Whether you’re in the beginning stages of a kitchen remodel or simply looking for new ways to organize your space, a bit of planning can go a long way. It can help you decide which cabinet your glasses should go in and how to divvy up all those cookie sheets.

The Work Triangle

The Work Triangle is a kitchen design concept that optimizes a space for ideal usage and flow. It liberates cooking tasks from overlapping movements by locating the most frequented points in a kitchen such as stove, sink and refrigerator.

The ideal distance between these three points is around 8 feet, although the kitchen layout can vary depending on how much room is available. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the triangle shouldn’t be blocked by appliances, trash cans or other elements such as a kitchen island.

Also known as the Pullman Kitchen, the one-wall kitchen setup is a great option for smaller homes such as studio apartments where cabinets and appliances are fixed to a single wall. This setup, though, does not follow the standard Work Triangle guidelines.

Floating Shelves

A timeless storage solution, floating shelves offer the chance to make a statement with your decor. Whether they’re in the background or the focal point, these wall accessories can help your kitchen look more contemporary and refined or enhance a casual space.

Floating shelves are available in a variety of colors, from understated neutrals to bold shades that can add drama to a room. When selecting a color, consider the overall tone of your room and whether you want the shelf to blend in with existing decor or stand out as a decorative touch.

When installing floating shelves, always make sure the brackets are attached to wall studs. This ensures they’re strong enough to hold the weight of whatever is displayed on them. If you mount them to drywall, it’s likely they will eventually come loose from the wall.

Built-In Work Station

Kitchens are ideal places to set up a home office work station, especially if you have a quiet area that can be devoted to working and you live alone or have housemates who respect your privacy. This home workstation from Space Factory is tucked into an alcove beneath a graphic metal staircase landing and features a simple desk with metal legs that echo the stairs and a black painted chair. Closed cabinets and drawers keep papers and clutter out of sight when the workstation isn’t being used. For maximum efficiency, a galley kitchen layout with two walls facing each other works best for this type of work station.

Window Treatments

In a room that is often filled with utilitarian appliances and hard surfaces, window treatments can provide an injection of softness. They can also add a stylish accent, increase privacy and light control, and complement your kitchen decor.

Decorative cornices and valances are a beautiful way to frame your windows. They can be made of soft fabric or wood and can be carved with intricate patterns. Top treatments can be used as a standalone feature or they can be combined with shades, blinds or shutters.

A good kitchen window treatment should not only look good but be durable and easily cleaned. Vinyl blinds and shades are a good choice because they stand up to abuse and can handle moisture. They come in a range of colors and can be layered with drapery for visual depth and creativity.


The kitchen is the heart of the home, and a well-designed lighting scheme can transform your entire space. A cohesive lighting layout makes rooms feel taller, brighter and more expansive, while accent fixtures highlight attractive features of the space such as a beautiful backsplash or unique cabinet hardware.

For ambient lighting, choose light fixtures that blend into the ceiling for a seamless look and avoid fixtures that are too large for their space; they may obscure your sightlines and make it hard to navigate around the room. For a dramatic accent, try backlighting that illuminates countertops and other decorative kitchen elements.

Finally, consider adding dimmer switches to adjust the lighting throughout the day and night. Changing the tone of your kitchen from warm and inviting to a more romantic evening setting is simple with the right light.