Kitchen remodel ideas from small kitchens on a budget to luxury custom kitchens. Find kitchen cabinet ideas plus islands, countertops, lighting and more.
Kitchen remodel ideas can be a very exciting but, the planning required to execute a beautiful kitchen remodel or design can be daunting. With the introduction of new materials and products, kitchen remodel ideas are endless when it comes to creating a kitchen space that fulfills your personal and functional needs, while also appealing to your design sensibilities. However, sorting through these design ideas is no easy task. The purpose of the following guide is to give you a solid foundation in the ABC’s of planning a kitchen. It covers many kitchen remodel ideas, kitchen cabinet ideas, kitchen layouts, the best countertop surfaces, and everything in between.
Kitchen Remodel Ideas
Things to consider while remodeling your kitchen. Before you begin making decisions on the type of kitchen flooring you want or the style of hardware, you need to to consider:
1. Design a Kitchen (Function)
How do you use your current kitchen? What do you like about your current space? What aspects if your kitchen do you dislike? Do you love to cook alone or prefer to have a second chef in the kitchen?
2. Kitchen Storage
How do you current kitchen cabinets function? Do you have adequate kitchen storage? What type of storage options would you like to have? Are you comfortable with open storage, i.e. open shelving, or do you prefer to keep everything behind closed doors?
3. The Surrounding Space
What is your decorating style and how is to represented throughout your home? What materials have you used in adjoining rooms?
How much can you spend? Does this include a contingency for unexpected costs? How will you pay for your kitchen renovations?
Cost of Kitchen Renovation
The cost of a kitchen renovation can vary greatly depending on the layout, materials, and appliances incorporated in the space. However, there are a lot of ways that a homeowner can mix and match materials to achieve a look that is both beautiful and welcoming without breaking the bank. The general formula to follow with a kitchen remodel budget is to plan to spend 80% of the budget on materials and labor while setting aside 20% to cover incidentals. The 80% can then be divided up as follows: 35% for the cabinets, 20% for labor, 20% for appliances, 10% for windows, 5% for pictures, 3% for fittings and 7% for other.
1. Small Kitchen Remodel ($5,000-$20,000)
To keep costs low a small kitchens remodel will typically incorporate ready-to-assemble cabinetry, as well as materials such as laminate, vinyl, linoleum and ceramic tile. With the introduction of new technologies, laminate and vinyl continue to offer additional features that create the illusion of natural materials such as wood and stone.
2. Mid-Range Kitchen Remodeling ($20,000 – $75,000)
Kitchens in this price range often contain a combination of mid- and high-end materials. This price range also provides homeowners the opportunity to install semi-custom and custom cabinetry. To ensure that the budget is maintained, materials of various price points can be combined. For example, marble countertops can be installed on the cabinetry on the perimeter of the kitchen and a butcher block surface can be used on the island.
3. High-End Luxury Kitchen ($75,000+)
In a high-end kitchen, the sky is the limit…for the most part. Custom cabinetry is almost always used in high-end kitchens because it allows the interior designer or kitchen contractor to tailor the space to meet the specific needs of the homeowner. Materials commonly used in high-end kitchens are granite, quartz, and marble, as well as natural stone flooring or hardwood.
1. Kitchen Work Triangle
Due to the wide variety of kitchens found in homes throughout North America, the design strategy has been to organize the kitchen layout in terms of zones rather than the traditional working triangle. Traditionally the working triangle was formed by connecting invisible lines between the kitchen range, fridge, and sink. However, this doesn’t mean that the working triangle doesn’t work, it just doesn’t quite fit the bill in larger kitchens or those that feature a single wall.
Kitchen layouts designed to accommodate zones will feature areas dedicated for prep work, clean up, as well as an area for guests to congregate (possibly around an island) and maybe even a dedicated kid’s zone. This planning style allows for multiple cooks in the kitchen where everyone can work together.
2. Open Kitchen Concept vs. Closed Kitchen
Open-concept kitchens are seen in the majority of homes that have undergone a kitchen renovation in the past 15 years. It has become common for homeowners to open up their kitchen space to the rest of the home allowing for friends and family to interact and help with kitchen tasks. As well, most homeowners have become comfortable with opening up their kitchens to the rest of the house. There is no longer the need to keep a kitchen, whether messy or clean, hidden from the world.
While a closed kitchen may not be ideal for many people there are times when it is still useful. First, transforming a closed kitchen into an open concept space can be costly. For those homeowners working within a strict budget, this type of work may not be in the cards. As well, there are those who wish to keep their kitchens to themselves. They would rather keep their kitchen tasks and the subsequent mess hidden from guests.
Kitchen Design Ideas
1. Galley Kitchen
A galley kitchen is made up of two straight runs of cabinetry that run parallel to each other. Typically, the sink and dishwasher will be situated on one side and the remaining appliances on the other.
2. L-Shaped Kitchen
An L-shaped kitchen typically consists of a main wall of cabinetry with a shorter run of cabinetry attached on one side. This type of layout provides the cook with a little more privacy by blocking off foot traffic through the space to other areas of the home.
3. U-Shaped Kitchen
A u-shaped kitchen is designed to provide long runs of counter space and plenty of storage. If a kitchen of this design is width enough it can also accommodate an island which can only increase the amount of counter space and storage space available to the homeowners.
Check out our gallery of 41 U-Shaped Kitchen Designs
4. Single Wall Kitchen
While not as common, a single wall kitchen is a great space saver as it restricts all the kitchen cabinetry and appliances to one wall. This type of kitchen is often found in open concept studios and lofts.
5. Peninsula Kitchen
A kitchen with a peninsula operates very similar to a kitchen with an island as the peninsula acts as an island but is connected to the main wall of kitchen cabinetry. This layout is perfect for small kitchens that don’t provide enough space for a separate island.
Countertops are one of the most important kitchen remodel ideas because they take the majority of wear and tear in a kitchen. The ideal countertop is one that can handle spills and stains while ensuring that the surface is easy to keep clean and free of bacteria.
1. Countertop Materials
This countertop material is a man-made engineered product composed of 90% ground quartz and 10% resin, polymers and pigments. It is non-porous and virtually maintenance free. Because of its price point it is often seen in mid to high-end kitchens.
b. Granite Countertops
Granite is a naturally occurring stone composed of quartz, feldspar and mica. It is sold in large slabs and will vary in color and pattern because it is a natural stone. Granite requires regular maintenance, specifically a yearly sealing, to ensure its quality and antibacterial properties. This type of countertop materials is frequently featured in high-end kitchens.
c. Laminate Countertops
Laminate is a popular choice for countertops because of its low cost and wide variety of styles. Recently, the styles offered look even more natural and mimic the look of wood or natural stone. Typically, laminate countertops are constructed out of a base material of MDF followed by the application of the laminate material on top.
d. Wood Countertops
Butcher block is another cost-effective option for countertops. It looks great when combined with high end materials like marble. It is a great surface for food preparation and is heat resistant. However, it does require regular sealing.
e. Marble Countertops
Marble is a popular option in mid to high end kitchens. While it is classically appealing and elegant it does require regular maintenance. As well, it is easily scratched and stained but for some this time-worn patina is part of having a marble countertop. Options available for kitchens are either Carrera or Calcutta. While the general color palette is similar, Carrera does offer a subtler variation with light, feathery veining whereas, Calcutta contains veining that is provides a greater contrast. It is recommended to install a polished marble, rather than honed, in the kitchen because it offers greater resistance against stains and scratches.
Other countertop options include stainless steel, glass, concrete, soapstone and tile.
2. Measurements & Installation
• Typically the height of the counter should be somewhere between 34” -36”. This may vary by a few inches either way if the homeowner is either quite short or tall and wishes the counter height to suit their specific needs.
• Typical counter depth is 24”.
• Adequate shelving clearance (between the bottom of the upper cabinetry and the countertop surface) should be within 15”-20”.
• When considering the amount of counterspace available on either side of the stovetop, this should be at least 12”.
• In a galley or u-shaped kitchen the space between the counters should not exceed 64”. If there is an island in the middle, the same dimensions apply between the perimeter counters and the workspace of the island. Anything larger than 64” will actually make the space less efficient.
3. Best Countertop Materials
While each homeowner will determine which countertop material is best for their individual space there are a particular countertop materials that are most common for their beauty and durability. These materials are:
g. Granite – Ideal for mid-range and high-end kitchens.
h. Marble – Ideal for mid-range and high-end kitchens. Can be combined with butcher block to keep the cost down.
i. Engineered Stone (Quartz) – Ideal for mid-range to high-end kitchens.
j. Wood – Can be used in kitchens of all price points, low end to high-end.
k. Laminate – Typically used in kitchens with a smaller budget but is sometimes seen in mid-range kitchens as well.
Kitchen Flooring Ideas
Kitchen flooring can have a huge impact on the look and feel of your kitchen design or remodel. While there are many options in this category, durability, maintenance and color contrast and some of the most important design ideas to keep in mind. Flooring kitchen remodel ideas can be quite extensive, so we will just go over the basics here.
1. Types of Flooring
Hardwood flooring adds warmth to any space as well as a soft place to stand. It provides a timeless appeal to any kitchen. However, it is susceptible to moisture; therefore spills will need to be cleaned up as soon as possible. A benefit of hardwood flooring is that when it begins to show wear it can be sanded down and re-stained to return it to its natural beauty.
Cork is a sustainable option for flooring. In addition, it is great underfoot which makes it easy to complete kitchen work without worrying about sore feet. It does need to be sealed regularly to prevent possible water damage.
c. Ceramic Tile
Ceramic tile comes in a variety of colors and style and is easy to maintain. When installed in large sections, at least 12” x 12”, it creates the illusion of additional space. As ceramic tile is hard underfoot, additional rugs or floor runners will be needed to make working in the kitchen easier.
Linoleum is an excellent, budget-friendly option. It is easy to maintain and comes in a wide variety of colors and styles. However, it does wear down over time and large tears that cannot be sufficiently glued will require the complete replacement of the flooring.
e. Natural Stone
Natural stone flooring such as slate and travertine is an excellent choice for kitchens as it is very durable and easy to maintain. Installation requires the services of a qualified professional as it needs to be done to specifications. The main deterrent of natural stone flooring is that can be difficult to stand on for long periods of time because of its hardness.
Bamboo is another eco-friendly option for the kitchen. It has a look that is similar to hardwood and is strong and durable.
Laminate flooring is great option for those who have a limited budget. Laminate comes in a variety of colors and style and certain types mimic the look of hardwood and stone effectively.
Vinyl is another excellent choice for kitchens working on a small budget. Many brands offer a look similar to natural materials such as wood and stone. It can be installed relatively easily by a DIYer which makes it even easier on the pocketbook.
Concrete flooring is often seen in modern lofts and apartments. It is extremely durable and creates an industrial design aesthetic. The downside is that is cold and hard underfoot.
2. The Best Choice vs. Budget
Every homeowner will have a different preference when it comes to their kitchen flooring. However, the budget will determine the best overall choice. (Source: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/kitchens/smart-options-kitchen-flooring/)
a. Budget-Friendly Kitchen Flooring
For the kitchen that is working within a strict budget vinyl is likely the best option. It is easy to maintain and exceptionally soft underfoot. It resists wear and tear and is waterproof as well. It comes in a variety of styles that effectively mimic natural materials such as stone and wood. In addition, it can be installed by the homeowner. This means that the cost of the flooring need only go to its purchase, not the installation.
b. Mid-Range Kitchen Flooring
Excellent options for mid-range budgets are porcelain tile, cork and quality laminate. These work well because they are easy to maintain and durable. In addition, the installation cost is minimal in comparison to natural stone and hardwood.
c. High-End Kitchen Flooring
Kitchens with large budgets are best enhanced by hardwood flooring or natural stone. Hardwood flooring provides a timeless appeal to any kitchen and is extremely durable. In addition, after time when it begins to wear down, it can be sanded and re-stained to return it to its original luster. Natural stone will also provide the desired high-end effect in an expensive kitchen. It is very durable and does require regular maintenance but will last for years to come.
Kitchen Cabinet Ideas
1. Kitchen Cabinet Remodeling
a. Ready-to-Assemble (RTA)
This type of cabinetry is ideal for those on a strict budget. They are sold by the cabinet and come with the pieces, hardware and instructions needed for assembly. However, assembling this type of cabinetry is not always easy and it is best to have an experienced DIYer available to help.
RTA cabinetry are available from companies like IKEA, Home Depot, and Lowes.
Stock cabinetry is mass produced and can be purchased ready-to-assemble or pre-assembled. They are usually available for immediate purchase at home improvement stores. Stock cabinetry comes in pre-determined dimensions in 3-inch increments which will limit your options. However, they do come with lots of door styles which allows the homeowner to select the correct style for their home.
Typically, installation will be an additional cost.
Semi-custom kitchen cabinets ideas are great for owners with a mid-range budget. Some customizable options will be available to the homeowner allowing them to select sizes and styles that best suit their kitchen. Once the dimensions and styles are selected the cabinets will come by special order. The price of semi-custom cabinetry typically includes installation.
d. Custom Kitchen Cabinets
Custom kitchen cabinets are typically limited to kitchens with a high-end budget. Custom cabinets are made to order with specific, and often handmade, details and woodworking. This type of custom cabinetry allows the designer and homeowner to create a kitchen that is truly unique and built to the spaces specific dimensions. The cost of custom kitchen cabinets often includes installation and delivery.
2. Framed vs. Frameless Construction
The two types of cabinet construction are framed or face-frame and frameless or European-style. They are both very similar in construction; however, the frameless option offers slightly greater storage space. Additional information on framed and frameless cabinet construction can be found at www.homestylechoices.com
a. Framed (Face-frame)
In framed cabinet construction the wood frame is placed around the front outside edge of the cabinet itself.
There are three types of framed cabinets:
• Full overlay – the doors and drawers fully cover the face frame
• Partial overlay – the doors and drawers only partially cover the face frame
• Full-inset – the doors and drawers fit inside the face frame opening
b. Frameless (European-style)
As mentioned earlier, frameless cabinet construction provides greater storage space because the lack of an inside edge frame. Frameless cabinetry is designed to accommodate full overlay doors.
3. Cabinet Design
There are three main types of cabinets that when assembled form a complete kitchen. These types are base cabinets, wall cabinets and tall or pantry cabinets.
a. Base – this type of cabinetry sits and the floor to form the foundation of the kitchen.
b. Wall – this type of cabinetry is mounted to the wall and sits above the base cabinetry to provide upper storage.
c. Tall/Pantry – this type of cabinetry typically runs from floor to ceiling in one solid section to offer space for a pantry or other vertical storage needs.
4. Cabinetry Materials
a. Solid Wood
b. Particle Board – composed of wood chips and particles that have been fused together with adhesive
c. MDF (medium density fibreboard) – composed of similar materials to particle board but is heavier and more dense.
d. Melamine – a plastic-based product used to cover cabinetry panels made of particle board.
e. Thermofoil – a vinyl film that is used to cover cabinetry panels made of particle board or MDF
Kitchen Island Ideas
The addition of an amazing kitchen island can greatly increase the available work and storage space available in any kitchen. However, not every kitchen can accommodate a large kitchen island with seating and substantial storage. The best kitchen island ideas are ones that fits within the dimensions of its respective kitchen to maximize workspace without restricting movement within the space. Thankfully, there are a plethora of kitchen island options available to suit a variety of budgets and most kitchen sizes. The information below will help you determine which kitchen island ideas will work the best for your budget.
Check out our gallery of kitchen islands.
The best island for kitchens with limited space and a small budget is a portable, freestanding worktable. These can be purchased at a variety of big box stores for anywhere from $200-$500.
A built-in island with budget-friendly features like a butcher block or laminate countertop starts around $600.
A large custom island with high-end materials and decorative details will cost significantly more than its stock equivalent at $4000+. However, you can be guaranteed that it will make a striking focal point for your space, as well as add to the functionality of your kitchen.
A kitchen can accommodate an island when the following requirements are met:
• Island depth of 2 feet
• Traffic space around the island of at least 48”
• 30” counter height for food prep
• 30” from countertop to over-island lighting
• For seating: 36” for standard height; 42” for bar height
3. Island Types
Kitchen Island Cabinets
Kitchen Island Dining
Kitchen Island For Cooking
Combination: Cooking & Eating
Kitchen Lighting Ideas
There are four types of kitchen lighting that can be used: task, ambient, accent and decorative. Typically, kitchen lighting design will feature three of these four types of lighting – task, ambient and decorative – as accent kitchen lighting is often overlooked.
To ensure that kitchen lighting is installed effectively, it can be beneficial to establish a kitchen lighting design. A lighting design will provide an overview of the space and indicate where a lighting fixture should be placed while taking into account the distance of the light emitted from each fixture and the strength of the bulb. This will come in handy during the installation process by providing contractors a clear guide as to where the lighting should go and therefore avoiding unnecessary holes in the ceiling and walls.
1. Task lighting
Task lighting is designed to provide ample light for those working in the kitchen. It is specifically installed to illuminate countertops where much of the kitchen preparations take place. This usually comes in the form of under-cabinet lighting and may include strip lighting, string lights, puck lights and linear bulbs.
2. Ambient lighting
Ambient lighting is designed to create a welcoming atmosphere in the kitchen by softening the edges and adding warmth. This type of lighting is commonly seen as a group of pendants over the island, a flush-mounted ceiling fixture or track lighting.
3. Decorative lighting
Decorative lighting is often less about the function and more about the form. It provides an attractive centerpiece to draw the eye into the space. This type of lighting often comes in the form of a elegant chandelier.
4. Accent lighting
Accent lighting showcases specific areas of objects in the kitchen. For example, one might install in-cabinet lighting behind glass doors to accent a collection of pottery or china. Another option is to install lighting to showcase a decorative tile installation above the counter. Accent lighting often comes in the form of track lighting or wall sconces.
When it comes down to it, the kitchen appliances bear the brunt of the work in the kitchen. Therefore, special consideration should be made when selecting the right kitchen appliance for the job. There are many factors to consider such as budget, style, size, energy-efficiency, capacity and so on.
Color and finish are other options to consider. Ideally, all of your kitchen appliances should match as this creates a seamless look throughout the space. Stainless steel continues to be a favorite as it looks great in almost all kitchens and has a timeless appeal. While not as common, black and white are also popular options. Additionally, there has been a resurgence of color in the kitchen and companies like Big Chill over retro and modern style appliances in a variety of colors from turquoise to jadite green and pink lemonade. These are great options for the more adventurous homeowner.
A new fridge can run anywhere from $300 for a basic model to $3000+ for the model with all the bells and whistles. Keep in mind that refrigerators can vary greatly in size and you will need to come prepared with measurements to ensure that you purchase the perfect fridge for your space. There are three main styles of fridges:
• Side-by-side, the most common, runs in the $700+ range
• Top-mounted freezers are the cheapest and typically run between $400-$600
• Bottom-mounted freezers tend to cost more between $800-$1200
2. Kitchen Range
A kitchen range typically costs $350 – $2000+ depending on the number of features and whether or not it is gas or electric. They come in a standard with of 30”; however, some high-end models may be larger. Freestanding is the most common type as this type of range can be placed anywhere in the kitchen. Slide-in or drop-in models require surrounding cabinetry as they do not include functional side panels.
The following features will determine the cost of your kitchen range:
• Gas or electric
• Self-clean or manual clean
• Standard or convection
• Burner style and number of burners
A cooktop will typically be purchased in conjunction with a wall oven and will cost anywhere from $300 to $2500+. Cooktop dimensions range between 30” and 36”. The same considerations come into play for cooktops as kitchen ranges when choosing the ideal cooktop for your kitchen.
4. Wall Oven
Wall ovens are designed to be installed in a vertical section of kitchen cabinetry. Depending on the size and features they can cost between $700 and $3500+. Standard widths are 24”, 27” and 30”. Features to consider when purchasing a wall oven are:
• Single or double oven
• Self-clean or manual clean
• Gas or electric
5. Ventilation Hood
Ventilation hoods are an integral part of the kitchen as they help maintain the air quality in the kitchen while cooking. They come in four different types and can very greatly in cost:
• Under cabinet hood – most economical
• Wall-mounted chimney
• Ceiling mounted
• Custom built-in
Even today, a dishwasher is considered a luxury in some kitchens. However, it is not less important as it helps to cut down on the time spent in the kitchen, particularly after a large meal or dinner party.
Dishwashers come in a standard size of 24”. The most inexpensive models will begin at a cost of $250. Additional features will increase the cost to somewhere around $1000 depending on the brand and model.
Most people have strong opinions on the color of their kitchen, particularly the cabinets. Some love the clean aesthetic that a white kitchen cabinets brings while others prefer dark, or black kitchen cabinets. In recent years it has become popular to integrate a combination of colors in the kitchen, including the cabinetry. For example, many kitchens have been designed with dark lower cabinets and light uppers or a contrasting island. When done well this look creates additional interest to the kitchen, as well as a touch of personality. View our kitchen photos below to see some dream kitchens and get kitchen ideas for your home.
1. White Kitchen Cabinets
2. Natural Wood Kitchen
3. Two-tone Kitchens
4. Colorful Kitchens
5. Kitchens with Colorful Accents
Kitchen Design Styles
Often a homeowner doesn’t need to choose a design style for their kitchen, it chooses them. Everyone is drawn to a specific style, whether we know it or not, although it may take the direction of an interior designer or decorator to draw it out. Matching the right design style to the homeowner is an essential part of creating a space that they feel comfortable in and proud of.
The following kitchen pictures represent common kitchen design styles. Some contain specific aspects of a particular style while others contain a variety of styles that have been carefully selected to create a cohesive look. We hope they provide you with inspirational kitchen remodeling ideas for your next project.
1. Modern Kitchen Design
Modern kitchen design may be for you if you like:
• Simplistic design
• Modern Kitchen Cabinets: Horizontal, rather than, vertical, full-height cabinetry
• Flat-panel doors with frameless construction and a full overlay
• Natural materials like marble, granite and wood
2. Modern Country
Modern country kitchen design may be for you if you like:
• Rustic elements like barnboard and whitewashed wood
• A combination of rustic and industrial elements
• Minimal ornamentation
• Shaker-style cabinetry
• Exposed beams
3. Traditional Kitchens
Traditional kitchens may be for you if you like:
• Raised panel doors
• Flush inset or framed cabinetry
• Luxury countertops such as marble and granite
• Decorative embellishments and adornments (i.e. molding, corbels, glass inserts, etc)
• Custom ventilation hoods
Transitional kitchen design may be for you if you like:
• Mix of modern and traditional
• Shaker-style cabinetry
• Simple accents
• Natural materials such as wood, granite and marble
Eclectic kitchen design may be for you if you like:
• Combination of styles: modern, farmhouse, classic, country, industrial, etc.
• Personal accents
• A touch of humor
Check out our gallery of 33 Eclectic Kitchen Designs.
6. Mediterranean Kitchen
Mediterranean kitchen design may be for you if you like:
• Dark wood cabinetry
• Natural tile floors
• Textured walls
• Ornate tile
• Rich, warm colors