Designing Kitchens That Can Do It All

In the past, kitchens were usually set apart from the rest of the home. 

Homeowners today, however, often prefer their kitchens to be a hub where they can work and entertain guests at the same time. 

Following are some general guidelines for designing a kitchen that can do it all — whether you’re renovating or starting from scratch.

Everyone has different needs for their kitchen, so begin the design process by identifying your top priorities. 

If you love to cook and entertain, make sure you have more than just one stove. If you don’t cook often, there’s no need to invest in restaurant-quality burners. 

When you’ve got a small space to work with, consider installing an island with storage, overhead pot racks, and cabinets that run all the way up to the ceiling. 

You can help a small kitchen feel more expansive by painting the wall colors in a light shade and letting in as much natural light as possible. 

Large kitchens allow for more leeway with amenities (such as the number of ovens), as well as dramatic colors and decorative effects. A midsize kitchen can feel more like a big kitchen if you open it up to the family room.

Regardless of whether your kitchen is large or small, it’s worthwhile to plan out pathways. 

Many designers use the “kitchen triangle” method, in which the fridge, sink, and stove form the three corners of a triangle. Your flatware and dining ware should also be stored close to the dishwasher to make unloading faster and easier. If you want your kitchen to be a “hangout” space, make sure to provide seating that is set away from your work area triangle, such as island seating or a breakfast table.

Glass cabinets can help give your kitchen depth and make it feel more spacious. However, if you have dining ware that doesn’t match with the rest of your collection, you might want to install frosted glass panes instead.

If you own a historical home and think it’s time to update your kitchen, consult a designer familiar with historical home renovation. 

A designer can help update appliances while staying faithful to the kitchen’s aesthetic. 

Renovating or designing a kitchen can be a lengthy process. Yet regardless of how much cooking you do, you’ll want your kitchen to be a room you enjoy spending time in. A beautiful, thoughtfully designed kitchen is always worth the trouble.

Share this article...
Email this to someone
Share on Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn

Margaret Chambers

Margaret Chambers, a registered interior designer (RID) and member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), leads Chambers Interiors and Associates. Her colleague Caitlin Crowley helped edit this column. Find more design advice at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.