Your kitchen is one of the most occupied and important spaces in your home. This room can bring families together through food, memories and laughter. Designing your dream kitchen is one of the most exciting projects a homeowner will embark on. Creating the perfect kitchen allows you to be creative, apply practical solutions and put those perfectly curated Pinterest boards to use! Building your dream kitchen can be a little overwhelming whether your first time or your fifth time. No matter what your home building or remodeling experience may be, we’re here to help by sharing our step-by-step process to building your dream kitchen.
A kitchen should be a welcoming and functional space but that doesn’t mean you have to forego your personal style. We encourage our homebuilders to choose design elements that will make them feel comfortable and reflect their personalities. The key to designing your dream kitchen to meet expectations is thorough planning. Throughout this article we will cover each aspect that is involved in the kitchen design process giving you steps to follow during your build journey. We will walk you through from start to finish of a kitchen build/remodel. This guide is perfect for those building a home from the ground up as well as those looking to do a major kitchen overhaul.
Step 1: Assess the Elements
The first step in designing your dream kitchen is to assess your current or previous kitchen. What did you love about the kitchen? What did you dislike? Was there anything you wish you could have added, modified or changed to make the kitchen better? This process should help you discover your “must-have” design elements, as well as what you can do without.
What is considered essential in the kitchen can vary greatly from person to person. For instance, you may find it important to have open shelves in your kitchen creating a certain aesthetic while some would prefer to have traditional cabinets. To install an island or not to install an island is a common question homeowners face, many opt for the island (who wouldn’t want additional counter and storage space)! We understand the difficult choices that come with designing a kitchen, which is why we created Design Studio’s and Model Homes to showcase the different possibilities to our home builders. With our Northern Utah Design Studio winning GOLD for best design studio in NAHB's National Awards for 2021! Still collecting inspiration and ideas? Check out our online kitchen design galleries as well.
Whatever your essential kitchen elements are, make a list of them, and figure out which ones are the most important to you. Don’t forget to add the most basic items you need like appliances, countertops, cabinets, and flooring.
Common Kitchen Elements
Walk in Pantry
Surround Sound System
Step 2: Determine Floor Plan & Outline
The elements you have chosen for your kitchen will affect the outline you come up with. Now that you have decided on what you want your kitchen to have, you’ll want to sit down and determine how your kitchen will look. The layout of your kitchen is critical to functionality so designing the floor plan and layout will be one of the most important steps in the entire process.
Prior to creating your dream kitchen outline you will need to have a good understanding of your home's floor plan. There are a couple of options when it comes to gaining a kitchen outline. You can draw the outline yourself on graph paper or you can work with a kitchen designer or a home builder to create a 3-D rendering of your outline. We recommend going for the 3-D option to gain a better view of what your kitchen will look like. The important thing is to make your outline to scale. Your kitchen outline will be an exact depiction of your existing kitchen floor, walls, windows, and doors.
If you are looking to add a kitchen island or remove a wall, now is the time to account for structural changes. Make a copy of your current outline to work with when planning these changes, this will give you an idea of how much space you have to work with and to place the new elements. Continuing from your original outline or your planned kitchen outline, begin planning cabinetry and appliances, make sure to use a pencil to mark up your floor plan with where you wish to place these elements.
After establishing your outline you will want to determine your kitchen's floor plan. Deciding which floor plan will work best for you will be based on whether you plan to keep the layout of your kitchen the same, if you are starting from a clean slate, or if you plan to undergo major structural changes. Determining a layout is a crucial step in designing your kitchen. You will see six different layouts in today’s most popular kitchen designs:
- U-Shaped Kitchen Layout
- G-Shaped Kitchen Layout
- L-Shaped Kitchen Layout
- Galley Kitchen Layout
- Island Kitchen Layout
- Peninsula Kitchen Layout
Step 3: Get Specific
You have now chosen which elements you would like in your dream kitchen, outlined the space, and designed the layout, it’s time to start getting specific with products. This phase of the design process will be research. Put together a list of different sizes of appliances you want, brands that you like, and the types of fixtures you prefer. During this preliminary research phase try to focus on size, brand, and type. The finish, colors, and style will come into play later in the design process when you begin focusing on the materials for your build. We recommend researching and building a list of items for each of these kitchen design aspects:
Appliances & Fixtures
Medium Density Fiberboard
Use your outline from Step 2 when selecting the sizing for your appliances and fixtures to ensure they fit correctly. This step is also a great time to start creating your budget if you don’t already have one based on the pricing of the products you choose. Remodels or kitchen builds can quickly add up so it’s important to start budgeting early in the design process to ensure you can complete the build to your satisfaction.
Step 4: Storage Options
You have selected your appliances/fixtures, outlined your kitchen and researched elements, it’s time to start planning your storage options. Take a look at your kitchen and determine where you are lacking storage, next take note of what you are currently storing in your kitchen and where. Your list should include non-refrigerator food items, storable appliances, cooking equipment/utensils, and anything you keep atop your counters. Now that you have your list, you can start planning where each of these items will be stored in your new kitchen. There are many creative storage options and we’ll go over some popular solutions like cabinet storage, drawer storage, bench storage, and other ideal storage spaces.
Cabinets tend to be the go-to for storage solutions in the kitchen. There are many ways to create functional storage in the kitchen with a variety of interior cabinet designs. From pull-out drawers behind your cabinet doors, two-story shelving units, lazy Susans, skinny spice racks and corner pull-outs, you can find the perfect place for all your kitchen items.
Drawers offer many opportunities to create creative storage solutions. Kitchen drawer dividers are an excellent way to compartmentalize items, as well as double drawers that offer a drawer within a drawer. Combine the above cabinets with drawers and you have another great way to utilize the space in your cupboards. Find creative ways to separate all of your utensils, tools, towels, and other supplies into baskets or drawers to optimize storage in deep cabinets.
Bench storage is one of the most functional and practical solutions that can easily be integrated into a breakfast nook. This stylish storage method transforms otherwise wasted space into crucial storage providing you with plenty of space for all of your kitchen essentials. Try storing lesser-used items underneath such as, seasonal platters, plastic utensils, outdoor cushions, and more.
Have fun with your kitchen storage! There are no rules and most kitchens will have unique storage solutions set up, be creative and find what works best for your family or lifestyle. Kitchens can quickly become cluttered and unorganized. Consider storing your pans and lids in a sideways rack for organized, easy access or using a coat rack as trendy apron/towel/oven mitt storage.
Step 5: Inspiration & Design
Now that you have the foundation for your kitchen, the main features and essentials figured out it’s time to dive into the fun part; overall kitchen design. There are a variety of styles when it comes to kitchens but there are 6 popular themes people stick with when designing their space. Whether your style is modern and contemporary or classic and traditional, these ideas will inspire you to create a space that suits you perfectly.
Let's start off with a couple of questions:
- Will the style of your kitchen compliment the style in the rest of your home or are you looking for contrast in your décor to stand out?
- What colors and textures would you like to showcase in your dream kitchen?
- Are you loving colors or muted tones?
These questions will pull loaded information out of you but many more can be considered when you’re brainstorming kitchen ideas. The top 6 most popular kitchen design style are:
Style 1 - Traditional
Traditional style kitchens lean to the warm and welcoming side, with a refined finish. Classic details and a timeless color palette is a major indicator of a traditional style kitchen, as well as gorgeous embellishments that add a touch of charm.
Style 2 - Modern
Modern kitchens have rapidly risen in popularity over the past couple of years. The contemporary elements, clean lines, and minimal décor creates a timeless aesthetic in most kitchens.
Style 3 - Transitional
Transitional kitchens are a perfect blend of both modern and traditional design elements. This style is seen as a combination of textures and colors allowing for plenty of creative freedom while designing, keeping a balanced look.
Style 4 - Eclectic
Eclectic kitchens are rising in popularity with their unique and modern aesthetic. To create this style designers will combine multiple textures, colors, styles, and trends. Neutral colors tend to be used as the base of the design then brighter colors are sprinkled throughout the kitchen. If you’re someone who loves to show off your personal style throughout your home, an eclectic kitchen may be the perfect design for you.
Style 5 - Vintage
Vintage-style kitchens tend to pull inspiration from the 1950’s-70’s, sometimes pulling from all three decades. This style is typically described as classic, inviting and warm with its mixture of light and dark color palettes and unique old-fashioned features. Incorporating vintage-style fixtures, period pieces, and wooden elements throughout your kitchen design will bring your vintage style to life.
Style 6 - Glamorous
Glamorous kitchens tend to be a focal point of the home creating a luxurious feel upon entering the room. Inspired by elegance this chic style creates a sophisticated and bold kitchen interior. A large kitchen island is typically featured in a glamorous kitchen, with pendant light fixtures that frame the focal point. Bright white is one of the main elements paired with matte black hardware, sparkling backsplash and stainless steel appliances will complete the luxurious look.
Design & Colors
For some this is the most exciting part of designing your dream kitchen, the color scheme. Now that you have decided on the style for your kitchen, you can decide which colors will best coordinate with that style. Color scheme is what will set the tone for the overall look of your kitchen, we recommend taking your time when deciding on this important step. This will be what you go to for selecting all of the major kitchen design elements; cabinets, hardware, countertops, and light fixtures.
To help give you inspiration on the perfect palette, we will dive into some of the most popular kitchen color schemes. In general, your color scheme will depend on the style you choose for your kitchen design. But, to no surprise, brown, white, and gray are by far the most popular choices for the main color in any kitchen interior. Kitchen color schemes are broken down into categories; main color, flooring color, appliance color, cabinet color, and backsplash color. The most popular colors for the following items are:
Now that we have established the most popular colors for today’s kitchens, we will take a look at the right colors for your kitchen walls. Regardless of the style you choose, you’ll want a color on the walls to help enhance the overall design of your kitchen. Neutral shades are typically a great choice for kitchen wall color and can range from white and light cream to beige and tan. Whether you prefer classic and traditional or modern and contemporary, any of these shades will be a beautiful choice for your kitchen design.
To Be Continued... Part 2!
Building you dream kitchen is a lengthy process so we have broken it up into two parts in the blog! Tune in next week to dive further into selecting your cabinets and hardware, countertops, light fixtures, window dressings, and more depending on the style of kitchen you have chosen! If you are ready to get started on building your dream kitchen now, we are here to assist you. Feel free to call (435) 228-4702 or fill out the form below to get started. Looking for more inspiration in the meantime? Check out our Design Studio, Inspiration Galleries and Model Homes!