Designing Kitchen and Cabinet Layouts

When we first set out to design a custom home we knew the kitchen would be a focal point of the whole design and that the layout and design of the kitchen would receive our highest attention to detail.   One of Bethany’s favorite things to do is prepare meals for our family and experiment with new recipes in the kitchen.  For our family the kitchen has become one of the primary hangouts to talk, play games, and work on school.  We wanted a design that would provide the storage space, convenience, and amenities of a 5-star kitchen but we also wanted the kitchen to be open, spacious, and an extension of the family and dining areas.

I bet we produced over 100 sketches of the kitchen design along the way (using the same Home Design Software we used to design the house plans).  I titled this post “Designing Kitchen and Cabinet Layouts” because the same designer helped us with key cabinets located throughout the house.  We spent a lot of time designing all of those cabinets but nothing like the amount of time we have dedicated to making sure we get the kitchen right.  The reason for so many edits was that every time we thought we had a good design we would post the design to Garden Web or to other forums/experts.  Many times the feedback was nasty and could have been packaged with kindness but it was usually constructive and helped us improve the design.

Work_triangleWe learned about things along the way, like considering the “Kitchen Triangle” or “Work Triangle” when you layout the locations of appliances, sinks, and storage cabinets/pantries.  As people pointed out design considerations and predicted traffic patterns we were able to refine the kitchen to the final design posted below.

This design still doesn’t make everyone happy and I’m confident now that there is no “perfect kitchen”, as so many people have strong but contradictory opinions with each and every version we have posted.  This design takes into consideration all of that feedback but is ultimately the version of the design that we preferred.

Our early designs were created by ourselves but the design below was put together by a professional designer, Joe Gavalas, with Marilynn Enterprise Inc. out of Marietta, GA.  You can see a portfolio of his previous work on their website at http://www.customcaseworks.net/.

Here are some pictures of several of the pages from his design proposal document:

Kitchen Design Layout
Kitchen Design Layout
Oven Wall Cabinet Configuration
Oven Wall Cabinet Configuration
Island Cabinet Configuration
Island Cabinet Configuration
Fridge Wall Cabinet Configuration (Baking station is in the middle)
Fridge Wall Cabinet Configuration (Baking station is in the middle)
Beverage Center Cabinet Layout (in the hallway next to the kitchen and across from the pantry)
Beverage Center Cabinet Layout (in the hallway next to the kitchen and across from the pantry)
Beverage Center Cabinet Configuration (Ice Machine, Mini-Fridge, Glasses, etc.)
Beverage Center Cabinet Configuration (Ice Machine, Mini-Fridge, sink, etc.)

I will post the designs for the other cabinets in the future when I post pictures of the actual cabinets installed.


This post is a from a series of posts showing the entire process of building a custom home from purchasing land to moving in.  You can view a list of all the steps and pictures on our Building Our Dream page.

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