Basics of Kitchen Design for a Beginner's Journey


What are the basics of kitchen design? Although planning a new kitchen can be exciting, but it can also be confusing. Where should you place appliances, cabinets, and the sink? Where should you put lighting? Also you'll want your kitchen to reflect your individual tastes, certain basic rules should be followed for a successful kitchen design.


No matter how beautiful your cabinets and sleek your appliances, it's worthless if you can't move around your kitchen easily. Traditional kitchen design instructs designers to build around "kitchen triangle," that is the placement of the sink, stove, and refrigerator within easy reach of one another, generally with the sink in the middle.

With today's larger kitchens, an alternative design scheme, using workstations is also possible. This scheme allows for separate areas for cooking, preparing food, storage, clean-up, and even specialized activities, such as menu planning or canning food.


In addition, local building codes must be followed. Although these vary somewhat among different communities, the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), a non-profit consumer association, provides guidelines for consumers building and remodeling kitchens. These include such things and surrounding a kitchen island with at least 24" of space and to place a dishwasher within 36" of the primary sink for convenience.


Having decided on the kitchen layout, it's time to choose the materials you'll use. Flooring can be wooden, laminate, ceramic tile, vinyl, or "green" materials, such as linoleum, which is suddenly popular again. Cabinets may be new or refaced - a stylish way to save money.


Countertops may be made of a number of materials. Natural stone, such as limestone, marble, and granite is attractive, but subject to stains and chips. Solid surfaces, engineered stone, concrete, wood, and laminate are other options.

Basics of Kitchen Design - Appliances

Every kitchen needs a stove, oven, and refrigerator. Beyond that extra appliances, such as a dishwasher and microwave are desirable. Luxury additions may include a trash compactor, built-in wine cooler, and even a built-in coffeemaker. Appliance finishes vary from traditional enamel to trendy stainless steel.

Basics of Kitchen Design - Lighting

A successful kitchen requires ample lighting. According to HGTV, a good kitchen lighting plan blends lighting into the architectural detail of the room and avoids trying to light the entire room from one central fixture. A well-lit kitchen combines four different types of lighting:

  • Task Lighting - This includes the light over the sink or the spots over an island. Basically, wherever there is a work station, there should be lighting specific to that station's function.
  • Ambient Lighting - This is the light that gives the room a warm glow. This can be atop or underneath cabinets. Using "rope" lighting is an easy way to achieve this look.
  • Accent Lighting - Accent lighting showcases special features of the room, such as a china collection or artwork.
  • Decorative Lighting - This adds the final sparkle to the room. Often the light fixture is a focal point as much as the light it gives.
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Basics of Kitchen Design for a Beginner's Journey