Kitchens... New, Remodeled and Renovated
4 Elements of a Successful Kitchen Design Plan
- Kitchen Layout
- Kitchen Storage
- Kitchen Finishes
- Kitchen Decor
Kitchen design, whether it is for a new construction homes, a kitchen remodel or kitchen renovation, is a big task that needs to be carefully planned. Kitchens have evolved over the years from a purely practical and functional space to a focal gathering place for family and friends to socialize and spend quality time together. With such expectations, it is essential to carefully plan and design the kitchens layout, storage, finishes and decor prior to the kitchen remodel in order to have a cohesive, practical and useful space for family and gatherings alike.
Considerations for Planning the Kitchen Layout
- Work Triangle
- Cabinet Size & Placement
- Island Placement
- Flow & Functionality
The kitchen layout may be the most important part of the kitchen design process. The layout determines everything, from the flow between appliances, sink and workspace (work triangle) to the placement of the kitchen island and potential gathering spots, it all affects whether expectations become reality. Even in a new construction home kitchen design, layout needs to be considered to ensure that the expected functionality can cater to the expected social setting as well. A kitchen renovation can be limited with the placement of appliances, but other considerations become more important, such as cabinet size and placement can make or break a kitchen design layout—implementation or placement of an island can also make a dramatic difference to the kitchen design flow. A kitchen remodel, which by definition is changing the structure to make something new, is much like a kitchen design for a new construction home. The remodeled kitchen is a blank canvas, and all the layout needs should be considered.
The work triangle, as mentioned above, is an old design concept that holds up today when considering kitchen layout. The basics of the concept is that the flow between the three main work areas should be relatively close in proximity, and form a triangle. The work areas are the sink, the stove and the refrigerator. Per Wikipedia
, “The kitchen work triangle principle is used by kitchen designers and architects when designing residential kitchens: No leg of the triangle should be less than 4 feet (1.2 m) or more than 9 feet (2.7 m). The sum of all three sides of the triangle should be between 13 feet (4.0 m) and 26 feet (7.9 m).”
New Construction Home In Downers Grove
Pictured on the left is a custom home by Platinum Builders. The home took 25 weeks to complete, has 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths. The home was build to suit and includes many of the modern ammenities homeowners are looking for.
Kitchen Design Plan Notables
- Large island with seating
- Open shelving
- Open to living room space
- Walk in pantry and wet bar
- High end appliances
Considerations And Options For Kitchen Storage
- Don't plan for aesthetics alone
- Take advantage of vertical space
- Use cabinets for island base
- Use a cart as a mobile workstation
Next on the kitchen remodel checklist is storage. Many times homeowners arrange cabinets by aesthetics alone, forgetting everything that needs to be stored like cookware, bakeware and small appliances. If there is an island, don’t eliminate the possibility to use cabinets as a base. Especially smaller kitchens need to utilize every bit of space to accommodate the items. For smaller kitchens it is important to take advantage of the vertical space as well as less used spaces like corners and under the sink. If the layout allows, the design can also include racks for spices and pots. Additionally a cart can be used for storage and double as a mobile workstation.
Custom Home In Downers Grove
This custom home in Downers Grove took 32 weeks to complete and has 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. The homeowners chose 42 inch upper cabinets with a glass backsplash and wanted a large island with seating. Additionally, they went with high end appliances including an icemaker on the island.
Kitchen Design Plan Notables
- Open Floor Plan
- Large Upper Cabinets
- Large Island with Seating
- Ice Maker
- High end appliances
Picking Out Finishes For Your New Kitchen
- Use differnt colors for upper and lower cabinets
- Consider refinishing/paining existing cabinets
- Bring in some color with the backsplash
- Countertops can set the tone
After determining the layout and cabinet placement, it is time to picking out the finishes. If the project includes new cabinets, the classic look is white cabinets. Some designers will mix this up a bit and use white cabinets for the uppers and a different color for the lowers and sometimes using a third more drastic color for the island. If the project will use the existing cabinets, then there are numerous options for painting cabinets. There are primers on the market today that don’t require sanding the surface prior to painting, which cuts down the labor and time needed to paint cabinets. Kitchen finishes can also be bold and dramatic with unconventional colors—green, blue and orange can make quite a statement when used correctly.
Countertops and backsplashes can also make quite a dramatic statement as well. Granite and marble are classic safe options for countertops whereas concrete, limestone and stainless steel are trending and will integrate with any kitchen design. Backsplash options are limitless. From the classic white subway (many different sizes) to a colorful mosaic that will bring color and a brightness to the kitchen design.
Kitchen Remodels & Renovations in Downers Grove, Westmont and Wheaton
Kitchen remodels and renovations continue to be most requested changes homeowners request. The pictures on the left showcase some of our more recent remodels and renovations. Not all kitchen makeovers require complete demolition. For the renovation in Wheaton, Platinum Builders was contracted to "freshen up" the kitchen, which included new cabinets (uppers and lowers), new flooring, new appliances and paint.
Kitchen Design Plan Notables
- Open shelving mixed with upper cabinets (Westmont)
- Large L-shaped island (Westmont)
- Different colors used for wall cabinets and island (Westmont)
- Large cabinets (Wheaton)
- Glass subway tile (Wheaton)
Bring It All Together with Kitchen Decor
- Selecte a 3 color palette
- Identify kitchen focal point
- Open shelving is trending
- Be creative
The final consideration for a kitchen design project is the kitchen decor. Before anything else, many designers suggest selecting a 3 color palette—an existing color from the kitchen plus a neutral color and a “statement” color, which is often bright and bold. Go to the paint store and find the selected color swatches and reference them for future purchases. After the color palette has been selected, the kitchens’ focal point needs to be identified or created—what will be the first thing that will catch a visitors eye? Often this can be a picture or gallery wall, a light fixture, a wine rack, an island or the cooking area. If there isn’t a clear cut focal point, then one can be easily created by adding any of the above.
The latest trend in kitchen decor is open shelving—this can simply be a set of shelves for display and storage, or in some cases open shelves are being used in place of upper cabinets. Another trending and fun kitchen design idea is to add a chalkboard painted area. This can be a small wall, a door, a cabinet door or a section of a wall. Get creative with how and where the section is painted—it doesn’t have to be a simple square or rectangle. Paint a circle, an oval or a triangle or make a pattern along the edges or paint a custom totally unique shape. The point is have fun and get creative. Any of the above kitchen decor considerations would be great to combine with the chalkboard area—add open shelving, wine bottle rack or a picture to the area