How to Design a Kitchen you can Brag About?

A great kitchen doesn't necessarily mean a super expensive elegant looking area with tons of overpriced materials. A great kitchen is something that is functional for your family and feels right. 

You deserve to feel great in the comfort of your home. Since the kitchen is the most used room in any house we recommend you give it some extra attention today and turn it into a masterpiece that you, your spouse, and your children can enjoy for life. 

We love helping families cultivate a warm atmosphere in their homes and we ask that you allow us to do the same for you!


Shall we begin designing your dream kitchen? 

Warning: Your neighbors may be jealous, don’t share this information with them!


Choose your Style (wisely)

It all starts with the most basic tip: Choose your style, but do it wisely. 

In Portland we have about 4-5 home styles that are most prominent and popular here they are: 

Craftsman/Bungalow, Foursquare, Mid Century Modern, Tudor, and Townhouse. 

Each of the above styles has a distinct interior style as well that you shouldn’t steer to far from!

Below is a guide showing which house style works best with a certain kitchen style. 

kitchen layout


Determine the Kitchen Layout

The above graphic can be used as a reference guide to help determine the best possible kitchen layout for your home. It is important to keep in mind the functionality you hope to receive from your kitchen before committing to any layout. 

Here are some of the most popular layouts as well as the pros and cons of each. 

One Wall: The ultimate space saver, this kitchen layout is found in small apartments or studios. All of the cabinets and appliances are fixed to one wall. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. You can make a one wall kitchen look sleek and luxurious but lose out on functionality. Due to the difficult layout a one wall kitchen may not be practical for everyone. 

L-Shaped: The most popular kitchen layout is the L-Shaped kitchen. This kitchen is most convenient for the majority of homes since it uses the space that is available most efficiently. Most commonly the L-Shaped design uses two perpendicular walls to maximize on space in small to medium kitchens.  This kitchen layout is more roomy and spacious and will never look cluttered or busy. Add an island and you have plenty of space and a wonderfully looking kitchen. 

U-Shaped: Or also known as a horseshoe or island layout. This kitchen is highly efficient, allowing for easy movement back and forth between appliances while cooking. This layout provides the simplest environment for productivity. This is the ideal and most popular kitchen layout for someone who cooks a lot. The layout utilizes the “work triangle” that we often hear about in kitchen design. Larger U-Shaped kitchens often include an island right in the middle maximizing on counter space. 

G- Shaped: The G-Shaped kitchen is very similar to the U-Shaped kitchen layout. It has about the same amounts of storage space as well as countertop space but also has an additional peninsula and wall of cabinets. This kitchen layout works best in homes that have a spacious kitchen area that requires just a little bit more than a simple U or L Shaped kitchen. This kitchen layout is ideal with an open design where the transition between the kitchen and the dining room for example is not blocked off by a wall allowing for a free flowing atmosphere. Best suited for larger homes and for those who like to utilize every square inch of a kitchens cooking potential. 



Color is key, don’t stray away from the style and theme of the rest of your home but rather tailor the kitchen to the already existent color choice. 

Warm, Contrasting, and Uplifting

Those three words describe the current styling trends for kitchens built or remodeled in 2017. The purpose of a kitchen is to lighten a mood and to encourage a friendly atmosphere. If you spend the majority of your time together as a family in the kitchen it’s well worth putting some thought into the way you design it. 

Warmth: Select colors that create a sense of comfort. Colors tones that work best in creating this atmosphere: 

Color Palettes for kitchen design 

Contrast: In order to best create an appealing environment contrasting colors do the trick best. In 2017 the most popular ones are also the most basic: Black, White, and Gray. Kitchens that utilize a warm wall color and a high contrasting cabinet, backsplash, and counter are the ones that stand out and work best. 

Uplifting: The best kitchen is the one that lightens your mood. One that combines tone with function and simply feels good. Play around with the coloring in advance by shopping around paint stores and matching tile, floor, counter, and cabinet samples to best match your style.



To determine the best possible material ask yourself first and foremost: what is your budget? Secondarily ask yourself once again what is your style? 

Budget: With building materials you have a wide variety of options that can be unbelievably cheap or shockingly expensive. Whichever end of the spectrum you land on there are pros and cons. We do not recommend opting for the most expensive materials just because you assume it’ll be perfect, it may not be for your specific situation. 

Our best recommendation? Find the price range for the exact amounts and dimensions of products and services that you will need. 

Example (if you are completing a full kitchen remodel)

Cost to repaint kitchen walls (200 sqft room): $600-$1,200

Cost to purchase and install solid pre-finished hardwood (200 sqft room): $1,800-$2,700

Cost to purchase and install porcelain tile flooring (200 sqft room): $2,500-$4,000

Cost to install quartz countertop (26 sqft average kitchen size): $2,100-$2,800

Cost to install brand new cabinets (15 cabinets): $1,500-$2,500

Cost to purchase and install kitchen backsplash (50 sqft): $1,100-$2,000

After finding these price ranges you have a better and more clear picture of how much you can expect to pay. The price ranges given are based off of the quality of installation as well as the material that you choose. 

Now that you know how much your project may cost, you are prepared to either move forward or cut some things out. 


What material fits your style? 

Craftsman home color recommendations for kitchen

Bungalow/Craftsman Recommendation: Light wide plank reclaimed look hardwood or laminate, Light beige or solid white cabinets, dark brown low speckle quartz stone counters, tan and gray glass/slate mosaic backsplash. 

Recommended materials for foursquare style home kitchen

Foursquare Home Recommendation: 5” brown stained oak or hickory hardwood, sage green cabinets, dark grey quartz counters and white marble quartz island, and white subway tile backsplash. 

Mid Century Modern Home Style Kitchen Material Recommendations

Mid Century Modern Recommendation: 12” by 24” dark grey porcelain tile floors, natural oak wood grain cabinets, white quartz countertops, and grey glass and slate backsplash. 

Tudor Style Home kitchen color choice recommendations

Tudor Recommendation: Versaille pattern gray or beige tile, light gray/white cabinets, white Carrara marble counter, gray subway tile or slate backsplash


To sum it all up and make it simple… 

Step 1: Find your style

Step 2: List the required functions you desire in your kitchen

Step 3: Set a budget

Step 4: Starting from the walls, cabinets, counters, backsplash, and floors determine color choice

Step 5: Find materials within your budget

Step 6: Decide if you will be installing yourself or hiring

Step 7: Request quotes from contractors and begin project


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