you rarely use. Like that lobster pot.
  • Light and ventilation. We pack in as many windows and sky lights as we can to make any room feel spacious and inspiring. Plenty of windows also help evacuate odors and keep a kitchen feeling fresh.
  • Make islands feel like furniture. We like to set islands apart by painting them a warm, rich color or covering them in a different material. That way it feels less utilitarian and more like an inviting piece of furniture.
  • Be picky about cabinet construction. Time and again we see clients choosing inferior cabinets as a way to save money. But remember, your kitchen needs to be strong to withstand the weight of plates and slamming of drawers and cabinets. There’s a wide variety in quality out there, so buy local if you can and inspect before you buy.