Creating a Functional Kitchen with Charm

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When it comes to planning a new kitchen for a new house, it can be challenging. With a remodel, you have a defined space (most likely) of where the kitchen is, the size of it, necessary walls, and so on. Here, you can work with an existing space, but when it comes to a new kitchen, you have a blank slate. This can be both exciting and overwhelming- this is why I’m sharing my tips on creating a functional kitchen with charm!

Start with your house plan, it likely has an already defined kitchen space. The first thing that I do is lay out the dimensions of the kitchen so I can have a feel for the size. I then compare it to my current kitchen and make adjustments as needed. It’s hard for me to imagine what the space feels like when I look at numbers on a paper, so I use painters tape to measure the dimensions out on my floor to get a true feel for the space.

If having an island is important to you like it was for me, make sure to consider the amount of space that you need to walk around the island. Ask yourself- can the dishwasher open and a person walk around it? What about the refrigerator? Plan ahead to avoid problems down the road.

Think about the surface of your island- actually all the countertops in the kitchen. When is comes to a kitchen island, you likely want it to increase either dining or prep space. Both require a sturdy countertop that will hold up over time. I decided to go with Caesarstone Quartz for a few reasons, but the number one is quality. When I spoke with the kitchen designer, they told me quartz would last longer than the life of the house. That’s a huge plus for me, and with the kitchen being the most used room in the house, I knew it was the right choice for our home.

Caesarstone has so many different colors and options for countertops that they will be the perfect "diamond" in the kitchen and add instant charm and beauty to your space.

Another piece of the kitchen that can add instant charm is the faucet, a lot of people gloss over this part and just grab the cheapest one. Next to the countertops, it’s going to get the most use so take your time with picking one. We went with oil rubbed bronze for our faucets, cabinet and drawer pulls, as well as light fixtures. With our rustic farmhouse décor, these were perfect.

Something else that we splurged on was the touch faucet. To be honest, I didn't think that I was going to love it as much as I do, but it makes turning on the faucet with dirty hands a breeze. There's no going back to a traditional faucet now that I've had this one!

White cabinets give the kitchen a bright and fresh feeling.  There's nothing I love more than working in this beautiful space. It's not just pretty, but an inspirational space where I can create meals for my family, help my kids with homework and entertain friends.

Add one fluffy, white puppy to match your white kitchen!  Just kidding- but if you are a pet owner it does make sense to think about where you will store and feed your fur baby.  It may be worth dedicating a drawer or cabinet for their food, treats and toys. Also think about where you will put their food dish- is there a place that's tucked out of the way from walking traffic so it doesn't get bumped and dumped?

When it comes to decorating a kitchen, less is more.  Especially if you have gorgeous, new Caesarstone countertops, you don't want to cover them all up.  I like to find a few pieces of décor that are eye catching and fit the theme of the kitchen, like the white rooster on my island.  It fits the space perfectly with our farmhouse decorating.

Something I always wanted in a new home was a butler’s pantry- a space off of the kitchen that stores plates, food, utensils, or whatever overflow I have. I remember back to my Grandma’s old house and her little butler’s pantry and wanting to add one to my own home.

If you have the space, this is one of the most useful spaces in the house and I'd recommend adding it.  If you can and want to, why not add another refrigerator and sink too! This makes a great place to keep food and "messes" when you're entertaining friends and family.

The kitchen truly is the heart of the home, so when it comes to planning a new one, putting the extra time, effort and money into the space will make it a place people want to be in for years to come.

For more kitchen inspiration: Moodboard: Sophisticated Country Kitchen | New Trend: Blue Kitchens

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Chrissy Taylor is a food and travel blogger, managing the Taylor House Blog which is full of family-fun recipes and ideas.