Designing your kitchen for a major remodeling project can be stressful, especially if you are not sure where to begin for your design. With a little bit of planning, however, it can be easy to get the results you need for your home’s ideal functional and aesthetic value. Your kitchen’s layout is arguably the best place to start, since it can be the largest determining factor in whether the kitchen is pleasant to be in and use. Take a look at the tips below to get a sense of what is possible, and what you should consider, for starting your kitchen remodel.

Plan for the Kitchen Triangle

Design professionals will refer to the area between the stove, sink and refrigerator as the primary kitchen triangle. This is the greatest activity area, and no matter what you are planning for your unique design, it is important for this area to be as unobstructed as possible. Make sure that all of the points in the triangle are easy to access from each other. There are a lot of possible ways to keep the kitchen easy to use. Moving the sink to an island can help make everything a little bit more accessible. Beyond the kitchen triangle, you might consider placing different zones around the kitchen. For example, if you are a frequent baker or like to mix drinks for your friends, you can place everything you need in one “zone” of the kitchen.

Utilize Storage Space

Make sure that you have plenty of storage space available in your kitchen. This means taking the time to assess the state of all of your cabinets and drawers to better suit your specific needs. Not all kitchens need to be the same in this respect, but if you are an avid cook, you will want space you can count on. If you have a particularly small kitchen space, you can add in extra shelving with wire risers, or have a slide out prep station. You could also remove the need for drawer space with hanging tools on your wall, with a magnetic knife rack or even just a little holder for scrubbers next to your sink. No matter your kitchen’s size, there is a way to make it work for you.

Adjust for Counter Space

Another problem that could arise with improper kitchen design planning is a poor amount of counter space. If you are going to be spending a lot of time in your kitchen, it is absolutely vital for you to look into a larger counter. Consider adding islands if expanding existing space is not an option. As previously stated, try to hang more things up or add additional cabinets, rather than cluttering your counter space. Outside of the kitchen triangle, the amount of counter space is the most important means of keeping your kitchen clean and easy to use.

Use Good Lighting Installations

While not the most obvious part of planning a kitchen layout, placing your lighting is can help make or break your kitchen. Plan for good lighting by thinking about what areas of the kitchen are going to see the most traffic. This means not only adjusting for your regular kitchen use, but also for where you want to keep what tools. Combine the practical with the aesthetic to enjoy a greater sense of ambience in the kitchen, especially if you want to entertain guests. You might consider making some lights dimmable, or having different lights in different areas of the kitchen to make the atmosphere of the kitchen adjustable.

Consider the Backsplash

The backsplash may not be as vital to your kitchen as you think. If you are already happy with the wall color and do not have a lot else in mind for the aesthetic, you can actually save money on your remodeling project by ignoring the backsplash entirely. If you want to have one, go for a contemporary style that emphasizes the surrounding area. You can help decide what you want to add by placing some tile samples on the wall and seeing how the lighting affects them throughout the day.

No two kitchen remodeling projects will ever be the same. The amount of space in your home, how much you can expand, your budget, and countless other factors will affect what is possible in your remodeling. However, there are universal principles and tips that can help you on your way. Always plan with the home in mind, as this can allow you to get more details down to suit your specific lifestyle. Try to work with a professional as often as possible to get a vital second opinion for your arrangements. Starting with the layout of your kitchen will help every other part of your remodel lock into place. The above tips can help you know where to begin.

By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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