Kitchen designers should first consider the 30 plus National Kitchen and Bath Association guidelines when designing a kitchen.
After doing that the best designers know the simple kitchen design tips below. Inexperienced designers, architects, interior designers, and homeowners usually do not. This is just the tip of the iceberg for good kitchen design.
Below are our top 15 kitchen design tips:
1) Never leave crown moldings closer than 9 inches from a ceiling. Once you get within a foot of the ceiling you should have the cabinetry and molding meet the ceiling. Don’t create spaces that look odd and that can’t be cleaned.
2) Professionals avoid corner sinks because dishwashers and cabinetry open into where you stand at the sink and the countertop is much less functional. Good designers also avoid double bowl sinks in favor of large single bowl sinks. Having a larger bowl to work in and being able to fit large pots, trays, and cookie sheets is more useful that a second small bowl. Double bowls are a convenience left over from a time BEFORE dishwashers.
3) Keep cabinetry the same distance away from each side of a window.
4) Keep cabinet doors the same size and on either side of a window, sink or cooktop.
5) Some cabinet door styles, or colors are so unpopular they that destroy the value of a home. Arched wall cabinet doors or golden oak stained kitchens are home value detractors. Pickled pinkish stain and white raised panel plastic Thermafoil cabinets are also home value killers.
6) Never run cabinets all the way to the ceiling without a two-piece crown molding or a solid wood spacer. Ceilings are never level and there needs to be some way to disguise this. This is why professionals use 36 vs 42-inch kitchen cabinets in a room that’s 96 inches high.
7) Never put 8 feet of cabinetry in an 8-foot space. Professional kitchen designers know that walls are out of plumb or have bulges and that you can NEVER completely fill a space with whole cabinets. Fillers allow designers to make the adjustments that make a kitchen look right.
8) Good designers use 42″ high wall cabinets infrequently and would NEVER use anything higher. Builders and amateurs use these heights to maximize cabinetry not realizing that the higher height looks out of proportion and gives little added space benefit. Cabinetry doors look best when their size is closer to The Golden Ratio. Good designers will stack cabinets with small cabinet doors on top to avoid overly tall wall cabinets.
9) Always upgrade to all plywood construction or at the very least make every exposed surface real plywood. Particle board cabinets, besides being less strong, have plastic pictures of wood on their sides that discolor and peal quickly.
10) Highly grained man-made quartz and Corian countertop patterns such as the beautiful Cambria Brittanica cannot be seamed inconspicuously. These patterns only work on tops without seams.
11) NEVER start the demolition on a job without a completed design plan finalized. NO time is EVER saved rushing. When contractors know what the complete project entails, costs are lowered, and the job runs smoothly.
The people that finish first are never the ones that started first they are the ones that planned to completion first and then started. When you hear a story about a kitchen that took 6 months or a year this was the fault of the unprofessional people organizing the job.
12) How much cabinets cost has little to do with their durability and more to do with the cabinet lines ability to customize. Because of this, doing an uncomplicated design in a popular door style and finish, like a white shaker style, in an expensive cabinet line is just throwing money away.
13) Higher price level stone and man-made tops are not more durable, they only cost more because of their color and pattern.
14) The first constructive step in starting a kitchen project is having a professional kitchen designer measure the space. Any design work or material selections made prior to a professional kitchen designer measuring is inefficient and can lead to frustrations when surprises and problems are revealed to you by someone with more knowledge and experience.
15) The best kitchen designers will not ask for the design you want. They will show you designs that make sense for your space and that you should at least consider. You can make changes from there to arrive at the kitchen that you want after considering what a professional would do with your space. Saving money on material selections will make almost any design affordable. So, keeping a layout the same ALMOST NEVER makes sense. It is the design itself that gives value to your home. Upgrading to professional appliances or custom styles and colors can be beautiful but the added expense is wasted if the design itself is poor.
Designers that give customers what they think that they want without at least showing them what’s possible are taking the easy road and the final kitchen always suffers. All experienced kitchen designers know probably hundreds of kitchen design tips.
Call in to our recorded Podcast 2-4 pm Fridays Eastern Standard Time to ask cabinetry and design questions. Have designs ready to email for layout advice. Call 610-500-4071
Here is a link to some other design tips:
Paul, Julie, Chris, Ed, John, Lauren, Tom, Anna, Juliet, Camilla, and Mark
Main Line Kitchen Design.