Designing Your Dream Kitchen

Your kitchen design should reflect your household's personality and your design inspirations. From choosing metal finishes to , it can seem like a endless amount of potential choices, but with a few inspirational tips and tricks, you'll be on your way to designing your perfect kitchen in no time.

Dual Duty

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In a small kitchen where you want to maximize your work space but still have areas for dining, adding a kitchen table instead of an island can be a perfect solution. The table can double as work space when needed, while providing a functional eating space as well.

You Can Be Island-Free

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Not every kitchen is best suited for an island. In a ultramodern combination kitchen/dining room with plenty of kitchen cabinets and counter space, you can forgo the island to keep the flow open and the room feeling streamlined.

Know Your Zones

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When considering your kitchen lighting design, keep in mind the different areas in the room and their lighting needs. A dining table is a great place for statement pendants, while in a workspace area you may want flushmount or track lighting to provide proper illumination but keep the fixtures out of the way.

Add Light Down Under

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Undercabinet lighting is a sophisticated yet unobtrusive way to add bright task lighting to your kitchen work area. It keeps all the workspaces well-lit for functionality and adds a glow around the kitchen, providing general ambient light without additional ceiling fixtures.

White Done Right

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There's nothing more classic than an all white-kitchen; clean, bright, airy and almost universally appealing. But it's easy to go overboard and end up with a room that looks completely washed out. Add contrasting elements with different finishes, like silver cabinet pulls or , to balance out the room.

Be Bold With Borders

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On exterior windows we often think about trim colors to contrast the primary house paint, but colored framing makes an impact on an interior window as well. Black framed windows, for example, are a great option to add dramatic impact and frame the view, while also emphasizing the colors of other features in the room, like cabinetry or light fixtures.

Contrast is Key

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In a rustic modern kitchen design, balance clean, simple lines with natural and industrial elements. Wood and pair well with streamlined glass-shaded lights with exposed-filament Edison bulbs. Keep cabinets simple with minimal hardware and straight edges in raw wood tones; consider featuring an ultramodern, glossy white cabinet to contrast.

Ride the Monorail

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Hanging pendants from a monorail bar is an easy way to give your kitchen focused task lighting with style. Unlike classic track lighting, monorail systems have flexible rails that can be shaped and customized to meet your space. You can hang as many fixtures as needed without having to hang them individually from the ceiling, and they're easily adjustable to ensure properly focused task lighting.

Gray Is The New Black...and White

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A black-and-white palette is classically modern, but some might find it too harsh. Meet in the middle with shades of gray! From dark charcoal to wispy tones, gray adds depth to your kitchen without being too eye-popping. Give the room cohesion by matching paint tones to stainless appliances or other gray metallic finishes.

Little Space, Big Function

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Small apartment kitchens can be challenging, but small tweaks can have a big effect on their functionality. Maximize your storage by hanging cabinets all the way to the ceiling. Small kitchen tables do dual-duty as an eating area and additional workspace. Streamlined cabinets with minimal detailing also help keep the room from feeling cluttered.

Design the Details

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To get a modern farmhouse kitchen style right, you don't have to hit every note. Give subtle hints with a few key, signature details. Vintage-style pendant lamps, glass cabinet doors, subway tile, metal chairs with a worn finish and small decor items like rustic signs all give that farmhouse sensibility without sacrificing modern features or making it feel cluttered.

Mix and Match

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A variety of materials within a kitchen design adds visual interest without going overboard with color and patterns. Look for materials with visual depth, such as ombre metal lighting fixtures and natural wood detailing. Balance those with a neutral backsplash and paint colors so they naturally harmonize.

A Lightly Heavy Hand

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add a bold, unusual statement to a rustic modern kitchen. The unfinished tones go well with the warm woods, sleek tile and natural elements, and the unexpected texture makes a subtle but strong statement.

Golden Heat

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The warm elegance of gold brightens and adds richness to any space. Use it as a stand-out design statement in a feature chandelier or in pops of metal throughout the kitchen in fixtures, pulls and other metallic features. Selective use of natural wood elements in similar tones can also enhance and highlight this metal finish.

It Takes Two

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In a large open-space kitchen, consider adding two islands instead of one large one. This makes two usable spaces that are accessible from all sides and maintains good traffic flow. It also helps define the usage areas—one for casual meals or food prep, while the second could be dedicated to cooking and cleanup.

Make It Your Own

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The most important part of kitchen design is that it reflects your design personality, which is often a mix of styles. To keep it from looking cluttered or chaotic, choose two to three and incorporate a balanced amount of elements from each. For example, open modern-farmhouse shelving and trim details blend well with more and pendant lights.

Naturally Modern

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Using sleek cabinets made from natural hardwood is a great way to warm up a minimalistic modern kitchen. The natural elements of the wood soften cold metals and glass, while the texture and pattern of the wood grain provide subtle visual interest without adding a lot of fuss.

In Vino Veritas

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If you're a wine connoisseur, make it a focal feature in your kitchen! Hang racks on an open wall or go big and carve out a fully distinct wine cellar. Separating the cellar area with glass makes it feel integrated in the kitchen while still allowing proper temperature control.

Harmonize Hues

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Incorporate a harmonious use of color in your kitchen by coordinating the cabinets and countertop tones with other fixtures in the room like pendant lights, chairs, art and metal finishes. Tie in similar shapes as well. Smooth, rounded white light fixtures over the sink and island bring out the curvy , giving a subtle visual emphasis.

As Above, So Below

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Add some drama to your kitchen by adding some flair to the ceiling as well. Natural toned slats or beadboard add design detail and texture without becoming too busy or heavy. Tie in those tones and treatments with must-haves like the hood vent and furniture to create even more striking architectural interest.

Mix Your Metals

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Every metal finish in your kitchen doesn't have to be the same. Consider mixing contrasting hues, like black metal with gold and stainless, to add a little extra spark. Use coordinating elements of each, such as matching drawer pulls to light fixtures, to make it look intentional and chic.

Connect the Dots

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Coordinating small elements in your kitchen design can give it a feeling of cohesion without feeling over-designed. Look for subtle ways to bring the design together, like duplicating metal shapes and finishes in pendant lights with other design features such as window framing.

Every kitchen and every household are different in what they need the kitchen to provide. Thinking about your kitchen space, what design styles you like (and don't!) and how you use your kitchen is a great starting point to come up with the perfect layout and design that meets all those needs.