10 Kitchen Design Ideas Your General Contractor Knows About, And You Probably Don’t

When it comes to kitchen design, what you don’t know won’t kill you, but it could cause you undue stress, money, time, and hair color. Here are 10 kitchen design ideas and philosophies we use at Brown Wegher to help our clients make the best of the most popular room in the house.

Function before form.

Yes, you know this, but you’re overthinking it. Kitchens are functional spaces first, and they become beautiful by the ease, grace, and elegance of that function. It’s easy to stress about form and its many colors, textures, and finishes, but the more legwork you do improving the practical function of the space with solid layout practices and high-quality appliances, the more readily those aesthetic elements will fall into place. A beautiful kitchen is one you feel at ease in.

Form doesn’t have to be expensive.

Finishing touches like cabinet pulls don’t have to be top-of-the-line to look fantastic. Your budget is better off used for quality appliances, cabinets, and building materials, which are things that will stand the use and abuse that happen often and naturally in kitchens. Invest in the pieces you absolutely love, and then save where you can.

Think outside the kitchen.

Since the majority of us gather in this forever heart of the home, it’s a good idea to see it from all angles. Does it have good visibility to the backyard? Do you want it to be hidden from the front door? How easy is it to maneuver from the stove to the dining room to the dishwasher? Will you be entertaining here? (Hint: the answer to that question is always yes, so plan for it).

When in doubt, add more storage.

Your kitchen will have several nooks and crannies. Use every single one. Build overhead cabinets right up to the ceiling to close that wasted, dusty gap. Install toe-kick drawers for cutting boards and cookie sheets. Use cabinet doors for spice racks. Consider using deep, pull-out drawers in your cabinets so you have access to everything, including small appliances that would otherwise clutter your counters. Pull out cabinet doors can be is especially useful in upper pantry cabinets, where so much of their contents are out of reach.

Add more types of light than you think you’ll need.

Kitchens often set the mood for the home, and adding a variety of lighting options—under cabinets, in cabinets, sconces, pendants, recessed—can allow you to change the mood as you see fit.

Add an extra power outlet or two.

The same goes with power outlets. It’s a horrible feeling to stand in the middle of your brand new kitchen wondering where you are going to plug in your blender, toaster, crockpot, or cell phone. Drawing back to the function conversation, think about the items you currently use and how you would use them in the new space. It’s cheaper to place outlets and never use them than to have to have extra ones installed after the fact.

And more countertops. Or don’t.

While some may believe there is no such thing as too much counter space, others believe that more flat surfaces mean more places to collect clutter. Find your happy medium.

Invest in a good range hood that vents outside.

Range hoods are an excellent addition to any kitchen, particularly those with new, young, or adventurous cooks. Embrace their creativity and the smoke and odors that come with it, with an ability to clear the air quickly, quietly and cleanly. And consider designating a space for takeout menus.

Get ready to talk trash.

Where you put your trash, recycling, and compost bins shouldn’t be an afterthought. You’ll use them every day, so place them where they make sense. For some, this is a pull out cabinet or a space under the sink; for others, it’s creating the space for a sleek, stainless bin.

Dream out loud and offline.

At some point, usually around the 147th pin or kitchen design blog, you have to turn off your computer and talk to a professional (hopefully not a therapist, but if it helps, go). Your Sioux City general contractor and designer can take all of your concerns and turn them into something specifically geared for you and your needs as well as help you foresee the what you may need in 5, 10, or 15 years.

Brown Wegher is here to help you make your kitchen dreams come true. Call us when you are ready to bolster your design ideas with our experience.