How to Design the Perfect Kitchen for Your Custom Home

Minnesota Kitchen Remodeling

twin cities kitchen remodeling

Design Your Dream Kitchen with GreenWood Design Build

Whether you are renovating or building an entirely new home on an empty lot, the kitchen is among the most important aspects of your home’s design. It is where you will cook all of your meals at home. It is likely where you will eat and share breakfast with your family, where midnight snack raids will happen, where birthday cakes will be baked, and where holiday dinners will be conjured.

Your kitchen, for many families, is the activity center of the home. Because of this, you want it to flow perfectly, no matter what space you have planned. For each person, the “perfect” kitchen is likely to be something different. But there are a few key elements that every perfect kitchen shares. A synergy, an ergonomic quality, or in plainer words: It flows.

You can reach everything easily. You can move around without bumping into things. You can share it with another chef or two with each person having a comfortable workspace. And it flows naturally from one element of the kitchen to the next. From the fridge to the sink to the stove and back again.

So how does one design the perfect kitchen? Let’s find out.

Start With Your Floor Plan

Every kitchen design starts with a floor plan. Most likely, you already know how much space your kitchen is going to take up based on the size of the room This will define both the space for your cabinets and counters and the actual floor space you’ll have to move around.

The Shape

Visualize the shape you want your kitchen to take. Is it an L, a U, a single line or two facing parallel lines? Do you have an island or a bar as part of this design? Decide how the cabinets will lay against the wall with the appliances, forming your cooking area.

The Pathways

Don’t forget to keep the pathways in mind. These are the “white space” of your kitchen floorplan and matter a great deal. Consider how much room you’ll want between elements, how much space you need to open the oven, fridge, or cabinets comfortably, and how much room is necessary for more than two people to work in the same kitchen comfortably. We recommend 3-5 feet of walking space between counters at least.

Place Your Focus Points – The Large Appliances

Now that you’ve sketched the general counter-line, place your appliances. Where will the stove go? What about the fridge, sink, and dishwasher? Consider not only what is aesthetically pleasing, but also how your personal cooking style tends to flow. Do you prefer the stove closer to the fridge, or with the sink in-between? Do you want your stovetop or your sink in the island instead?

These are important questions to ask yourself and answer as you figure out what a perfect kitchen design means to you and how to bring that to life.

That Counter-Top Flow

The next consideration is how much counter space you want and need. Some people prefer to have their stove ‘cap’ the design with the stove at the very end, while others need counter on both sides of the stove as part of their cooking process. Some enjoy using their island as the primary counter space while others need plenty of countertop between the fridge and sink. 

You may also consider versatile countertop details like slide-out counters and cutting boards.

Place and Optimize the Cabinets

Now for the cabinets. Your cabinet design matters so much more than most people give it credit for. But if you’ve ever cooked in a kitchen with inconvenient cabinets, you will understand this section perfectly.

Height the Cabinets

It’s your kitchen, put your cabinets and internal cabinet shelves where you can reach them.

Door Style and Open-Direction

The direction that your cabinet doors swing will matter so much once you’re using the kitchen, so it’s worth considering now. If there is plenty of floor space, double-door cabinets where the handles face each other can work. But most find that it is generally more convenient for the cabinet handles to all face inward toward the nearest focus point. For example, all the cabinets to the right and left of the stove open toward the stove, because that is where you’ll be standing. If they open with the hinges facing a focus point, you won’t be able to reach in conveniently.

Light it Up with a Diversity of Light Fixtures

Now for the lighting. The kitchen is the single most light-intensive room in the kitchen because you need clear light to make sure food is properly cooked and that everything is fully clean. In fact, you need a diversity of lights to serve every kitchen lighting purpose.

Bright Canister Lights

Bright overhead lights to flood the room with warm-white glow are best supplied by cannister lights. This light distribution method ensures that every inch of the kitchen within the bounds of the cabinets is fully and evenly illuminated with  serious ability to cast a shadow on your countertop work.

Focus-Point Spotlights

The stove, sink, and possibly the island all deserve their own individual lights for extra illumination to ensure the quality of the work you do there.

LED Underlighting

Installing a strip of LEDs underneath the front edge of your upper cabinets is an incredible addition to any kitchen, and not just because it’s attractive. Underlighting gives you a special light just for food prep and plating where the canister lights might not be able to reach.

Decorative Center Light

Finally, you may also want to add a decorative center light in the middle of the room or above the island almost just for decor.

Model and Test Your Design

Once you have your kitchen fully conceptualized, it’s time to take the design for a test-spin. Try one of the many renovation-assistant apps that can help you create a digital visualization of your planned kitchen to see how it looks and feels to you with all the pieces put together. Now is also your chance to refine all those little stylistic details like color, style, and materials that are more difficult to visualize than the technical choices.

Make Your Perfect Kitchen a Reality

When you’re ready, begin working with your trusted renovation contractor or builder to bring your perfect kitchen into reality. The right contractor can work with your renovation app visualization, your personal description of what you want, and the space at hand to make sure that the kitchen that is built perfectly matches the kitchen you’ve been dreaming of. Contact us today to delve deeper into building your perfect kitchen!