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How to Build Your Own Fabulous Kitchen

By Jordan Koonts, Contributing Writer for The House Designers®

Designing and choosing every finish and detail to create a dream kitchen can be overwhelming and frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. By following a few simple steps and making several key decisions early, you can easily design a fabulous kitchen that is as unique as you are. From gourmet layouts that would make even the best chef jealous, to open spaces that are great for entertaining, there is no limit to the variety of amazing kitchens available.

Kitchen finishes can be broken down into three simple categories: the appliances, the surfaces, and the built-ins. Focusing on these crucial areas allows the space to take shape, resulting in a stylish yet functional area that is sure to add value to your home.

 KitchenAid appliances provide a high-end functionality.

Consider a trusted appliance brand such as KitchenAid®, which pairs quality with efficiency and reliability. A KitchenAid® refrigerator, dishwasher and gas range can all be seen here in our new Northridge (THD-7383) house plan, per the architect’s choice.

The Appliances

Like many things in a home, kitchen appliances are an investment. Not only can they provide style and appeal, but choosing quality, trusted brands can save money on maintenance. Opting for appliance brands that are known for their superior standards means that you will be getting a product that you can trust and will likely last for many years. Consider models that are labeled ENERGY STAR® rated or high efficiency (or “HE”) as these will help reduce your electrical bill. When you cut your energy dependence, you help the environment, too!

Other aspects to consider with appliances are the finishes and features. Many different finishes and materials are available. Decide what kind of appliance look is right for you and your kitchen—you can learn more in our article, Choosing the Best Kitchen Appliance Finish. Some popular options include stainless or matte steel. If you’re interested in the latest and greatest in technology, read Smart Home Appliances for Modern Households to get acquainted with the newest features. With so many options, designing a unique kitchen is easier than ever. From the exterior look to deciding on functions, even the simplest of choices can increase a kitchen’s appeal and value.

Choose the proper surface for a gorgeous kitchen.

A great kitchen surface pairs visual appeal with functionality. An example of such a statement surface is seen in the Wilsonart® Quartz of this traditional kitchen within our Covington (THD-9898) house plan. We love the Lucca pattern because it’s so adaptable!

The Surfaces

From adding aesthetic appeal to being functional, the right surface for a kitchen is the next key step in designing a fabulous workspace. Kitchen surfaces—from the floor to the backsplash—serve many purposes and must withstand exposure to an array of different things. But perhaps the most critical surface is the countertop, which should be chosen after taking factors such as durability and cost, as well as a home’s style, into account.

Granite, quartz, and other stone materials are popular for countertop surfaces. These options offer wide varieties in color, quality, and clarity and can create a beautiful space that captivates the eye. Traditional designs may feature more subdued colors while modern styles may have bolder colored surfaces, such as white and black, that command the eye. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when considering stone. Not only can natural stone countertops be expensive, but the continued upkeep is, too. Porous stones such as granite and marble are susceptible to cracking and staining from spills, so engineered quartz—which comes in a number of authentic patterns—makes a better low-maintenance choice due to its super durable, nonporous qualities. You’ll find amazing options for every type of design!

If you need to get creative to stay on budget, consider highlighting only part of the kitchen in your top choice, and place a less expensive material on other areas. This is great for a large island, for example, and can help draw the eye to this centerpiece. Select another material like laminate for the auxiliary countertops to complement the space at a reduced price. With literally hundreds of laminate patterns available, it’s easy to find something complementary, and you’ll also appreciate the hardiness.

Consider Yorktowne Cabinetry for quality built-ins.

Consider what color scheme and finish is right for the built-ins in your home. Yorktowne® Cabinetry is known for their quality products that come in a variety of beautiful looks, as well as custom add-ons such as the wine racks and the open china cabinet pictured here.

The Built-Ins

The final piece to consider when designing a kitchen is the built-ins. Cabinetry and pantry features can go a long way toward determining a kitchen’s functionality and value. The proper layout and design are critical to a kitchen’s look and feel. Consider working with a designer to determine the most practical and productive layout for these features.

From color to hardware style, cabinets help define a kitchen space. For a chicer look, consider off-white cabinetry with some handy Craftsman finishes, such as a built-in wine rack or exposed china cabinet. Traditional homes may opt for more natural wood colors for built-ins, while modern homes have cabinets made with glass or other finishes for a sleek and subtle look.

And if the space is available, consider a walk-in pantry. Not only does this increase space, but it adds value to the home. A large pantry frees up cabinets and storage throughout the rest of the kitchen. No matter the style of the home, a sizable pantry is always desirable.

Designing a fabulous kitchen space doesn’t have to feel overwhelming, and it can actually be quite easy and rewarding. Begin the design process by focusing on appliances, surfaces, and built-ins to plan your dream kitchen in no time. There are many kitchen design options, so for some ideas or inspiration, check out our fabulous kitchens and begin your journey towards the perfect kitchen today.