5 Top Kitchen Design Tips

Kitchen Confidential – The 5 Essentials You Must Consider in Kitchen Design

They say that a way to a man's heart is via his stomach. Perhaps this is why the Kitchen has been seen for generations as the heart of a good home. Times may be changing and the men may be doing as much (or even more) cooking than the women these days, but the fact still remains, the kitchen is a central point to any functional home.

In this article, we will look at some design ideas, layouts to consider, storage space savers, must have kitchen flow design and more!

You can find links to all sorts of kitchen designs. From the trendy to the traditional and even the various layout styles. But the truth is, unless you are building your home from scratch or have room to sledgehammer your way to more space, you are going to be using what space you already have.

For this reason, we will include some small ideas as well as some grand ones.Kitchen functionality is essential no matter what space you have. I have seen some pretty amazing space restricted designs. You just have to get smart about storage and understand how a kitchen works.


Let's Start with Functionality

Whilst you may think that its just a case of plopping stuff down and sliding in some appliances, the way a kitchen is used becomes important when designing the space. Consider work space and how you interact with your appliances such as the fridge, the oven,stove top and sink. If you are someone who loves to do a lot of your own home cooking, then you need the prep space, but you also want that near to a sink for cleaning food items as well as your hands. Fridges and freezers need to be nearby, but not alongside an oven or stove.

​In professional design, this is often referred to as the triangle. You can read a more in-depth piece on this here: How to Layout Your Kitchen for Maximum Benefit

Things to consider are that the triangle should not be broken up in terms of path of travel. So a Kitchen Island for example should not restrict a path, neither should other appliances or work space where possible.

kitchen space

The fact that you will be spending quite a bit of time in this room, the kitchen should have some good time invested in actual planning. Think about what you want from the room. Will it be an eat in kitchen, or just a production area? Do you want formal dining space integrated, or just a casual bench set up? How about the amount of people typically using the space at any given time?

There is nothing more frustrating that stepping on toes and knocking into friends and family whilst moving around a kitchen space, especially when hot items can be in transit 🙂

If you want to read more on the pros and cons of the 3 main layout styles, then read this article here: Pros and Cons of 3 Conventional Kitchen Layouts

For ease of access, I will link you to other sites at the end of this page so you can see various examples of planning, storage, design etc.


Design and Personal Taste

I am not talking about taste of the food you will be eating 🙂 More about the design of the kitchen itself. Do you want to go with tiles, stainless steel, wood, paint, copper, or other options?

There are just so many these days that it can sometimes be too much.The best idea is to go to kitchen design studios and re-sellers to get some perspective on looks and feel. You can read magazines and go online as well to get started.

It never hurts to set up a vision and design board either. This will give you some pointers to begin your search and if you end up using a professional contractor or designer, you will have some great starting points for them to work with as well.

your kitchen style

Remember to consider hard to clean areas in the kitchen design. Think about splash backs for the stove top and the sink. Look for cheaper materials that do the job just as well if money has its limitations, and also think about the mood you want to create.

Consider what colours make you happy and relaxed. Remember, you will be spending quite a bit of time in this space, so you want something that makes you smile and motivated. Adding a feature or focal point to the space can also be great for conversations with guests.

Finally on this section, if you know any chefs, ask them about their tips for a great functional kitchen space.

Don't know any chefs? Read this article from some chefs and their inspirational ideas:

And this one here: Pro Chefs Talk About Home Kitchen Design


Money and Budget

Uh! The one topic everyone has to consider but nobody wants to think about. There will no doubt be a limitation to some degree on your budget, so have this in mind from the get go.

Our top tip here is to get out a classic pen and paper, or fire up the laptop or tablet and create a spreadsheet. To get started, make a note about the style and design you are aiming for and then list the must have appliances that you want/need.

​Then move on to things such as storage and cabinets and the work tops. You can make some great savings on worktops these days if you stay away from marble counters. Plus you could even consider giving your cabinets an overhaul rather than ripping them out and starting again.

You will be totally amazed at what you can achieive with a change of handles and a lick of fresh paint.

kitchen design budget

​The last two considerations will be the flooring that you want. This can get expensive so try to work with what you have where you can. Remember that it needs to be as hard wearing as possible to cope with that constant foot traffic.

Finally you need to think about the DIY or the Contractor/Designer options. You can save money by doing some work yourself or at the very least project managing the process. It is always best advised to have a professional fit the appliances that are plumbed, connected to gas or electric.


Light it Up Baby

This is the one topic that most people forget about in their kitchen design, yet it can often be the most important one. Think about where you prepare, cook and eat the food and the lighting required can vary substantially in your needs and wishes.

If you plan the space correctly from the beginning and incorporate functional and great lighting into your design, you will be blown away by the final results.

kitchen lighting

Do you want up-lighting, down lighting. Under Cupboard Lighting that lights up the prep space well? Think about floor lighting along sideboards and prep space. Consider the height when planning lights that hang over counters or eating spaces as you may restrict pathways when not correctly planned for.

Also consider the expense. LED lighting is fantastic these days and can save you money on traditional bulbs and even energy savers.


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

Sinks, Cookers and Other Appliances.

When you plan your design, do you want a cohesive look? If so, then you need to ensure you plan the look of your finished design, taking into consideration the above.

There is nothing more annoying than picking out individually great looking pieces such as an awesome white porcelain sink, a copper/bronze style stove top and a matt black fridge freezer, only to find they do not fit together when put in place.

Give some thought to the style you want to achieve and then shop accordingly for these feature pieces in your kitchen. The internet and magazines are another great place to begin this research, and whilst out shopping, pop into an appliance store to get a true feel for the design, style and colour.

Kitchen Style

Remember as well to take measurements. There is nothing worse than getting that all important wonderful stove, and then it not fit the space you planned for it!

Does Your Kitchen Design Style Work Together?

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Links & Resources

Storage Space Examples

This kitchen is a good showcase for space and storage! http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/50978243/list/kitchen-of-the-week-storage-and-style-galore 

In New York, space can be rather limiting. This kitchen is a great example of making use of the space with space saving tricks.

The kitchen below is a great example of gaining storage space, whilst considering that all important flow design and layout.

Flow and Design Examples

The home below took into consideration the family needs for flow and functionality.

This next kitchen shows off some classic style whilst keeping it calm for a busy family.

Style and Functionality

Clean, classic space with a modern refresher.

This home brings life to their kitchen through colour. Check out the cabinets.

This chic kitchen calls on a geometric tile design for the walls.

Make Overs and Kitchen Transformations

This home takes a small kitchen and gives it open space and fantastic views.

Take a look at this old and brown farmhouse kitchen make over! Amazing.

You Want Rustic? Check this out.

Eat in Kitchen Spaces

This is a wonderful kitchen transformation. It includes a huge island and a great booth space for dining. The only difference here is going for the 'line' approach rather than the triangle design. Its functional and works if you are used to this layout. See what you think.

This home opens up all the space to allow for a dining experience in the kitchen or directly next to it.

Wrapping this Up

Well, I hope that gave you some starting pointers for your own kitchen make over?

Let us know, post a comment below or better still, Tweet or Share this post on Facebook with others. We would appreciate the love 🙂

Here is a final article for you to read if you have a small kitchen space. It is 99 great ideas for the smaller kitchen:

Food to Go

All you need now is some recipes to cook in your new designed space. Tell us your favourites and maybe we will post some on our Facebook Page! Remember, if you need tools, hardware, or paint for your make over. Drop us a line or come into our store here at Hot Pot Paint and Hardware in Vereeniging.

We would be more than happy to assist you.