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Room by Room: Interior Design Tips for Kitchens

More that any other room in your house, your kitchen should offer the ultimate in functionality, while still providing a beautiful space that is a joy to encounter since this is the room where you do most of the “work” of living:  prepping food, gathering and entertaining, and cleaning up after a meal.

These things can all be a breeze with a kitchen design that takes into account proper spacing for traffic flow, workspace ergonomics and beautiful design. But if these key elements are lacking even basic kitchen tasks will feel like a chore.

Because kitchen design can require that extra level of care and planning, I always recommend getting a professional to help with a comprehensive plan when renovating or newly building this space. The kitchen is the heart of your home — not to mention often the most labor- and cost-intensive room to remodel.  Strive for numerous perspectives from everyone in your household to give input into the design, and consider these tips as you begin to plan your dream kitchen.

Specialized Storage

The most important part of a kitchen design is creating a space where the built-in cabinetry has enough storage for all your kitchenware and appliances.  Usually, this means adding more storage than you think you need. It’s completely fine to have a few sparsely-filled drawers so that you have space in the future for those candlesticks you picked up on vacation or a great new kitchen gadget.

The best idea for the ultimate kitchen design to customize as much of your storage as you can. Deep drawers offer more options for adding dividers and specialized compartments than traditional lower cabinets with shelves.

How about dividers to hold cookie sheets? And, cutting boards stored upright like library books?  A built-in knife block and a drawer designed to hold spice jars?  Yes, please!  My absolute favorite feature is pull-out trays behind lower cabinet doors… You can’t beat the way they multiply your space!

Comfort Zones

We all know that when entertaining, everyone ends up in the kitchen.  Unless you have a tiny galley, seating in your kitchen is a must to accommodate your guests.  An island with bar stools is the classic solution in an open-concept kitchen.

For a more unique layout, I like a built-in breakfast nook with a bench or booth seating.  It’s a retro look that can be updated for many different spaces.  Banquettes, loveseats, and small club chairs can also be incorporated when the space requires more of a “sitting and sipping” area.

Work Zones

Creating different work areas in a kitchen is a popular trend. Multiple islands, sinks, and refrigerators are key for the amateur chef. For a more family-centric design, you can set up your main island to be a homework-friendly space for kids by adding some nearby shelves for books, a pencil sharpener, and a charging station for all those iPads and laptops.

Create a breakfast center with toaster, cups, grinder, and coffee-maker all in one convenient spot.  Or, for the wine enthusiast, a small wine bar station with glasses, openers, and carafes with an under-cabinet built-in wine refrigerator is an ever popular request.

Aesthetic, Functional and Fun

Your kitchen should be a creative, enjoyable, and efficient space where precious memories are made… Everything from daily meals to event and party preparation to those special holiday baking moments.

Most of all, your kitchen should be a perfect reflection of you, your family, and the way you live.  Investing in a gorgeous and functional kitchen is not only the #1 room in the house in which to invest for future resale value, but a well-designed kitchen with both function and form will set you up to create lasting rewards for you and your family.