10 Things to Consider in Designing Your New Kitchen

Mid-Cape Home Centers

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Curava countertop in Savaii on display in South Dennis Showroom.

Have you looked around at your kitchen lately and thought it could use a facelift? While binging shows like Fixer Upper, Design on a Dime, or House Hunters may have you ready to knock down cabinets and buy a reclaimed farmhouse sink, we all know how quickly diy can become a disaster. Mid-Cape Home Centers wants to help guide you through the true realities with 10 Things to Consider in Designing Your New Kitchen:

Plan the Layout

The layout of the kitchen is crucial. If it isn’t planned correctly, you might find yourself crossing the kitchen multiple times because things are never quite where you need them. The layout should be designed around the traffic pattern of typical use. Consider how your family uses the space. Provide wide walkways to open up the design and storage space, so that everything you need is always readily on hand. Otherwise a kitchen can feel cramped not inviting.


You’ve found your dream kitchen. You’re already inviting the family to brunch and imagining the amazing dinner parties you’ll create… if you just had that kitchen. Then you find out the price! Getting help from a kitchen designer means simple tips and tricks can make your Mac-n-Cheese budget look like a Soufflé. DIY isn’t for everyone and it can turn expensive especially if you make mistakes. Floor models can be an ideal way to reduce expenses. Scratch-and-dent sales are also great finds for consumers.

Avoid Corners

I once lived in an apartment where I had to shut the door to the kitchen before I could open the oven. You have to ensure that not only do you have enough space to walk around doors and corners, but that there’s enough room to open the doors of cabinets and appliances without scratches…or injuries.

Design the Island

It’s hard to imagine a new kitchen design without an island. That’s just how popular they are. But the island isn’t just another surface area. We spoke to Mid Cape Home Centers who say that the trusty kitchen island has come a long way. They can now include fridges, storage, sinks, cooktops, the sky’s the limit.

Donna Benoit a Kitchen Designer at Mid-Cape says, “Kitchen islands are a gathering spot. People congregate there to help prepare meals, eat, do homework and socialize in general. It is important to have adequate room to move around an island. In smaller kitchens, an island may not be an option for this reason. The island can be designed as a separate piece in the kitchen, using a different door style & finish. It can be designed to look like a piece of furniture to include paneled sides and backs, bookcases, feet and or turnings etc.”

Countertop Details

How much real estate is available in the kitchen? When you work with a kitchen designer, they’ll help you determine exactly how much space you need to store countertop appliances and how much you’ll need as a workspace. A busy cook needs ample countertop space, with at least 15 inches surrounding cooktop, sink, and refrigerator. Then the fun begins! We visited one of Mid-Cape Home Centers kitchen showrooms where the possibilities to customize your counter tops are endless. They’ll help you choose what’s right for function, appearance, and budget. Designer, Ellen Smith explains, “The most popular countertop surface today is man-made quartz. The manufacturers have managed to capture the look and feel of natural stone without the maintenance. The resin and quartz used in its production make for a durable non-porous surface. Each year, with the expansion of its designs and color palette there are more and more beautiful slabs to choose from.

Natural stone is still in demand, You cannot beat the beauty of Mother Nature’s creations. In response to the low maintenance of quartz, granite fabricators now offer lifetime sealers for granite countertops. The sealer is applied before your countertops are installed and a swipe with a soapy sponge is all the maintenance required. Other natural stones for countertops include quartzite, slate, soapstone and marble.

Recycled countertops are another option. The materials used include glass, ceramics, mirrors and even sea shells. Here on Cape Cod the shells are very popular. They add color and charm to this relatively new option”

Pam Speciale, Kitchen & Bath Coordinator, told us about Curava resin-based countertops made with 100% recycled glass. “People love the mother of pearl shell found in our Curava floor model in Savaii (pictured above), and how the surface delicately pulls in warm tones that help coordinate and add warmth to kitchens with brown floors.

If traditional is more your thing, you’re not alone. Ellen Smith says they’ve seen a renewed interest in wood countertops, from the tried and true maple butcher block to exotic woods like Wenge. They add warmth and beauty to your kitchen design.

Sink Styles

You might think the only decision to be made when it comes to your kitchen sink is size, but there are so many options to consider. Ellen shares, “The sink most often requested by consumers is stainless steel because of its durability. A good quality stainless sink will acquire a patina over time adding to its good looks. Another option is a granite sink, also very durable. They are composed of granite and resins and offer a tough, resilient sink that is almost impossible to scratch or chip. Fireclay sinks have a ceramic-like look and cast iron is available in a dozen colors to add fun and color to your kitchen. Today we receive a lot of requests for apron-front sinks. This sink looks especially nice in a country or cottage kitchen.” The sink must fit the cook’s needs. An extra sink for filling pots could be a nice touch for a busy cook. A swing-out tap provides even more options.

Serving Youngsters

There are several considerations to make if you have young children in your family. A family with children may need items stored within easy reach. Design the space so that dishes and foods are reachable for youngsters.

Don’t Forget the Backsplash:

Not only do backsplashes ensure it’s easier to clean up but it can give your kitchen a bit of personality. Kitchen designers can do so much with backsplashes says Lisa McGrath flooring specialist at Mid-Cape, “A backsplash is the cherry on the cake. It ties everything together for a customer look. Don’t be afraid to use bigger tiles. You will have less grout for easy cleanup.” Pick your backsplash along with your countertop. Lisa adds, “You want your backsplash to compliment your counter not compete with it.”

Use of Color

If you’re working with a small space, light colors can really open up a kitchen space. Mid-Cape told CapeCod.com the most popular colors on the cape are white, gray, and blue. The beachy coastal feel is not only perfect for a Cape Cod home, but perfect to make any space feel light and airy. Bright colors can add energy to a room but be careful not to overwhelm the eye. Focus on light hues for cabinets and walls and use brighter colors as accents. If you’ve found inspiration for a color, bring it in. Mid-Cape Home Centers paint department can custom match paint to virtually anything: sea glass, your favorite t-shirt, or picture in a magazine.

Make a Focal Point

If you look back at those pinterest boards you pulled together or the pages you ripped out of magazines there was probably one item in each kitchen that caught your eye: the focal point. Maybe it was a designer range hood, an ornate tile backsplash, or an elaborate island. “Focal points give your eye a place to rest and admire the design. It can be as simple as a pair of decorative hardware on a cabinet. Range hoods can also act as a focal point, they can be wood or metal and they make a statement. Glass doors on wall cabinets can be used in the kitchen design as a focal point to showcase items. Focal points make the room more interesting in general.”, says Donna Benoit.

Ultimately your kitchen should be unique and suited to your family’s needs. Donna went on to say, “Every client/design is different, and it presents new challenges. The client’s personality and family life help drive the design. There is nothing more satisfying than to visit their home and to see their dream kitchen come to fruition.”

One of Mid-Capes designers that works specifically with contractor and builder customers adds, “Always remember through the process that this is ultimately your kitchen. Don’t let anyone talk you in to or out of something you feel strongly about, provided it works with the space.”

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