The kitchen is probably the most used room in your house, so you want it to be a space you enjoy spending time in. And aside from functioning appliances, a kitchen design you'll love for years to come is of utmost importance. So whether you're renovating or simply looking for some inspiration, we found 85 kitchen ideas that will help you optimize your own—and the best lessons to take from them. From country casual to sleek and modern—and literally everything in between–we've got all the kitchen remodel inspiration you could ever need. Gorgeous countertops, unique backsplashes, and statement lighting, we're coming for you.
Major remodels involve a larger overhaul of the existing kitchen than minor remodels. Key fixtures—lighting, appliances and flooring—are replaced with new versions, while extra touches are added such as a high-end sink with matching faucet and semi-custom cabinetry. Semi-custom cabinets are customizable, with versatile sizing and door front options.
Oak and walnut are two of the most common hardwood choices and for good reason. Oak is durable and stains well while giving an appealing natural grain and is reasonably priced. Hickory, maple, ash, cherry are also good choices too so take your time and decide accordingly. If you prefer a light-colored hardwood floor, ash is an ideal option, while people who expect a lot of foot traffic should consider hickory as an option.
Silver is also a great choice but may not be the best idea if your kitchen has a lot of rough usages (think oily hands!) or if you wish to keep costs down. And should you go for knobs or handles? Again, you can choose one or both to give a slightly edgier look to your kitchen. The point here essentially is that while changing cabinets can cost a lot and involves a lot of efforts, the hardware is much easier to update and more affordable. And when the knobs look nice, even slightly old cabinets will look as good as new.
When updating your kitchen backsplash, consider whether you want to incorporate new changes to the material or re-do the existing design. If you are short on time and money, consider a simple coat of paint. This way, you can incorporate a variety of styles depending on your existing material or simply add a shade. If you are artistically inclined, use a stencil to create a design in a secondary accent color. Different kitchen backsplash ideas might be enough if you can’t afford a complete renovation.
The matte finish of this durable stone adds an ultra-modern touch to the kitchen without the excessive reflections. In a way, it makes it less susceptible to smudging too. Besides the evergreen black, brown and beiges, the finish also allows you to opt for exotic red and blue colors should you want to add a bit of color to your kitchen. Contrast the seams and colors of the slab with the plainness of white oak cabinets to add an unrivaled touch of class. You can’t go wrong with a pop of color set to a plain white setting. As oak is equally gracious when paired with granite and relatively less prone to water damage than MDFs, the pairing is bound to be a hit. The number of kitchen countertop ideas is as many as the types of countertops, be it natural stones like granite and marble (wondering the difference between granite and marble?) or other engineered stones like quartz.
The cost of flooring depends on whether you're replacing a few cracked tiles or doing a complete overhaul of your existing flooring. If you're opting for the latter, the price will depend on your kitchen's square footage and the flooring material you've chosen. Vinyl is generally the most affordable option. While ceramic tile, laminate, cork and hardwood tend to cost more, they can also increase your home's value.
In a charming Paris apartment, an open-concept kitchen and dining area is outfitted with 17th-century French chairs, a Napoleon III chandelier, along with a backsplash featuring 18th-century Portuguese tile. The custom French oak boiseries and cabinets are in the style of the 18th century. The kitchen's flooring is antique oak and the fireplace is original to the apartment.
When designing your new kitchen, consider creative ways to transform traditional pieces, like cabinets, into something functional and unique. For example, a standalone hutch made from Martha Stewart Living PureStyle cabinetry can not only serve as storage, but also transform into a handy reminder station with the addition of dry-erase board inserts.
Remodeling your kitchen is the perfect opportunity to create a design that’s based on your individual needs. Focus on who will be using the kitchen most and how many people will be working in the space at one time. You’ll want to ensure you have room to work and move around as needed, so consider the work triangle in your new layout. You’ll also want to think about a dining area, how often you entertain, and what a kitchen with guests would look like. Our team of kitchen designers can develop a variety of options to ensure your new kitchen perfectly fits your lifestyle.
For example, if you plan to serve snacks or use this space for wine sessions, leave proper legroom and surface area for each person. About 24 inches of width might be enough for each person. Consider leaving 9 to 13 inches of clearance between your knees and the bottom of the counter for the necessary legroom. While designing, match the counter height with the seating you use. Customizing your island can make it more user-friendly and diverse without adding costs, For example, if your kitchen island also doubles as a workspace, consider adding electrical outlets to make sure people can charge their phones or plug in a speaker. There a number of kitchen island ideas that can get you moving.
While the material you chose will, of course, depend on your personal needs, preferences, and budget, you can always save costs by doing it yourself instead of hiring a professional. The Internet has many videos on going the DIY route but remember, do it only if you have prior experience of knocking down existing design and relating a new design. DIY is good only for people who know their stuff; for others, it can turn out to be extremely time consuming and worse, a half-baked project.
If you want more counter and storage space, then adding a center island may be worth the cost. But an island can limit the number of people working in the kitchen, reduce traffic flow to one-way with no passing, and make for cramped quarters. Try out an island before committing to one. Slap together a full-scale model out of cardboard or plywood and live with it for a few days. Make sure you can open your stove and refrigerator doors. No space for an island? Consider a kitchen trolley instead.
The one important reason why you should choose new cabinet doors because if you want to keep your costs low, you can always consider buying ready-to-use doors which are available in various colors, material and texture. For ease of usage and low maintenance, you can always consider plywood/MDF. However, if you can afford to spend a little more, proper wood like dark cherry wood cabinets would be a lovely option. If you are feeling eccentric and eclectic at the same time (well done, you!) then you can even consider getting rid of cabinet doors completely and instead opt for an open shelf design. That choice, however, will require you to get new cabinets that are more suited to open-frame designs.
"The kitchen is another example of applying real design ingenuity to small dimensions," Refinery29 founder Christine Barberich says of her Brooklyn Heights space. "My husband found the best appliances he could that were all smaller in scale, so nothing felt out of proportion. I love the XO relief tiles that create the white backsplash. They’re just fun because you might not notice the pattern until you’re up close. We had the concrete countertop made in Bay Ridge by this three-generation family of concrete designers. We loved the idea of having this major industrial moment right in the middle of the apartment and it really does serve as an entertaining area, workspace for cooking, or flower arranging. It’s unexpected in its brutalist vibe against the white backdrop and softer, colored details."
The time it takes to remodel your kitchen depends on the size of your project, the amount of work needed, and product lead times. The process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, averaging 2-3 weeks for a small project and 4-12 weeks for a larger, more complex project. These time estimates include the ordering and delivery of your custom products. During your site verification, ask our qualified kitchen contractor how long your project should take.