Kitchen planning – what to consider.

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Pro tips for your next kitchen.

Start planning your kitchen in six easy steps. Our kitchen planning guide gives guidance on everything from kitchen layouts and designs to where to place kitchen appliances – including a practical checklist.

Step 1: Collect kitchen design ideas.

Laptop on a spacious kitchen table next to a pile of papers containing kitchen design ideas

First, get inspired! Collect your favorite kitchen ideas on your personal kitchen style board. Here's where to start:

  • The look: do you prefer a modern farmhouse kitchen, a minimalist kitchen, a traditional feel or a mid-century kitchen design? You can browse all our kitchen designs and choose your favorite.
  • Kitchen color ideas: think about your kitchen color scheme.
  • Kitchen cabinet ideas: gather ideas for cabinet doors and drawer fronts, handles and materials to suit your style.
  • Countertop ideas: solid wood, stone, concrete, marble, or a composite? Look for a durable countertop material.
  • Backsplash ideas: small tiles, a mosaic look, or classic subway tiles?

Explore kitchen designs

Must-haves for every kitchen.

Things every kitchen should have.

  • Comfort. Since you'll be spending plenty of time in the kitchen, be sure to browse cozy kitchen designs. Consider things like warm colors and comfortable seating.
  • Personal accents.Favorite items in your kitchen will bring up fond memories while you steam and savor.
  • High-quality appliances. Invest in a good fridge, cooktop and oven, sink (ideally in a "golden" triangle).
  • Plenty of electrical sockets. Handy for elaborate dishes or when sharing the prep work.
  • Space for favorite cookbooks. Keep inspiring recipes close at hand.
  • Fresh herbs – or a window herb garden. Bring nature into your kitchen.
  • That "odds and ends" drawer. Always an essential.
  • Flush, easy-to-clean surfaces. Elements like built-in appliances, frameless cabinets, a flush sink and countertop are not only elegant, but simplify clean-up.
  • Recycling bins. Think ahead about how to organize recycling in your kitchen (paper, plastic, glass, tin).
  • An eyecatcher. Whether it's an impressive range, a cozy breakfast nook, a glamorous chandelier or a family photo, choose a statement piece to set the tone.
Brighten up your space.

Ways to brighten up your kitchen.

  • Reflective surfaces. High-gloss surfaces and stainless steel kitchen appliances will reflect light and open up your space.
  • Light kitchen color schemes. Brighter means bigger. Especially in small spaces, choosing lighter colors and pastels will open up your space.
  • Natural light. Plan your kitchen with ample lighting – consider overhead options like skylights if possible.
  • Add extra lighting. Over your island, under your cabinets and even integrated in your hood.

Step 2: What do I need in my new kitchen?

Modern white island kitchen with a black built-in side by side ovens and a black hood
Plenty of space for food prep: a large induction cooktop is combined with downdraft ventilation in a cozy eat-in kitchen
A must-have for baking enthusiasts: a built-in steam oven with a loaf of bread inside, installed at eye level in an open plan kitchen

Now, it's time to think about your needs and priorities. This will help narrow down your options and focus on what matters most to you. And it's a smart approach when planning a kitchen on a budget.

Working with limited space? You might want to skip ahead to our page for tips on getting the most out of your space.

Once you've defined all the elements in your dream kitchen, you're ready to visit an appliance dealer or designer – or continue with your DIY kitchen remodel.

Make sure to check out our kitchen planning checklist.

What to know before visiting the kitchen studio.

Essential questions for every kitchen planner.

  • Who will use your kitchen?
    Kitchens with one primary cook can easily be designed with a U-shaped kitchen layout. For larger families and collaborative cooking, you might think about an open kitchen layout with different cooking zones for your activities. Or even a kitchen island. Design your kitchen to fit your needs – with convenient countertop heights and easy-to-reach cupboards.
  • What are your priorities?
    Avid cooks should make sure to include ample work space – and high-quality cooking appliances. If you love trying out new recipes, plan enough space for all the small appliances you will need. If you love to bake, consider where you will store your baking supplies and molds. Or do you prefer to entertain? You might think about an open kitchen with plenty of space for mingling.
  • Are you planning a kitchen on a budget
    If so, what are the things you cannot do without? For budget-conscious planners, kitchen appliance bundles often give you the best quality for your budget and create a put-together look in your kitchen.
  • What are your grocery shopping habits and goals?
    If your goal is to go grocery shopping once a week, consider a large fridge-freezer. Or if space permits, a large kitchen storage pantry – and remember to leave room for tomatoes and other fresh foods that shouldn't be kept in the fridge.
  • Which kitchen styles and layouts suit you best?
    Collect kitchen design ideas and learn about kitchen layouts before visiting the kitchen studio. This will help you get to your goal faster.
  • What have you always wanted in your kitchen?
    For years you've dreamed of having an open kitchen, a kitchen with island or a cozy breakfast nook? Think about what would make your kitchen perfect right now and plan to have it in your new one.

Step 3: Determine your kitchen floor plan.

Close-up of a kitchen floor plan and the tip of a mechanical pencil

Your floor plan contains all the kitchen measurements you need for planning. Sketch your own floor plan or use kitchen design software. Here are the basic steps:

  • Grab the most important floor plan dimensions: :
    • Niche dimensions for your appliances
    • Kitchen wall length, width, height
    • Position and dimensions of doors and windows
    • Kitchen cabinet measurements
    • Kitchen island measurements for a floor plan for a kitchen with island
  • Locate the nearest vent for your extractor hood.
  • Locate your outlets and your water supply.

Now you’re ready to make a kitchen layout that includes cabinetry and major appliances.

Step 4: Learn about kitchen layouts.

Swipe to browse kitchen layouts.

Home appliance icons illustrating the golden triangle with a large loft-style kitchen in the background

When gathering ideas for kitchen layouts, start with your high-traffic areas – the “work triangle” between the sink, fridge, and stove.

Parts of your work triangle may be dictated by your space; others you can choose.

Which kitchen layout type is right for you? Get a quick overview of the benefits and drawbacks of different kitchen layouts below.

Island kitchen layouts.

Next up: Galley kitchen.

Bright and modern island kitchen layout with gray cabinet fronts, a kitchen island and built-in cooking appliances

Islands can be added to many different kitchen layouts, from open kitchens to L-shaped kitchen layouts or one wall kitchen layouts.

  • Kitchen layouts with islands are modern and inviting.
  • Islands create space for both efficient cooking and relaxed entertaining.
  • Pro tip: in open kitchens, every decibel counts! Look for extra-quiet dishwashers and range hoods.
  • Select a hood with enough extraction power to handle your whole kitchen.

Extractor hoods for open kitchens

Galley kitchen layout.

Next up: L-shaped kitchen.

Colonial-blue galley-style kitchen with built-in appliances and a full-light exterior glass door at the end

Two walls, one solution: the galley kitchen layout uses two adjacent walls for maximum storage in small rooms.

  • Ideal with a window on one end and a door on the other.
  • When used in open spaces, the second worktop can separate the cooking and the living areas.

L-shaped kitchen layout.

Next up: One wall kitchen.

Compact L-shaped kitchen layout with charming cream-colored farmhouse cabinets and a small seating area

This popular and classic kitchen layout consists of two perpendicular walls.

  • L-shaped kitchens are among the most efficient kitchen layouts – with a built-in work triangle for extra efficiency.
  • Versatile layout adapts to many kitchen sizes.
  • Great option for an eat-in kitchen with a small table and chairs.

One wall kitchen layout.

Next up: U-shaped kitchen.

Simple one-wall kitchen with light brown alder wood cabinets and a white dining room set

A single wall kitchen on one side of the room offers a versatile solution for many spaces.

  • Classy option in larger kitchens.
  • Also perfect for tiny kitchen layouts.
  • Combine with a dining table or lounge furniture for the perfect eat-in kitchen.

Step 5: Think about kitchen storage.

  • Include ample storage next to the sink and oven.
  • Ensure quick, easy access to small appliances, pans and baking supplies.
  • Plan enough counter space, along with drawers and storage to support your workflows.
  • Keep it bright: if you have a window, don’t let your top cabinets block the sunlight.

Smart kitchen storage ideas are important to consider from the very start. Storage options can be found throughout your kitchen, from the obvious kitchen storage cabinets to a practical, and multi-functional kitchen storage island, and even a kitchen storage wall.

Sometimes it’s just not possible to fit it all into one space – so remember to set priorities.

Kitchen storage ideas

Maximize your kitchen storage.

How do I add more storage space to my kitchen?

  • Use dead corners (e.g. with rotating shelves in your bottom cabinets).
  • Install ceiling-high kitchen cabinets.
  • Add small kitchen storage racks behind your cabinet drawers.
  • Place some kitchen storage baskets in the space above your kitchen cabinets.
  • Think about integrating garbage bins or recyclables into your bottom cabinets.
  • Add extra kitchen storage shelves to keep counters tidy.
Storage tips for pots & pans.

Where should pots and pans be stored in the kitchen?

  • Overhead in a hanging rack.
  • On the wall above your cooktop or stove.
  • Nested in your bottom cabinet drawer to maximize space.
  • In your kitchen storage island.
  • In your pantry (only for less frequently used pots or casseroles).
Tidying kitchen cabinets.

How do I organize my kitchen cabinets?

Organize your kitchen storage cabinets according to your habits and needs.

  • Have a designated purpose for each cabinet: tableware, utensils, pots and pans, canned goods, etc.
  • Make sure frequently used kitchen items are easily accessible.
  • Stock kitchen cabinets and drawers around your stove and sink with large utensils, knives and other items that help you rinse and prepare food.
  • Cabinets around your coffee maker should contain coffee beans, filters, measuring spoons and all the accessories you need for a delicious cup of coffee.

How about under the sink?

What can I store under my kitchen sink?

While you can store just about anything in this catch-all space, we recommend keeping it stocked with frequently used items:

  • Dishwasher tabs.
  • Long-stemmed cleaning brushes for water bottles or vases.
  • Extra sponges.
  • Garbage bags.
  • Recycling.

Step 6: Where should I place my kitchen appliances?

Spacious U-shaped kitchen with large stainless steel appliances and classic white cabinets fitted with elegant crown molding to the ceiling

When thinking about kitchen appliance layouts, always refer back to your work triangle. The most efficient kitchen layouts allow ample space along all legs of the triangle. If your triangle is flat (as in a one wall kitchen layout), adding an extra sink can free up space for multiple cooks.

More kitchen planning tips for appliances:

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Plan smarter: With our kitchen planning checklist.

How long does it take to plan and build a kitchen? Every project is different. But there are a lot of things to consider when designing a kitchen. To avoid the biggest mistakes, start by getting an overview of kitchen planning tools you can use at home. Check out our practical kitchen planning checklist to get started.

Download checklist
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