How to Design the Perfect Kitchen

Your kitchen is the heart of the home, and it’s where you spend a lot of time. Whether you’re preparing and cooking a gourmet meal or gathering around the island for breakfast, designing this space in a smart way is crucial both for looks and functionality. If you’re wondering how to design the perfect kitchen, we have some helpful, inspirational tips to keep in mind. From a completely new layout to updating the lighting, every detail matters in this important room. Read on to discover some tips to help you create a stunning kitchen you’ll love to use and be proud to show off.

Start with a Smart Layout

Photo Courtesy of: Becki Owens | Rebekah Westover
Photo Features: Hagen Chandelier | Mark D. Sikes Metal No. 2 Sconce | Mesh Counter Stool

If you’re designing a kitchen from scratch, it’s the perfect time to consider the overall layout for better functionality. Make sure that your new floor plan offers plenty of room between the cabinets and the island so it’s easy to move around the room. The pathways in your kitchen should be at least 36 inches wide or more. Anywhere around the stove should be around 42 inches wide, or 48 inches wide if you have more than one person typically cooking at a time. Place your island strategically, so that there’s plenty of space around it for chairs or for standing around and moving about the space.  Don’t forget to include kitchen island lighting that will make prepping and eating easier. Look for pendant lighting that hangs above the island for a beautiful touch and additional functionality.

Photo Features: Costa Counter Stool
When planning your kitchen layout, consider how much foot traffic there will be. If you have kids at home, try to keep the cooktop out of the way of high-traffic areas so that children don’t accidentally catch a pot or pan handle and cause a dangerous spill or injury. The fridge should be easily accessible both to you and your family as well as your guests. Make sure that the kitchen door has plenty of clearance when applicable. This will ensure that it opens and closes safely without causing an issue. Try to keep major appliances away from the corners in your kitchen and ensure that the appliance doors don’t hit each other if they’re opened at the same time. A great layout is the foundation when you think about how to design the perfect kitchen, so take your time and sketch a few options on paper until you find one that works for you.

Pick the Perfect Island

Photo Features: Charlotte Flush Mount
Islands are now a staple for today’s modern kitchens, so choose yours wisely. This centerpiece comes in a variety of formats, depending on your specific needs and desires as well as how much floor space you have. An island with a built-in sink can save counter space in the rest of the room. Some islands include the stovetop and oven built-in as well. Others may simply serve as an extra-large countertop or table that can double as a breakfast area or even a dining room table. If you choose this option, make sure that it also includes some under-counter storage and cabinetry. Pick out kitchen light fixtures and kitchen ceiling lighting to hang over your island so that it’s bright and functional. Several pieces of pendant lighting work well for this application, or you can opt for a linear chandelier.
Photo Features: Huntington Linear Chandelier | Huntington Wall Sconce  
The Huntington Linear Chandelier from Hudson Valley Lighting adds elegance and brightness to an island. With its sleek finish and brilliant crystal rods, it adds a chic and luxurious touch to a modern cooking space. If you prefer something a bit more traditional, the Bryant Linear Chandelier from Hudson Valley Lighting is an excellent choice. It features a simple metal caged design in your choice of finish, while six candelabra bulbs add just the right amount of brightness over an island. If you prefer pendant lighting for your kitchen light fixtures, choose from a stunning selection by Troy Lighting. This brand designs a myriad of gorgeous pendants in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. From woven material to glass and metal, pendants are a perfect complement for a kitchen island.

How to Design the Perfect Kitchen: Define Your Style

Photo Features: Chaya Rug | Moya Barstool
Just like the other rooms in your home, it’s vital to determine your favorite personal design style for the kitchen. Whether it’s ultra-modern and contemporary, rustic and farmhouse-inspired, industrial, or traditional, look for inspiration before you begin your kitchen transformation. Modern kitchens tend to incorporate elements like stainless steel and solid stone, while rustic kitchens use components like solid wood and reclaimed wood alongside a bit of glass and metal. Look for samples of materials for your cabinets, flooring, and countertops. Mix and match these components in natural light to get a feel for how they’ll work together and play off of one another. There’s no harm in mixing and matching different elements, either. Have fun while designing your kitchen and bring things like acrylic front cabinets together with butcher block countertops, for example.

When exploring the right style for your kitchen update, you can also use the lighting as inspiration. Take the Stinson Linear Chandelier from Hinkley Lighting, for example. For a classic statement-maker, Stinson hits the mark. A robust open and airy cage, designed for maximum impact in a bold Black and Polished Nickel finish, is accompanied by refined sparkling crystal accents to create the perfect mix of traditional appeal and industrial panache. 

Photo Features: Milo Flush Mount | Costa Counter Stool

Brass or gold faucets and a black leather-textured stone countertop would play nicely with this style. Explore various kitchen lighting fixtures and use them as a starting point to inspire you to incorporate different elements and materials together. This makes it easier to get a cohesive look since everything will flow beautifully together and give the room a sense of defined style.

Focus on Functionality

Photo Features: Cachet LanternSal Task Sconce

When you think about how to design the perfect kitchen, always keep its functionality front and center. If you have the space, add a pantry with plenty of shelving and lots of room so you can keep dry goods and snacks neatly organized. Look into adding custom cabinetry so you can have all of your pots and pans together in one space. The more functional the room is, the more you’ll enjoy spending time in it and using it every single day. Even your lighting should be as versatile and as functional as possible. The Sal Task Sconce from Regina Andrew Lighting is an excellent choice thanks to its dual adjustable arms. Install this sconce on the wall and extend or retract it as needed to get more use out of your cooking space. Kitchen lamps from Regina Andrew Lighting can also come in handy. Place a small lamp on your countertop or island to get additional task lighting in this space.

Photo Features: Lupe Sconce
Open shelving is a wonderful option for some kitchens, and it can be a wonderful way to display a few collectibles, your favorite dinnerware, or a vase filled with freshly cut flowers. Keep in mind that open shelving should be kept to a minimum to avoid making the kitchen feel cluttered. However, some shelving that’s not hidden by cabinet doors is a great way to keep things you need close at hand so you can grab them and go, such as your favorite coffee mug or a favorite cooking pot. Don’t forget to account for your appliances, too. A pot filler over the stove makes cooking easier, while large refrigerators make storing food and beverages a breeze. Think about how you use your kitchen the most, then incorporate different elements into the room to make your life easier.

More Helpful Tips

Photo Features: Giada Runner

Learning how to design the perfect kitchen can be a challenge, but it’s also a lot of fun. Always think about how you use your kitchen first and foremost. Whether you solely use it for cooking or also for eating and entertaining, this is a major factor in how you plan the overall layout and design. If your kitchen is open plan, focus on the working portion first, but also how it will flow into the main living area or dining room. Be sure to choose furniture like dining tables and chairs that will coordinate with your countertops, cabinets, and flooring. It’s also important to remember to design a “working triangle” in your kitchen plan. The fridge, sink, and stove should be close to each other for easy functionality and a good flow.

Photo Features: Canal Mirror

Kitchens come in different shapes, depending on how your home is designed. A galley kitchen likely won’t have room for an island, while an open plan design will. Examine the size, shape, and layout together so that your new kitchen works well for your lifestyle. Once you have a plan in place, it’s much easier to choose things like the island, appliances, lighting, and finishes. You can start to pick out things like the flooring, wall color, countertop material, and more so everything seamlessly fits together. At Meadow Blu, you’ll discover a wide range of beautiful kitchen lighting, accessories, dinnerware, and much more to help you create the beautiful kitchen of your dreams.