The best kitchens are those that spark your inspiration and creativity! Designing a kitchen that is fun, efficient, and serves as a gathering space for family and friends, is a total necessity for every home. We spoke with two of our kitchen experts to give you some inspiration and help you make the best decisions for your space. Lottie McCrostie from Naked Kitchens and Nancy Charbonneau from Charbonneau Interiors share some of their best tips for the perfectly designed kitchen. Read on to find out what these experts have to say.

The Perfect Layout

Really there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to kitchen design, the so-called ‘perfect layout’ will be different for each customer depending on the size and shape of their kitchen. This being said, there are a few simple tips that you can follow to ensure your layout is as equally practical as it is beautiful.  Firstly, the all-important ‘work triangle’ rule. It is always a good idea to ensure that the path between your sink, fridge and stove is clear so that it makes it much easier to move between each area and make cooking much simpler. Secondly, we always recommend spacing units at least 3 feet apart at pinch points to make sure that you are not crashing into anything as you move around the kitchen. Don’t try to squeeze in more or larger units if the space will not allow for it as it will make the room feel very small and cramped. – Lottie @nakedkitchens

Courtesy of Charbonneau Interiors

The kitchen is the heart of the home for many of us, which is why we often gravitate toward an open-concept space with enough space for gathering and entertaining. We love when kitchens and dining rooms feel more connected because it allows for whoever is doing the cooking to continue mingling with their family and friends without feeling isolated. To maintain a nice clean space in the kitchen, however, we think a butler’s pantry is the ultimate problem-solver. A butler’s pantry can be connected to the kitchen and include appliances to wash dishes, cook, organize, etc. Adding a door to the butler’s pantry allows us to keep the mess behind closed doors while hosting, but it’s great to have the option to keep the door open and showcase a stunning dream pantry when not in use. – Nancy @charbonneauinteriors

Courtesy of Naked Kitchens

Best Upgrade For The Most Value

The best upgrade for the most value, in my opinion, comes from a fresh coat of paint and new hardware on the cabinets. This can update any kitchen quickly and relatively easily – all it takes is a can of paint and a paintbrush to make a big impact. Opting for a lighter or darker paint color for the island cabinetry is also a great way to make the colors pop. – Nancy @charbonneauinteriors

If you can only upgrade on one aspect of your kitchen, we would always recommend it be the cabinet material. Although this is hidden when all the doors are shut it is always worth investing in good quality materials so that the kitchen will last long into the future. Sometimes trying to save money and buy cheap cabinets will cost you in the long run as you will need to replace them much sooner. Both our Naked Kitchens and Naked Cabinets are made from amazingly high-quality materials and are built to last. – Lottie @nakedkitchens

Courtesy of Naked Kitchens

Islands

Island style depends greatly on what you want from your island and the space you have available in your kitchen. If you want to incorporate appliances or a sink into the island it is best to go for a built-to-the-floor island with plinths as this will hide the plumbing and electrics required. If you want to create the illusion of freestanding furniture you could incorporate a floating island on legs, which will make the room feel a bit more spacious and open. We have found that islands with an incorporated seating area have increased in popularity, so this is another aspect of the design which is worth thinking about. Families have busy lives and might not always have time to sit down for a formal supper at a dining table so breakfast bar or island seating is the perfect solution. – Lottie @nakedkitchens

Courtesy of Naked Kitchens

Lighting

The best lighting in a kitchen is when you combine ambient light, natural light, and task light to create a space that is easy to work in. If there’s any opportunity to let natural light into your kitchen, take full advantage of it. I am a firm believer that the right lighting, especially natural sunlight streaming in, can make anyone want to linger in a space, especially a kitchen. – Nancy @charbonneauinteriors

Courtesy of Studio Life/Style

Storage

Storage is everything in a kitchen space, especially storage that can be organized and put away neatly to eliminate any counter clutter. Cabinetry in a kitchen island can offer a great space for storage, as can a large pantry with organized compartments, so that everything has its place. Pieces like pull-out shelves and multi-level rises can also optimize storage. – Nancy @charbonneauinteriors

Colors

I love lighter colors for the kitchen that can make the space feel more open and bright. Shades of white or lighter gray can be perfect for the walls, but we also love to see a pop of color on the cabinets or island. Shades of dusty or gray-blues can be the perfect way to add that pop of color while still maintaining a refined design style, and without overwhelming the space. – Nancy @charbonneauinteriors

Courtesy of Studio Life/Style
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