In many people’s minds, the kitchen is the centerpiece of your home. It’s the command center where your family congregates, starting and ending each busy day.

It’s no surprise that you want an impressive design you can enjoy day in and day out. That’s easier said than done, though.

If you’re in the early stages of building your own kitchen or redesigning a kitchen you already have, start with these crucial design tips.

Measure Twice (Or Three or Four Times)

So many renovations get off track and over budget because of simple measuring problems. It’s easy to miss a detail or a measurement if you aren’t careful.

Look beyond the floor. For example, measure your windows and their exact positions in your walls. Otherwise, you may think you can put new cabinets across a long wall, but it isn’t until installation day that you realize they’d overlap with the window.

Measuring should be one of the first steps of the process. You need to know your limits before you start falling in love with designs and features that don’t work with your kitchen.

For large, customized pieces like custom cabinets and countertops, the vendor may offer to measure the room for you or ask you for the measurements. It’s always better to have the professionals measure.

These people know exactly what information they need. In addition, leaving the measuring to them ensures that you won’t be stuck with the liability for an item that doesn’t fit.

Get a Visual

Let’s be honest: we don’t all have a designer’s imagination. A kitchen design puts together many different features and pieces. It’s difficult to know how everything will look together without seeing it.

So find a way to see it.

Use specialized kitchen design software like ProKitchen v9.7. This software lets you choose from a variety of options and put them into your kitchen’s layout. Consider it the interior design version of trying on clothing before you buy it.

Consider the Mechanics

Designing your kitchen isn’t all about cosmetics. If you’re doing a major renovation, it could mean moving your water, electrical, or gas lines.

This is one part of the process than many homeowners underestimate. They think that moving a fixture a few feet won’t cost much and they end up going way over their budget.

If your design would require you to move any utilities in your walls, get estimates from the start. This will allow you to plan accordingly to fit the switch into your budget. If the cost is too high, you’ll be able to re-work your plans before you order or commit to anything. 

In addition to the price, be sure to find out about the timeline. Ask how long it will take for the plumber, electrician, or other professional to make the move. Find out when during your renovation is the best time for them to do the job.

Come Up with Your Theme

As you get mechanics out of the way and start to think about the cosmetics, you want your kitchen to have a unified look. An easy way to do this is by defining a theme.

Think of a word or a phrase that captures the style you want. It could be something like “traditional warmth” or “modern elegance.”

Make sure your kitchen’s style fits with the rest of the home, but don’t let it hold you back. For example, if your whole home has a traditional feel, your kitchen could have the same look but in an updated, upgraded way.

Choose Your Design Elements Together

You might find a countertop you fall in love with. Then you see a cabinet style you can’t imagine your kitchen without, but it clashes with that countertop. What do you do?

Instead of going piece by piece and making your job more difficult with every step, choose your design elements as a group.

Find samples you like for countertops, cabinets, flooring, and wall colors. Then hold them all next to each other in different combinations to see what you like best.

When you’ve made your choices, try to order them all at the same time too. Otherwise, you may choose everything together and order of your major pieces before finding out the fourth one isn’t available on your timeline.

Get Inspired

It isn’t easy to pull a gorgeous kitchen design out of the air with your bare mind. It’s a good thing you don’t have to.

Technology offers plenty of ways for you to find inspiration for your design. Try Pinterest and interior design sites to start. You can even check local real estate listings to see what’s popular in your area.

This allows you to find out about all the latest trends and see them in action before you choose your design elements.

As you review photos, though, keep your own kitchen in mind. Look for pictures of kitchens that have similar sizes and shapes to yours.

For example, you might see a stunning picture of a large kitchen with black antiqued cabinets. It may look beautiful in that picture but if your kitchen is half the size, those cabinets could make your kitchen look dark and cramped. 

Building Your Own Kitchen: Possible and Accessible

Say what you will about technology and the pros and cons it has for society. Without a doubt, it makes life easier when you’re designing and building your own kitchen.

The tips above can help you take your kitchen step-by-step from a basic shape or an outdated design to a gorgeous kitchen you’ll enjoy every day.

The key is to take it step-by-step and think through every stage rather than making impulsive choices.

Still have a craving for design tips and ideas? Check out more home-centered articles on our blog.