Whether you're an experienced chef or rarely go beyond microwaving ramen noodles, your kitchen is an integral part of your space. Though everyone's needs may differ, the kitchen often functions as the heart of the home, where friends and family can gather to share meals, stories, or even just a glass of wine. That's why getting a kitchen right can be so challenging. Don't worry, we're here to help.
"Start by fantasizing the dreamiest, most sumptuous kitchen without holding yourself back at all—in other words, don't think about budget and space constraints," Caitlin Murray, founder and creative director of Black Lacquer Design tells MyDomaine. "It's easier to scale back in the beginning than it is to tack things on later. By starting with your most perfect kitchen, you'll be able to better clarify and define exactly what it is that you want and need. Kitchens are notoriously tricky, and this is an exercise that provides focus, creates intention, and sets a strong foundation for all the work that follows."
It's easier to scale back in the beginning than it is to tack things on later. By starting with your most perfect kitchen, you'll be able to better clarify and define exactly what it is that you want and need.
When daydreaming about your ideal space, be sure to consider functionality as well as beauty.
"When it comes to designing your dream kitchen, the most important thing to keep in mind is function," Ashley Moore, founder and principal designer of Moore House Interiors says. "You can create a beautiful kitchen, but if it’s not functional, it will lose all luster."
Keep scrolling for 50 (yes, 50!) of our best kitchen ideas that will inspire your next renovation.
Mix Different Design Styles
Decorist designer, Jessie Yoon of Casa Nolita married an updated farmhouse style with midcentury modern touches for a gorgeous kitchen that feels classic yet on trend.
“I love the color palette of the modern farmhouse kitchen," Yoon says. "The sage color of the cabinets is especially soothing and inviting. The white marble waterfall countertop elevates the kitchen and makes it look more contemporary. There are a few different style elements juxtaposed within, but it still feels entirely cohesive.”
Go for Timelessness
Renovating a kitchen is expensive, so take a cue from Decorist designer, Baylee Floyd of Baylee Deyon Design, and go for a classic look you won't tire of easily.
"White kitchens have to be more than just an all-white kitchen in order to stand out in the midst of all other white kitchens," Floyd explains. "This one stands out because of the warmth of its wood-tile floors, natural softness of the subtle yet stately backsplash that runs to the ceiling, the movement in the stone of the quartz countertops, and the texture and life brought to the space through the accessories on the floating shelves."
Be Smart About Materials
Everyone uses their kitchens differently, so be sure to consider materials that will work for your lifestyle.
"For example, families with young children or frequent kitchen-users should look for durable, long-lasting, low-maintenance materials," Moore says. "If you cook on the stove often, choose a backsplash that’s easy to clean. If you’re building a custom kitchen, design your cabinet layout based on how you use the kitchen."
Think About the Layout
Though you may only think about flow during your vinyasa yoga practice, it's equally important when designing a kitchen.
"You want to have good flow between the refrigerator, cooktop or range, and sink—basically, the most utilized items in the kitchen," Michelle Lisac, the founder and principal designer of Michelle Lisac Interior Design tells MyDomaine. "It's also important to take into account the needs but also the wants. For example, you need durable finishes and reliable appliances, but you might also want beautiful handmade tile backsplash and a custom vent hood."
Do Your Research
The best way to feel confident making decisions about appliances and backsplashes is to study up.
"Curb afterthoughts and regrets by familiarizing yourself with all of the gorgeous materials, fixtures, and hardware on the market," Murray recommends. "Visit showrooms and stone yards, really taking time to learn about the plethora of options because every choice you make affects the rest of the space. I find that clients are often surprised by the non-standard options, and it can be hard to dream up that perfect something when you don't know what all is out there. It's a great reason to hire the pros!"
Whether you dream of a farmhouse kitchen or refuse to consider anything but modern, look at the work of your favorite designers, Instagram influencers, and shelter magazines to get a sense of what you're hoping to create.
"When designing your dream kitchen, take note of the items you use everyday, and work with a kitchen designer to utilize them in the best work triangle," Maggie Griffin, founder and lead designer of Maggie Griffin Design says. "Shelter magazines, Pinterest, and Instagram are incredible sources to find exactly what you need in your dream space."
Learn From the Past
Trends are cyclical and while you might wish some fads stayed in the past, chances are, they'll become popular again. This time, however, you can update them to your own taste. Cathie Hong Interiors proved that dark wood kitchen cabinets are not stuck in the past when paired with modern hardware and a touch of open shelving.
Don't Discount Cabinets
It's an open shelving world and we're all living in it, but that doesn't mean cabinets are over. Gray Space Interior Design led by Rasheeda Gray makes a case for bringing back full cabinetry in this gorgeous kitchen. The best part? If you're not ready for picture-perfect shelves, you can just shut the cabinet doors.
Don't Forget to Decorate
Just because a kitchen is functional doesn't mean you can't add touches of your personal style. Take a cue from Stephanie Watkins of Casa Watkins Living, and show off your collectables on open shelves.
Be sure to vary the height of your objets d'art for an Insta-worthy display.
Though you may love a French door refrigerator or an oversized stovetop, it's important to consider how they will look in the context of your space. Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Pure Collected Living went with a larger range hood to help offset the size of her kitchen instead of keeping the pre-existing smaller hood.
Backsplashes aren't limited to tile. Mani of Afro Bohemian Living went with an earthy, wooden backsplash for her Munich, Germany home, adding a touch of modern rustic style to her kitchen.
Try a Cool Palette
To give your kitchen a sense of calm, consider a cool color palette. Twelve 15 Design Studio used a deep blue shade for cabinets to create a room that feels more like a beach escape. Other hue options include purple and green.
Try an Earthy Vibe
Molly Kidd of Light and Dwell played off of the surroundings of her Oregon home to create a soothing earth-toned escape. Shades of soft green, natural wood, cream and gray give this kitchen a serene vibe.
Go For a Statement Appliance
If you're looking for a stove top that's as gorgeous as it is functional, take a note from Pure Salt Interiors and invest in a true stunner. By keeping the rest of the kitchen light and bright, this stove and hood combo becomes the true focal point.
Mix Shelving With Cabinets
Yes, we all love carefully curated open shelves, but where do you store your not-so-well-coordinated dishware? Cathie Hong Interiors solved this problem in a Palo Alto home by combining the best of both worlds: open shelves to display gorgeous accents and cabinets to stow the rest away.
Try a Tone-on-Tone Look
You know your friend who always manages to pull off a totally sophisticated tone-on-tone look without even trying? Yeah, that works for kitchens too. In this example, Whittney Parkinson Design proves that neutrals are still a smart choice. By mixing white with taupe and various shades of cream, Parkinson creates a calming yet elevated kitchen.
Experiment with Complementary Colors
Colors that sit opposite each other on the color wheel (think green and red, or purple and yellow) give a room a dynamic feel. Whittney Parkinson Design used this color theory to bring in opposite shades of blue and copper and add some visual excitement to the space.
Bring in a Console
Sometimes adding furniture from another area of the home is the best way to sneak storage into your kitchen. Designer Anne Sage DIYed this cabinet with gorgeous cane texture to store extra dishes and supplies in her kitchen.
Focus on Versatility
In a Dumbo, Brooklyn apartment, space is finite. That's why Becca Interiors employed the age-old trick of using versatile pieces in a small kitchen. This rolling cart acts as a kitchen island, eat-in counter, storage shelves, and most importantly, can be rolled away when hosting guests.
Consider Hanging Light Fixtures
Kitchens rely on good lighting—after all, you need to see clearly when you're slicing or dicing. Blakely Interior Design went with gorgeous rattan pendant lighting for this beachy escape, and the results are stunning. When adding light fixtures to your own kitchen, experts recommend incorporating a variety of lighting (pendants, task lighting, dimmers) to get the most out of your space.
Add a Bistro Table
Bring the charm of enjoying an almond croissant on the Champs Elysées to your home with a bistro table. Whether you live in a tiny apartment (in which case this table may also double as your main dining table) or you have a spacious home, Calimia Home proves that there's always room for a little French charm.
Add Some Drama
Hannah Tyler Designs knows that a high-contrast space never goes out of style. In this black and white kitchen, the matte black hood takes center stage while the white tile and cabinetry bring a little brightness to the room.
Gone are the days of meticulously matching all of the hardware in a room. House 9 Interiors mixes shiny gold pulls with dark brass hardware and silver candlesticks for a kitchen that feels equal parts lived-in and sophisticated.
Research Your Flooring
When choosing kitchen flooring, it's important to consider your lifestyle and needs. JK Interior Living chose a gorgeous parquet wood floor for this kitchen, but other options include ceramic tile, natural stone, porcelain tile, laminate, or concrete. Be sure to research price and cleaning requirements before deciding.
Try a Built-In
Nothing spruces up a kitchen like a set of built-ins. Katie Martinez Design added this smart storage solution to a Nantucket home, making sure to add dish compartments for easy grab-and-go living.
When mixing patterns, use a similar color palette and mix large-scale patterns with smaller motifs, so the eye is not overwhelmed.
Switch Up Your Subway Tile
One of the easiest ways to add color to a kitchen is through the backsplash. Andi Morse Design chose a blue subway tile and white grout for this space, bringing something a little different to a traditional tile.
Try a Gradient
If you love color, consider adding multiple shades to your kitchen cabinetry. Danielle Nagel of Dazey Den perfects this look with a yellow to orange gradient reminiscent of a sunrise. If that won't get you out of bed in the morning, what will?
Lay Down a Rug
We know that kitchen rugs can be divisive, but Leclair Decor makes a great case for one in this sleek kitchen. Consider adding a thick rug pad underneath yours to prevent slipping and add some support to your knees when you're cooking.
We love white kitchens as much as the next person, but there's something about black kitchens we can't get enough of. Leclair Decor brings plenty of drama with black marble countertops, shiny black subway tile, and dark wood cabinets.
Add a Touch of Glam
If you love a little glitz, bring in some shiny brass accents. Michelle Boudreau Design has a Midas touch in this space with gold hardware, stools, faucets, and accessories, perfect for the glamorous set.
Mix Warm and Cool Tones
This Yael Weiss Interiors kitchen is a master class in pairing warm and cool colors. The light tan cabinetry blends seamlessly with the pale green cabinets as the marble waterfall countertop pulls it all together.
Bring in Antiques
No need to leave your favorite heirlooms in the living room. A vintage mirror, paintings, and tchotchkes bring life and personality into this kitchen and make the space feel special.
Add a Butcher Block
There's a reason butcher block countertops are so popular. You can cut directly on them, they won't dull your knives as quickly as other surfaces, and they're easy to restore with mineral oil.
Rethink Your Backsplash
Backsplashes aren't limited to tile. Though Tyler Karu chose to cover a small portion of the wall in tile, the main star of this Saco, Maine, kitchen is the shiplap wall covering, which adds texture and coziness to the room.