The kitchen is one of the most important rooms of any home. It serves as a frequent gathering point for get-togethers and celebrations, since it’s where most of the food is prepared and served. It’s a room everyone in your home will need to visit regularly. And it’s often near the entrance to a home, making it a place where many first impressions are formed.
So if you’re building a new kitchen from scratch, or remodeling an old one, which decisions can you make to ensure your kitchen makes a better first impression on your guests?
Key Design Elements
There are a handful of overarching design elements you’ll need to consider as you design a better kitchen:
- Cleanliness. Everyone wants to see a clean kitchen. This is a room where food is prepared, so the cleaner it looks, the more hygienic and welcoming it will seem. Regular cleaning can help you keep up appearances, but over time, your cupboards and fixtures can come to look unclean, and clutter can compromise your overall aesthetic.
- Modernity. You’ll also want to consider how “modern” your kitchen looks. An older-looking kitchen can be charming, especially in the context of a restored, older home, but for the most part, newer appliances and fixtures are more efficient, more convenient, and more welcoming.
- Space. Because the kitchen is frequently a location for conversation and interaction—not to mention food prep—it needs to have adequate space. That doesn’t always mean having more space, but it does mean your guests should have plenty of room to move around.
How to Design a Better Kitchen
Try using these tips to design a better kitchen:
- Choose the right appliances. First, make sure you’re buying the right appliances (and upgrading yours if they’re several years old). A new commercial range stove will make your kitchen the envy of the neighborhood, offering more efficient cooking, more features, and of course, a clean, modern new design. A newer model of
refrigeratorwill save space, offer high-tech features, and provide a cleaner, more modern-looking interior.
- Establish a layout friendly to walk-throughs. Next, you’ll need to consider a kitchen layout that makes it friendly to walk-throughs. Too many kitchens allow only one or two people to cook or walk through at the same time; you can maximize this space by putting your counters, appliances, and other fixtures further away from each other, and by utilizing an open floor plan. With
existing kitchens, you may be limited by other walls,or the shape of the room, but you can still make alterations that make walking through a little easier.
- Err on the side of more counter space. Next, err on the side of including more counter space. If you have the room to conveniently install another kitchen
island,or an extra table, include one. Many cooks have lamented a lack of available counterspaceto adequately a large meal, but not many homeowners ever complain about having “too much” counterspace. If you find you aren’t using that space for food prep or food presentation, you can always use it as an extra table, where you can do work or enjoy the company of others.
- Invest in inconspicuous storage areas. Clutter can instantly damage the visual presentation of a kitchen, so it pays to have adequate storage for all your kitchen needs, including smaller appliances, pots and pans, and silverware. Investing in good cupboards and drawers is a good start, but the more inconspicuous this storage is, the better. For example, consider trying to make your drawers flush with your counters, or with your kitchen island, so it isn’t immediately obvious that they exist—giving your kitchen a cleaner look, with slightly less required space. You could also include more “hidden” cupboards in high or low places, so they’re out of the way.
- Choose materials with staying power. It’s tempting to choose whichever materials are in vogue for your counters, floors, and cupboards, but be wary—kitchen materials tend to go in and out of style quickly. Instead of choosing something trendy or popular in the present, choose a material that’s unlikely to wane in value or interest in the years to come if you really want to design a better kitchen.
Your dream kitchen doesn’t need to be perfect to be warm, welcoming, and functional. With a handful of new touches, like a new stove or refrigerator, or rearranged counter space, you can make a much better first impression on all your guests—and come home happier at the end of each day. On top of that, kitchen remodeling is one of the highest-ROI home improvement projects you can implement. So even though it costs a bit of money upfront, it will add significant value to your home in the long run which is why you should definitely design a better kitchen.