24 Tips to Get the Ultimate Kitchen

light blue kitchen island
Photo: Michael Partenio

The kitchen is the hub of the home, so having a functional (and inviting) space is essential. If you are ready for the ultimate kitchen, check out these clever design and organization tips.

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Use Lighting


Spotlight important areas of the kitchen with strategically installed lights. Use wall-mount lamps to illuminate work zones, such as the sink, island, and stove top.

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Pretty and Practical Island

kitchen island

A furniture-look island with curved details is pretty and practical. The shelves on each end are a great spot to store essentials, cookbooks, or decorative accents.

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Dishware Close at Hand

Plate rack

Keep everyday dinnerware within reach and close to the dishwasher using a wall-mount plate rack.

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Accent with Backsplash Tile

kitchen backsplash

A stylish backsplash not only looks great, it also protects walls from messy splashes. Use glass tiles in a graphic mosaic pattern to add sparkle and personality.

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Store Small Appliances


Avoid an overly industrial look in your kitchen by hiding the microwave oven, toaster, blender, and other tabletop appliances in an appliance garage with a door.

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Classic Style with a Hutch


A built-in hutch provides storage and display space, and it also boosts the character of your kitchen. Choose a configuration that includes closed cabinetry for elegantly hiding clutter and open shelving or glass doors for showcasing your favorite pieces.

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Double-Duty Workstation

Kitchen Workstation

A kitchen workstation gives kids a dedicated space to study while dinner is being prepared, and can also serve as a place for meal planning. Even a small, otherwise unused area can be transformed into a desk with careful planning.

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Personalized Style Plus Storage


Use special cabinet features to make your kitchen the most organized on the block. Modular cabinets designed to hold wine bottles and stemware are dramatic and practical.

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Practical for Pot-Filling

Crisp White Cabinets

Avoid the backbreaking work of lugging heavy pots of water to the range by installing a cold-water wall-mount faucet above the stove.

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Boost Seating with a Banquette


A banquette is a smart way to turn an underutilized corner into an eat-in kitchen. Add storage below the bench seating to stash linens and seasonal dinnerware.

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Wow with a Range Hood


Create a stunning focal point in an otherwise monochromatic kitchen with an oversize or colorful range hood.

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Prep in the Island

Wood Cabinets

A large kitchen island provides plenty of prep space, which becomes even more hardworking with the addition of a sink.

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Add Architectural Details

light blue kitchen island

Add architectural charm to a kitchen otherwise lacking in character-rich details by embellishing the cabinets with crown molding or wooden support brackets. These architectural elements are affordable and available at home centers in a variety of sizes and styles.

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Go for Glass Fronts

kitchen sink

Glass-front cabinets create a bright, open feeling in a kitchen. Intersperse them with solid-door cabinetry for the perfect mix of display and hidden storage.

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Pop of Color


For a heaping helping of fun color, choose an island in an unexpected hue. Using a bright shade only on the center cabinetry makes it really pop, but also allows for replacement later without breaking the bank.

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Discover Fresh Farmhouse Style

Vintage Flair

Marble countertops and a farmhouse sink are a classic combination that will never go out of style.

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Professional-Style Cooking


A visit to a local restaurant supply store can help you turn your kitchen into a chef's paradise. These centers are chock-full of professional solutions for keeping a kitchen organized, such as a stainless-steel pot rack or over-the-stove storage bar.

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Clever Storage Solutions

pullout kitchen storage

Pullout drawers are a clever way to keep countertops clear and keep frequently used items close at hand. This solution is perfect for adding spice storage next to the cooktop, keeping recycling and trash hidden, or for keeping pots and pans better organized.

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Focus on Expression

Storage Galore

In a room focused on function, it can be difficult to find ways to express your personality. Look for unexpected spots in the kitchen to showcase your style, such as painting the insides of your cabinets or adding an inset to display a special collection.

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Soften with Window Treatments


Window treatments are an important element in the kitchen, providing privacy, light control, and decoration. Avoid fabrics that must be dry-cleaned, wood blinds that require a special cleaner, or cellular shades that must be vacuumed. Stick instead to fabric treatments that can be thrown in the washing machine.

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Carve Out Storage

kitchen white shelves white bowls

Space above the refrigerator often goes unused. Capture this area with a cabinet that stores items you don't use every day, or try open shelves to display decorative treasures.

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Find Dramatic Light Fixtures

Lasting Impressions

Lighting is an important functional element of a kitchen, but it can also serve a decorative role. Choose one dramatic light fixture for over the island or kitchen table to serve as the room's focal point.

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Secret Food Prep Station

Be Sharp When Storing Knives

Cabinetmakers now offer endless add-on options for making your kitchen more efficient and organized. For example, a drawer with a pullout cutting board and built-in knife storage near the sink simplifies prep work and cleanup.

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Perfect for the Pets

Pet storage window seat

Don't forget your four-legged family members when planning the ultimate kitchen. Corral pet food and water dishes in a custom cabinet, and convert a pullout drawer into a food storage bin.

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