The kitchen is the heart of the home, so a redesign requires special care, thought, and effort. Before you start ordering samples, you’ll want to carefully consider the kitchen design and layout in relation to the surrounding rooms or spaces, as well as the materials, colors, and undertones that will best complement the style of your home. You’ll want to pay special attention to the cabinet materials and countertop materials since these make up the majority of the surface area in your kitchen. Below are a few classic kitchen styles and redesign tips to help you get started!
Kitchen Design Styles
Keep the following template designs in mind as you plan the new space. The kitchen layout you choose will ultimately depend on how you want to use the new space! Do you have a big family and need room for many “cooks in the kitchen”? The L-shape or horseshoe will give you the most space. Or are you looking for a minimalist design in a one-bedroom loft apartment? The “one-wall” is probably your best bet.
All cabinets and major appliances are installed along one wall. This design is popular in one-room or studio apartments because it’s an economical space-saver.
This style is essentially the “one-wall” with an added island or opposite, parallel wall, which creates a central walkway. This layout is relatively easy to configure (there are no corner cabinets, which are costly) and leaves more room for bigger appliances and more cabinet space overall.
The ultimate “open” design, an L-shaped kitchen is best suited for kitchens in the medium or large ranges. It features lots of countertop space along two perpendicular walls (forming an “L”), usually extending 12-15 feet in each direction.
This design is essentially the “L-shape” with an added third wall, forming a “U-shape.” The layout adds cabinet and countertop space, but has a cozy, classic feel!
The addition of an island—added countertop and/or cabinet space in the middle of a kitchen—has become extremely popular lately due to its versatility. It can serve as a table (with added stools), an extra sink space, or simply added storage. Islands can be added to any of the designs above to optimize the space and add amenities.
Choosing Your Cabinet Materials
Once you choose your design, you’ll need to make decisions about cabinets and countertops (which take up the most visual space). Cabinet materials will need to compliment the appliances, flooring, and décor, so it’s important to spend time thinking about which option will suit your kitchen best. Cabinet doors are usually made from wood, thermofoil, or laminate. Wood is by far the most popular option since it is so versatile; wood doors can be painted, stained, and/or finished to protect the natural grain. These doors are available as “solid” wood or “veneer,” which is a slice of wood attached to a plywood core (which helps save on cost). The natural finish includes rich color variations (some of which can change over time) and knots, making it an ideal addition to a neutral or understated color palette. A few of the wood options include cherry, maple, alder, oak, mahogany, walnut, lyptus, bamboo, and hickory.
Keep in mind as you plan that almost every kitchen design can be customized to you, even down to the details like the distance between countertop and upper cabinets.
For more information about cabinet materials and customizations, visit Quality Kitchen Cabinets of San Francisco: a family-owned company working with you to produce the perfect solution to fit your space and budget. You can also stop by to see their kitchen showroom to view fully-appointed displays and consult with a professional!