How to Set Up Your Dream Kitchen

Last Updated on March 05, 2023

A kitchen renovation can be one of the most exciting home improvement projects a homeowner can undertake. Just the idea of the perfect kitchen of one’s dreams is enough to warm your heart — and make you want to cook your favorite recipes.

But when it comes to planning, it’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed by all the decisions and choices — unless you’re an interior designer with lots of experience. It’s hard to find a way to compromise on your taste and needs for the sake of budget and functionality. For that reason, we’ve put together some useful advice and recommendations to help you create your dream kitchen.


Obviously, the kitchen’s main use is cooking, so the space should meet your cooking style and needs. If you like to whip up a stir fry often, you might want to have your pans and woks nearby, hanging from a rack on the ceiling. If you’re an avid baker, you need some surface area and maybe a pedestal for your old and faithful KitchenAid stand mixer. Or, if you love cooking Thai food, you can install a wok burner next to your stove.

Another thing about kitchens is that they’re often used for many other things apart from cooking. Which part of Monica’s house do you remember the most vividly from the show Friends? A kitchen can be a place where the family gets together to have their morning coffee, newspaper, or phone in hand. Or you might invite a friend over and drink a glass of wine on the kitchen counter while waiting for the food.

You really need to put some thought in order to create a kitchen where you feel both comfortable cooking and mingling.

Assess, Outline, Layout!

The first thing to do is to list all the elements you may want in your kitchen. Some things are quite straightforward – having lots of storage always comes in handy. Other things might be more personal. Take your time and think about all the things you would like to have, such as a kitchen island, pantry storage, a wine fridge, or a spice rack – the world is your oyster!

The Work Triangle and Other Spots

After you are done with the assessment, you can begin to outline how your kitchen will look. Setting up a layout is an essential step in designing a functional kitchen, regardless of whether you intend to maintain the current layout or make significant structural changes. 

The most important thing to consider when designing a layout for your kitchen is the flow of your workstation. Designers call this the work triangle, marking the distance between the refrigerator, stove, and sink. A well-designed triangle lets you navigate between these most frequently used spots in a natural flow. Good design helps us improve our lives in the present, and paying attention to it prevents you from ending up with a pretty yet chaotic space.

Make a Real-Life Blueprint

To start outlining your dream kitchen, you need to have a solid understanding of your floor plan. You can use graph paper to draw your outline yourself or work with an interior design firm and have them create a 3D model. While outlining the kitchen, the most important thing is to model the blueprint with real ratios so that you don’t face any surprises when it’s time to actually build it.

Add Your Style

How can you leave your mark in the kitchen? What kind of style do you want to go for? Is it going to be eclectic, rustic, minimal, bohemian, or contemporary? You can visit some Pinterest boards to get inspired and decide on the flooring, countertops, cupboards, and walls. 

The materials and finishes you choose for your kitchen will eventually determine its appearance and feel, but more significantly, they will decide how long it will last. If you’re going to spend some money remodeling your kitchen, you want it to look beautiful and hold up over time. Go for as many high-quality materials as your budget can allow. 

Make sure to ask lots of questions and conduct thorough research on the way your cabinets are built and the caliber of the materials your cabinet builder utilizes. The countertops usually sustain the most damage, so go for strong materials such as marble and granite.

Let There Be Light

And lastly, pay great importance to the kitchen lighting. How you illuminate the surfaces you work on, the pantry, the spice rack, and other spots in your kitchen can make a huge difference in both the functionality and the aesthetics of the room.

For the kitchen to be a lively environment, you need to consider both natural and artificial lights. Having the right amount of light can make working in the kitchen quite pleasant. To make the design fun, you could play around with the lights: think of the general lighting first, something to brighten the whole space. Pot lights, pendants, or even chandeliers all might work depending on your taste. 

Then, you can install task lighting in strategic areas where you’ll be chopping, prepping, cooking, and washing. This functional lighting system can be integrated within your cabinets and from overhead. If that is not enough, you can also add some accent lights that have no particular function but highlight the incredible design of your kitchen!


Once you’re done with the construction, it’s time to move on to decorating your dream kitchen. Think about artwork on the walls, cozy and functional rugs on the floor, or splash objects on the countertop.

Matching appliances and tool sets are always fun, but it can be hard to maintain the same style over the years of using and obtaining new tools. For that reason, having a color palette and sticking with a style is a better idea to keep your kitchen counter easy on the eye for a long time.

Depth, Height, and Shapes

When placing your favorite items on your countertop, make sure there is some room between them, as stacking multiple objects side by side will eventually look bland and boring. Placing a cutting board in the background works great for adding some depth to the scene. You can also place a magnetic knife stripe on the wall for some extra grandiosity.

The height of the object you display on your countertop is also important. Objects with similar heights can end up looking like lined-up tin soldiers. Placing a standout tall object next to some step-down ones will make it look much better.

Lastly, combining different shapes goes hand in hand with combining objects with different heights and depths. Think about round vases, with objects with corners, like cutting boards or serving trays. And remember, stacking similar shapes and heights rarely works well. Instead, try to combine objects of different heights, depths, shapes, and even textures to create visual interest.

Create Stations

A pretty kitchen is inviting, but a functional one feels much better. Think about the essentials you need in your kitchen and place the ones you use the most in plain sight. You can create a pretty coffee station with your coffee maker and cups; a cooking station where you can easily access your chopping board, knives, and spice rack; or even an oatmeal station if this is your go-to breakfast, by storing your cinnamon, canister of oatmeal, and dried nuts in a tray on your countertop.

Creating such stations in your kitchen allows you to efficiently go through your daily habits. Stations tend to emerge by themselves over time, even if you don’t create one on purpose. Soon enough, you’ll notice you combine the same cups and plates in accordance with your daily habits. But making the stations deliberately and putting some thinking into them is a much better idea to have a well-flowing space. Stacking frequently used items together will save you from zigzagging across the kitchen.

Some Personalization Please

Adding some quirks and personalization is always a good idea when it comes to creating a scene. When someone walks into your kitchen, they should have a sense of who cooks in there. Yes, a family photo on the fridge is fine, but we’re talking about personalizing the space. For that, books are always great to showcase what you’re into on the culinary front. It can be about foraging, Italian cuisine, or baking. Whatever you’re into, don’t be shy to put it on display.

You can also use items that aren’t easily found at department stores. Some out-of-the-box items you bought on one of your trips, like a granite Thai mortar and pestle or a Moroccan tagine pot, are sure to make your kitchen — and the food you cook — stand out from the others.

Over and Out!

Building your dream kitchen from scratch is a big task to undertake, but if you pay attention to the most common dos and don’ts and create a functional and welcoming environment, every penny you spend on it will be worth it. As the saying goes: home is where the food is cooked

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