By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer

When you start thinking about designing your kitchen, it’s smart to go to Houzz, Pinterest, Google, and kitchen remodeling magazines to see the new ideas, trends, and looks in kitchen design.  But a kitchen remodel or renovation can be one of the most expensive projects you will undertake as a homeowner and it will also have one of the biggest impacts on your lifestyle.   After all, the kitchen and the kitchen table are often considered the “heart of your home.”   That’s why it’s so important to design a space that works for you (your wants, needs, and wish list), your lifestyle, and your budget.

While it’s smart to know “what’s new” in kitchen design, if you want to design a kitchen that is timeless, one that you will love for years to come, forget what’s trendy and focus on what matters most to you and your family.


These Are My Top 5 Time-Tested Secrets to Designing a Kitchen That You Will Love for Years to Come!

  1. Respect your budget.

Do your due diligence.  Establish a realistic budget that you can comfortably afford and try to stay within it.  There are so many great choices available for most budgets, from cabinetry to countertops to appliances, flooring, and lighting.  Make selections that you not only like but can also afford.

I recommend quality over quantity.  Buy the best you can afford, but also make room in your budget for something that is very important to you (i.e. a great range or special countertop or backsplash materials)  it should be something that makes you smile every time you see it.

  1. Make your plan work for you!

Function first and space planning first.  A well-designed kitchen has a highly efficient layout with plenty of countertop/work space and easy access to the refrigerator, sink, and range.  It has storage that is efficient, sufficient, and provides for a clutter-free space.

A great layout maximizes space within the kitchen footprint taking advance of vertical space (i.e. cabinets to the ceiling) and at the same time seamlessly integrates with adjoining spaces (i.e. eating area, workspace, family room, mudroom, and even laundry room).  And last, but not least, a timeless kitchen is one that is easy to clean and easy to maintain.

  1. Make it practical and beautiful.

Yes, a timeless kitchen means you can have it all… it can be both practical and beautiful!  A timeless kitchen can adapt and grow with you as your family grows.  And it can continue to adapt as your kids leave the nest because a timeless kitchen will always make cooking enjoyable while having the ability to have family and friends gather close by.

A good kitchen layout separates family and guests from the work area to not only make it safer but more workable for all.  This is often accomplished by creating an island or peninsula that creates a dividing line between the areas, as well as, providing function for workspace, serving space, and an area to gather and hang out.

  1. Light it up

There is nothing more inviting than a light-filled and well-lit kitchen that combines both natural light and multiple other light sources (i.e. overall ambient lighting, task lighting, and decorative lighting).  People often wonder what’s missing in their newly designed kitchen and most often they neglected to incorporate various types of lighting.

  1. Make it family and friend friendly

The kitchen and kitchen table are the most used areas in the home and they are considered the “heart of the home.”

As you are designing your timeless dream kitchen, it’s important to consider integrating adjoining spaces for maximum use and impact.  These areas include: breakfast room, family room, dining room, mudroom, homework area, communication center, and even laundry room.  When these areas are considered and integrated into your overall design, the end results will be a space you can live, cook, entertain and work in for many years to come.  And it will become the place where memories are made that will last a lifetime.

I really want to know… what you think makes a good kitchen design timeless?