How to Get the Most Out of Your Kitchen

Nothing feels quite like hearth and home than a beautiful kitchen. It’s often the familial gathering place; where creation feeds nourishment through a meal, parents help children with homework and glasses are clinked in cheers when good news comes knocking. 

What is at the heart of a brilliant kitchen design? Form following function; where design serves the end-users of the room and presents a functionality in storage, organization and usability. 

Keeping Innovative solutions top of mind throughout the design process will allow you to make the most out of this essential part of your home. Here are some things to consider for your custom kitchen design that will surely make all happy, including the discerning chef.

Interior Design by Awaken Interiors

Kitchens with the Chef in Mind

One of the very first steps in determining how to prioritize functionality in custom kitchen design is thinking about your needs. Are you a well-versed chef that uses a lot of pots and pans, utensils, spices and ingredients? It’s imperative that your cabinet’s placement and storage are well thought-out to help you navigate in the heat of the moment. 

You should also think about appliances here: will a conventional stove be enough or do you want to consider specialized options like a pizza oven or range stove? Many homeowning chefs are also looking towards the wellness kitchen trend, where storage of fresh produce is prioritized with temperature-controlled cabinets and cellar-like drawers for root vegetables. Wellness kitchens also have a regard for home grown bounties by including space and lighting to have a small herb and/or vegetable garden. 

Modern Storage for Convenience

Next, think about convenience. Do you currently have trouble lifting or pulling out heavier items? Many do, and we recommend a plan that keeps dishware and pots/pans in lower cabinets and shelves rather than higher ones. Upper kitchen storage is both physically and psychologically heavy!  Working with your interior designer to create custom storage pieces that are both stylish and functional can transform your kitchen space in just a few simple steps. Options like a custom wooden pull out pantry will allow you to tuck away cooking essentials when not in use but also provide easy access. 

To keep counters and visual lines of the space clean, consider upper cabinetry and shelving. You may have noticed modern kitchen trends removing doors entirely, letting their cabinets act as an open shelving system. Eliminating the need to open a cabinet door gives you a seamless cooking experience, but it’s not for everyone. Open shelving requires more discipline to keep the space clear, organized and clutter free.

Wet bar
Kitchen Design by Luxe Kitchens. Staging by A.I. Interiors. Photography by Michelle Gardner

The Kitchen Island Re-Imagined

Speaking of use, how is your kitchen currently being utilized? Do you find yourselves eating in the kitchen more often than the dining room? As lives get busier, more families are finding the kitchen as their main eating space. 

Additionally, do you play host to dinner parties where you’d like to cook and entertain all at once? Food shouldn’t be prepared in isolation as your guests or family are in the other room.  A more modern approach makes your kitchen island your main prep station with a space for multiple people helping in the process. It should also serve as a comfy place to sit and enjoy conversation on the other side.

Great room
Kitchen Design by Luxe Kitchens. Staging by A.I. Interiors. Photography by Michelle Gardner

Take Advantage of Space

Additional kitchen storage doesn’t necessarily mean a custom ceiling to floor pull out pantry. It could mean using hanging storage, floating shelves, and thinking vertically. To reduce clutter, consider the use of hooks for pans and cutting boards. This allows them to remain in easy access while achieving a cohesive stylish look. The use of a sliding ladder or vertical storage solutions also allows you to store items that you may not use as often and add a fashionable design element to the space. 

Incorporate Warmth & Light

With all the time you are spending in the kitchen, design should not suffer on account of functionality and storage. Remember when we recommended reducing or doing away with upper cabinets? Now you have all the wall space in the world to create a unique environment that is as warm and bright as the fresh basil growing on your windowsill. 

With a custom kitchen design, consider large windows to bring in natural light and quality air flow. Cabinetry or shelves using raw materials such as reclaimed wood and industrial hardware plays well against the traditional tile backsplash. Accessorize your space with cook books, plants and decorative vases.

Interior Design by Awaken Interiors

Consult An Expert

Remodeling or building a new kitchen is no easy feat. Your own research sets the stage for understanding your needs; now it is time to consult experts to help turn your kitchen dream into kitchen reality. A general contractor will help execute and build, but make sure you have a designer behind the wheel as you navigate the nuances of storage, functionality and space. Additionally, if you have high-end technology needs, consulting an AV specialist will help bring all the moving parts together.