9 Design Tips for Your Next Kitchen Layout

By Lyle Weischwill | Nov. 18, 2020 9:49 am PST

Often, the kitchen is the heart of a home. It’s not only where you cook and maybe eat your meals, but it also serves as a warm and welcoming gathering place for many families.

If you’re planning a kitchen remodel, you’ve no doubt thought about how to design the new space so that it suits your needs. However, there’s a ton of stuff to keep in mind when creating your dream kitchen.

So, to simplify things, here are nine design tips to consider during your next kitchen remodel.

1. Establish Your Budget

Before anything else, ask yourself this crucial question: How much do you want to spend on your kitchen redesign? Accurately assessing your finances and determining how much you can spend will set the stage for your remodel. After all, you don’t want to plan a new kitchen just to realize you can’t afford it or, worse, go beyond your planned budget.

It might surprise you how much redoing your kitchen can cost. On average, you can expect to pay around $25,100 for a kitchen remodel. Some things can affect this number, though. You’ll want to consider the various components of your kitchen when setting a budget. For instance, the most expensive piece of a redesign is generally the cabinetry, which can set you back a significant amount based on the size, style and material. Sometimes, the cabinets can cost more than the labor.

Of course, it’s also essential to keep in mind the long game. Although a kitchen remodel might cost you now, you’ll recoup that amount if it increases the value of your home. Even a minor kitchen remodel can see an 81% return on investment.

When outlining your budget, a good rule of thumb is to look at home prices in your area first. If you over-design your kitchen and spend too much, you might not make that money back if you put it on the market.

2. Understand Your Needs

After setting a project budget, evaluate your needs for a kitchen. Ultimately, what is it you want from this redesign?

Are you looking for more space so that you can spread out while whipping up a feast for your family? Do you need more storage for your cookware, gadgets and groceries? Maybe you want to add an informal seating area for casual conversations with family and friends.

Everyone has different priorities and needs. The layout and design features you choose for your kitchen should reflect yours.

3. Consider Your Personal Style

Another critical part of your kitchen redesign is your personal style. After all, you spend a significant amount of time in your kitchen, so you should appreciate the room’s aesthetics.

There are numerous kitchen styles to consider. Do you like a more contemporary style? If so, maybe you’d be happiest with a sleek, streamlined kitchen with high-tech appliances. Or perhaps you prefer a more retro look, maybe with a modern twist to bring it up to date. Other popular styles include the rustic farmhouse look, an open Mediterranean feel or a more traditional, classic design.

4. Determine Your Layout

As you plan your kitchen, you’ll need to decide on the room’s layout. So, think about how you’ll best use the space and whether your desired layout is efficient. You want conveniently located appliances and food prep areas, so you’re not wasting time going back and forth between them. You’ll also need to consider whether your new layout will require adding or removing walls, which adds significantly to the cost.

Here are some common kitchen designs to consider:

  • Galley kitchen: This efficient layout is ideal for smaller spaces. It’s usually a narrow, sometimes longer, room with two parallel walls of cabinets, countertops and appliances with a central walkway.

  • One-wall layout: Using a single wall for most of the features and design elements, this type of layout creates a wide, open space. It works in both small spaces — think a studio apartment that flows easily from the kitchen into the living room — as well as larger homes.

  • L-shaped kitchen layout: This popular design features two perpendicular walls that create an “L” shape, with the other two walls open. This design usually allows for the most counter space and is ideal for adding a kitchen island or seating area.

  • U-shaped kitchen layout: This is like the galley kitchen, except it forms a “U” shape. In addition to the parallel walls, the far wall — which makes the bottom line of the “U” — is also used for things like cabinet space.

5. Your Cabinets Set the Tone of the Room

It’s vital to carefully consider the kitchen cabinetry you install, as it sets the tone for your space. When you walk into the room, the cabinets are usually the first thing anyone will notice. It really establishes a feel for the room.

Obviously, the layout determines the size and shape of the cabinets you buy. You also want to calculate the exact width of the base and wall cabinets you install. If you want top cabinets that reach the ceiling, keep in mind that those tend to be non-stock and will add to the cost.

You also have design elements to consider, such as the hardware — the handles and knobs on your cabinets — and the type of wood or other materials you use for your cabinets. Many of these decisions will go back to your budget and preferred style. Keep the amount you want to spend and the look you’re going for in mind as you select your cabinet design.

6. Install Your Sink First

When building your kitchen design, start with your kitchen sink. You spend more time than you realize at your sink — washing dishes, preparing food and other activities. So, you want to make sure the sink is in a space that’s comfortable for you.

Also, because plumbing is a consideration when establishing the location of your sink and installing it, you need to make sure you’re placing it where pipes exist or are easy to install. Just remember that moving water, electricity or gas will add significant costs. That’s why designing other kitchen features first and then considering your sink can complicate your plans.

7. Give Yourself Enough Space

To state the obvious, you want enough space to move freely and comfortably in your kitchen. If it’s too cramped, it’ll be difficult to cook and spend time in the room.

When you remodel your kitchen, consider a design with enough room to move about. Evaluate the space you’re working with to establish the best flow of the room. Even if your home is small, you can make the most of the space with certain layouts. As stated, the galley kitchen works well in smaller homes and can help the space feel larger.

8. Find the Perfect Spot for Your Kitchen Island

Installing a kitchen island has many benefits. It creates additional storage for your cooking tools and other household items. The island countertop is ideal for setting additional appliances and also adds work space. An island even creates casual seating. Visually, it has an aesthetic appeal, as it establishes a focal point in the room.

That said, a kitchen island won’t work in every space. When designing your kitchen layout, you need to think carefully about whether an island will work in your home.

When installing an island, it’s crucial to find the perfect location in your kitchen. You don’t want it to be too close to cabinets or block your access to appliances, such as your refrigerator, dishwasher or oven. At the same time, if it’s too far from these appliances or your main countertop space, you’ll create extra steps for yourself as you move around the kitchen.

9. Opt for Vertical Storage

When installing cabinets, using vertical space for storage can make your kitchen feel bigger. By going higher rather than wider, you make the most of your wall space, keeping your floor plan open and easy to move around.

And vertical storage doesn’t always mean cabinets. You might also consider shelving, hooks, and even overhead racks to store your kitchen tools.

Are You Ready for a Kitchen Remodel?

If you’re ready for a new kitchen, let Sears Home Services help with all of your remodeling needs. Whether you’re looking for top-of-the-line appliances, kitchen cabinet refacing or replacement, a range of countertop options, an array of backsplashes to choose from, or the perfect kitchen island, our team of home experts can help you design the kitchen of your dreams.

Contact our team of kitchen remodel professionals for a free in-home consultation.

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