top of page

What to Consider When Designing a Custom Kitchen

New construction and complete remodels are our speciality here at LWD, and naturally kitchens are a favorite part of the design process. There is so much more that goes into designing a kitchen beyond selecting backsplashes and countertops. Over the years, I’ve compiled notes outlining specific elements in a kitchen to plan for, measure, and build in to the design. Today, I’m sharing those notes for the first time to help guide you through things to consider when designing a custom kitchen.


  • Build your kitchen to accommodate the kitchen work triangle - with the sink, stove and refrigerator making up each point of the triangle. This allows or optimum flow while prepping and cooking and is used in both commercial and residential kitchens alike.

  • If square footage allows for it, leave room for the dishwasher to be open, and the cabinet drawer directly behind it fully extended leaving room to walk between. This makes emptying the dishwasher a much quicker task!


  • Have your cabinet builders create vertical storage for items like baking sheets and cupcake tins. An eight inch wide, narrow, divided cabinet makes for easy access and cleanliness.

  • Don’t let kitchen islands become dead space - have cabinets built on both sides of an island for storage of less-frequently accessed items like vases or seasonal decor.

  • Create pull out trash and recycling cans, with a neighboring drawer or lower drawer to hold trash can liners for easy access.

  • Paper towels need constant and easy access, so consider building a hidden paper towel holder into your kitchen below counter height near the sink so they are out of sight.

  • I love a pull out bulk item drawer. Keep baking items and grains contained in air tight containers specially fitted inside a drawer. This allows for easy measuring and cleanup and opens up room in the pantry.

What to Consider When Designing a Custom Kitchen

What to Consider When Designing a Custom Kitchen


  • Have electrical outlets run through multiple shelves of the pantry, so countertop appliances can be neatly tucked away inside at all times. I always make room for the toaster, microwave, and blender in the pantry.

  • I'm also seeing moreappliance garages in kitchens - a hideaway nook built into the cabinet system without shelves, so countertop appliances are always hidden behind a door but are conveniently accessed in the main kitchen.

  • Any under cabinet lighting should always be LED for long-term use. Ask your electrician about a LED light strip, they have a slim profile so they are easily hidden under any cabinet.

  • Have lighting installed in glass cabinets for an additional layer of ambient lighting and added functionality when it comes time to put dishes away after dark.

Once you have considered the functionality of your kitchen and HOW you plan to use it, then it's time for the fun part. Finishes, cabinetry, hardware and fixtures. Catch up on some of my favorite design trends for 2019 here - including changes we're seeing in kitchen designs.


join the conversation

follow along on Instagram

bottom of page