Interior Design Guidelines for Kitchen Renovations

These interior design tips, are intended to guide you into a successful kitchen renovation. Without a doubt, the kitchen is the heart of any home and one of the most challenging areas to plan correctly. Whenever I am in the kitchen, it feels like home, as if I am connecting with both my family and myself. Since the kitchen is associated with food and family, it’s a popular choice for home renovations, making it an especially meaningful part of your home. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or others, it’s important that your kitchen’s interior design is functional, flowing, and has plenty of storage options. Working with a Kitchen Designer will help you create a timeless design, and with this guide, you can be sure that all the standards are met.

Create a Kitchen Specific Interior Design Plan

The first suggestion for your kitchen updates may appear evident to many, yet I come across this problem too often. The contractor, feeling anxious, tore apart the kitchen before the homeowner had decided on an interior design plan. This can be a costly mistake. A kitchen design is a complex balance of form and function. Regardless of the size, kitchens require careful consideration to achieve balance, efficiency, and aesthetics. Plan ahead with a kitchen layout before getting started. A kitchen renovation can take 3-4 months depending on the extent of work, so it’s essential to make sure it is properly planned out to run as smoothly as possible while taking up the least amount of time.

When I’m designing a kitchen, I start by considering how to use the space. I’m looking to utilize all of the space and create the optimal flow in the room. The cooking triangle is still the golden rule so always make sure the refrigerator, cooking appliance and sink are in a triangular placement. It is preferable to have 42”-48” from the countertop to the island, although in small kitchens 36” would still be manageable. It’s important to remember to never place your refrigerator against a wall – leave a small cabinet next to it so its door can open completely.

Next, I consider the focal points. When designing, I like to make the range hood a feature so I begin by deciding where it will be most effective. As a general rule, a sink is always best looking out a window. If that’s not possible, then the island is the next optimal location. Furthermore, a prep sink is an excellent addition to any spacious kitchen. 

Incorporate a Kitchen Island with Seating

By incorporating a kitchen island into your kitchen design, you can open up the kitchen to join the living room or create an open dining area. You can also open up the walls to your kitchen and change the entire floor plan. Countertops and slabs are useful for organizing things, but they don’t necessarily add any additional storage space. Kitchen islands, however, can be used to create extra storage space, while still providing an illusion of closed functionality by keeping everything out of sight.

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A kitchen island is a great way to add extra countertop real estate for cooking and eating.  Not only does it provide additional space for meal prep, but it can also double as an open kitchen space with open shelving on the side.  This allows you to store your cutting boards, butchers blocks, cheese graters, and other kitchen essentials in an organized and stylish way.  You can incorporate tile on the kitchen island, or simply tile your current island for an easy kitchen update.  Some designers will even tile under the kitchen island to pull it all together. Personally, I like to tile the backsplash but use a solid material like marble as a bold statement piece. If you design an island with seating, it makes for the perfect spot to enjoy a casual meal or to engage in conversation as you cook.  Choose fun bar stools and a visually appealing counter top.  

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Choose Advanced Appliances

Once you’ve planned your space, you can start choosing your kitchen remodel appliances. This step alone can be overwhelming. Looking at GE luxury appliances are a good way to get ideas for your design aesthetic. If you’re budget-conscious, go for a counter-depth refrigerator rather than a built-in one.

Decide between stainless steel and panel ready. If you’re going for a modern kitchen design, stainless steel or other trendy finishes should go well. If you’d like for the appliances to blend in with the cabinetry, choose the panel-ready option. A skilled carpenter can make any kind of door fronts to integrate seamlessly.

There are numerous superb choices for ranges. A double oven is a must-have item. If you can fit a 48” range with double ovens into your kitchen, that’s ideal. But if 36″ is all the space you have, I suggest choosing a range top and installing two wall ovens. Speed ovens are fantastic appliances since they serve as both an oven and a microwave.

The optimum configuration is to have two dishwashers with a prep sink. To begin, you must decide what appliances you want for your dream kitchen. The second step is to devise a plan for an enjoyable and efficient cooking experience.

Choose Substantial Materials for Kitchen Countertops and Island

When it comes to kitchen remodeling, a pivotal decision is what material to use for your countertops. Countertops serve as a major focus in the kitchen, so it is essential to choose materials that are visually pleasing and long-lasting. When selecting countertops, natural stone has the most soul. Quartzites like Taj Mahal are extremely durable and easy to maintain. If you are selecting granite, consider a leather finish and a darker stone. Marble is the most enchanting and can be used but you must be aware that it can stain and etch. Many homeowners (myself included) believe that the beauty of marble is worth the maintenance. For my clients who don’t want maintenance or worry, I suggest quartz. Find a kitchen and granite studio that has kitchen showroom displays that will help you make the best choice. On a side note, be sure to hide kitchen appliance cords and create the design to hide kitchen wires on the kitchen counter. Hiding wires on the kitchen counter is essential to having a clean look.


interior design for kitchen remodels

The Cabinets

There are two distinct methods for building cabinets with so many variations, that could make up an entire article by itself. For these purposes, we will keep it simple. The two types of cabinets: are full-overlay and inset. In general, insets are more expensive because there is more labor involved. They are also known as inset or frameless cabinets. Ultimately, having a skilled carpenter or cabinet maker is essential to create a gorgeous kitchen. Investing in cabinetry is worth it as it will last you many years, so it’s worth spending a bit more. However, if the budget is modest there is nothing wrong with prefab cabinets as long as you have a quality installer.

Premium hardware is key. Whenever you have custom kitchen cabinets built by a carpenter, make sure to request the use of premium drawer slides and hinges. This will help ensure high-quality cabinets that are stable and long-lasting. If you’re kitchen updates are DIY, reach out by sending us a message to find the best cabinet hardware in Houston and we’ll be happy to direct you to our favorite vendors.

Quality trades in a kitchen are especially important and painting is no exception. If a painting job is done poorly, even the most expensive cabinet pieces will look bad. Successful painting requires meticulous preparation, followed by applying a primer and two coats of spray. I prefer having clear-coated wood for the interior since it feels cleaner, but some favor a painted finish for the exterior. It’s up to your own preference, but personally, I like using Benjamin Moore Satin Impervo for woodwork.

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The Kitchen Backsplash

Making delicious meals for your family can result in a lot of spattering all around the kitchen, a tall tile on the back wall is a great way to solve this issue.  Tile kitchen backsplashes placed in a strategic position will help shield your new kitchen from any moisture and grime. There are a lot of fun kitchen backsplash trends and while I love kitchen tile trends, when picking materials for countertops and backsplashes, I suggest being creative and going for timeless choices. Trends in tile are constantly shifting, stay ahead of the tile trends by implementing old material. By taking old material and applying it in a modern way, such as rectangular Zellige tiles laid in a stacked pattern, you can bring timelessness into your design.  Another lovely look is running the countertop material up. Depending on the style of kitchen you are going for, one thing remains consistent, think timeless, not trendy. Go trendy on the light fixtures or textiles. A good kitchen design should outlive the trends.

Use Uncommon Shelving and Storage Spaces

Gone are the days of boring storage spaces. With new interior design plans and innovative kitchen remodeling ideas, you can liven up your kitchen and elevate its functionality like never before. For a person who lives in the kitchen, consider a hanging pot rack over the island. It screams chef and it adds an old school coziness that I adore.  If you have a large kitchen, then you can not only install befitting cabinetry and a kitchen island with storage but also implement hanging storage facilities for easier access. This also works well in a small kitchen as there is limited space for cabinetry and there might not be enough space for a kitchen island at all. Thus hanging open shelves or innovative kitchen renovation are great space saving design that can provide the much-needed storage spaces without compromising your idea of a sleek modern kitchen. A butlers pantry behind the kitchen can help you maintain a clean look.  Butler pantries in your kitchen designs should be included if you have the space.  We have a plethora of butler pantry ideas if you’d like to discuss.

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Add Your Personal Touches by Implementing Statement Décor

I realize I keep repeating this but, one of the best tips is to think classic, not trendy. While it’s great to incorporate a few design trends into your kitchen updates, it’s important to keep the overall look timeless. One way to do this is by implementing statement décor pieces that will stand the test of time. Consider comfy seating with modern elegance. Choose rugs or bar stools that can be recycled over time.  Adding personal touches can be the most simple of kitchen updates that have a big impact.

Open kitchens are popular and timeless. They provide an inviting atmosphere for entertaining and cooking, while also allowing for plenty of natural light to flow through the space.  Charming wood floors, electrical charging stations, Italian porcelain tiles, and ample seating are all elements in line with interior design trends that never get old.

This family chose to highlight their cute little dog which brought the perfect amount of charm to their kitchen update.

Interior design has been a passion of mine for over fifteen years. As a professional luxury interior designer serving Houston and beyond,  I help my clients avoid cluttered floor plans and create an artistic design that remains timeless. I am passionate about creating modern luxury interiors while increasing the value of my clients homes. My Houston design studio will provide you with a free kitchen design consultation and together we can create the aesthetic kitchen design of your dreams.

interior design for kitchen remodel
Aurora Fain

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever" -John Keats

Aurora Fain, CPBD

NCBDC Certified
Member of ASID

Principal Designer, Studio Fain LLC.

Cell: 713.724.0852  STUDIOFAIN.COM

Email us today to start planning

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