Kitchen Planning Guide

Everyone knows that during a party you can put the nachos, salsa, and margaritas in the living room, but nothing short of an oven fire is going to drive people from the kitchen.

It’s the most used room in the house. And the most expensive. With the best lighting. And the most design time behind it.

Even when guests are gone, today’s kitchens are more than just a place to cook. The room is like command central. Chances are it’s the only place where family members meet before blasting off to their busy lives for the day or coming back to earth at the end of a tiring one. Often there is a place to sit and eat, an office area for paying bills, and different counter heights for a variety of tasks.

Planning a kitchen is about a lot more than just deciding that the stove goes here and the refrigerator goes there. There are traffic patterns to consider, room proximities to keep in mind, and, probably, an island to navigate. Design choices also include deciding on materials and fixtures. In this collection of articles, (as well as elsewhere on this site) we hope you’ll find all the good information you need to plan your kitchen. We’ve even included an article about range hoods, just in case you’re having too much fun at your next kitchen party and the nachos go up in smoke.

Essentials

Choosing Kitchen Countertops
The perfect marriage of cost, aesthetics and performance is what suits your lifestyle and budget best
Souped-Up Stock Cabinets Online Membership Required
Standard boxes plus stock moldings can transform any kitchen from dull and dreary to dazzling and delightful
The Well-Lit Kitchen Online Membership Required
The hardest-working room in the house needs layers of light to do its job right
Ten Ways to Improve Your Kitchen

Kitchen Planning

Ten Ways to Improve Your Kitchen Online Membership Required
Expensive appliances and stone counters won't add up to a dream kitchen if the counters are too low and there aren't enough sinks

Cook Up a Kitchen OfficeOnline Membership Required
Six basic ingredients blended in different proportions yield a variety of sweet solutions

Hard-Working PantriesOnline Membership Required
A small room with open shelves and simple cabinetry can reduce kitchen costs and keep stored goods behind a closed door

Kitchen Islands -- More Solutions, More Photos
Masterfully tailored to their spaces, these kitchen workstations designed by Johnny Grey show how to combine utility with panache

How Much Will My Kitchen Cost?Online Membership Required
Use an architect's reality checklist to calculate approximate remodeling costs before any design work starts

Blending Styles in a Kitchen

Kitchens with a Plan

Blending Styles in a Kitchen Online Membership Required
Elements from different eras combine for a comfortable kitchen that looks like it evolved over the past 120 years

When Kitchen Meets Dining Room
For a perfect combination, mix one part kitchen with spaces for both indoor and outdoor dining

Kitchen Sinks That Shine

Kitchen Fixtures

Kitchen Sinks That Shine Online Membership Required
With so many shapes, sizes, colors, and materials, one may not be enough

Shopping for Kitchen FaucetsOnline Membership Required
We help you sort through the choices with reliability, style, and function in mind

Choosing a Range HoodOnline Membership Required
All you need to know to pick the right kind, not the right brand

The Well-Lit KitchenOnline Membership Required
The hardest-working room in the house needs layers of light to do its job right

Choosing Kitchen Countertops

Kitchen Materials

Choosing Kitchen Countertops
The perfect marriage of cost, aesthetics and performance is what suits your lifestyle and budget best

Kitchen Flooring Choices
From old standbys like hardwood to new contenders like laminates, the choices are daunting. We evaluate the pros, cons, and costs.

Souped-Up Stock CabinetsOnline Membership Required
Standard boxes plus stock moldings can transform any kitchen from dull and dreary to dazzling and delightful