Elevating Kitchen Style: Creative Ideas for Stylish and Functional Kitchen Design

Key Things to Consider When Planning a KitchenElevating Kitchen Style: Creative Ideas for Stylish and Functional Kitchen Design

If you’re anything like me, getting all the little details of your home aligned is the most satisfying thing in the world. But before we get there, we have to look at the bigger picture to end up with a really cohesive scheme. To elevate kitchen style you have to consider what is simultaneously the most difficult and most fun part first – how to design a functional space!

We have just been given planning permission for our new house, yayyyyy! As a HUGE interior design fan and interior stylist, as well as running my own homeware business, you can imagine how much I’ve been thinking about the new spaces we’ll soon have.

When it comes to entertaining and everyday living, the kitchen is the top room to strike the balance between style and function. As the most utilised part of the house, whether a space primarily for cocktails with the girlies or breakfast with the kids, it plays a pivotal role in your day-to-day life. It absolutely did in our last house and I can’t wait to renovate our new forever home project so that we can create the kitchen of our dreams.

Based on our experience in our last house, this room might even become the backdrop to some of your most cherished memories from the little one’s birthdays to dinner dates with your partner, so it’s fair to say that the kitchen is the heart of your home in more senses than one. Here are some memory-making images from our last kitchen:

In this post, I’m going to share how to create a functional kitchen that simply oozes style, complete with tips on the best layouts and 6 creative design ideas to get you started.

Where to start: the importance of functional kitchen design

I can’t stress to you enough how relaxed a functional, well-organised space will make you feel on a daily basis. Having a cramped, messy kitchen is overwhelming (we’ve all been there and done that), but taking the steps to make life easier for yourself will reward you threefold:

  • Your kitchen will be more accessible and easier to navigate
  • You will free up needed space that was previously mismanaged
  • Your culinary space will be transformed into a gorgeous social hub and somewhere everyone wants to be.

The secret to maximising space 

I’ve talked about maximising your kitchen space on this blog before, but it can’t hurt to recap a few things. We’re currently revisiting it as we plan the new kitchen in our forever home! After all, these key principles will become your best friends when designing your functional kitchen layout.

Firstly, you should disregard a “one size fits all” principle. In high-traffic areas of your home, really think about how to use the space, and be as creative as possible – the solution might not jump out at you immediately and it takes time to think about how YOU live and what YOU want from it.

Prioritise sufficient workspace, clearance zones for people passing through, furniture and appliances, leaning into the unique dimensions your space has to offer to really make it work.

The kitchen working triangle

This golden rule is the darling of interior designers everywhere. Essentially, the kitchen working triangle is a rule that states that with your three key appliances – sink, refrigerator and oven – you should create a ‘triangle’. 

With this setup, your workflow will be simplified, making it easier to carry out your culinary tasks while guests move freely about the kitchen.

Kitchen islands

I can’t overstate the duality of kitchen islands! These wonderful surfaces are the solution to a stylish design and are ideal for combined kitchen dining areas. Opting for an island sink, hob or dining area means that you can introduce an open partition to the other side of the room.

If you don’t have sufficient room for an island, consider a kitchen peninsula instead which is what we had in our last kitchen.

Space saving furnishing

This tip is a given. Wherever you can, select smart, space-saving furnishings and appliances. By swapping out bulky chairs with barstools, kitchen cabinets with shelving and a traditional dining area with a contemporary banquette, you’ll be surprised at how many inches you can win back.

6 functional (yet stylish) kitchen design ideas

If my space-saving tips were the starter, these 6 functional kitchen design ideas are the main course. There are so many ways to keep your kitchen practical without compromising on looks.

  1. Pick the optimal layout

I just hinted at it: picking the optimal layout for the size and dimensions of your kitchen will revolutionise the way you view the space, however awkwardly your kitchen is laid out. Strictly speaking, you have six options:

  • The L-shaped layout
  • The U-shaped layout
  • The one-wall layout
  • The galley layout
  • The island kitchen

Research which suits the dimensions of your kitchen and pick the one that will give you the best results in terms of space – from here you can work on styling.

Lots of kitchen design companies will create visuals for you which can massively help you to visualise the space and choose the best layout for you.

  1. Opt for materials that never get old

It’s one thing to follow the trends, but it’s another completely to design a home that you will love for years to come. Opt for enduring, high-quality materials that make your life easier for you. I’m talking about beautiful hard-wearing countertops and backsplashes that you’ll never get bored of.

My principle is to keep things classic and neutral for permanent expensive choices and to have fun with things that can be easily switched out such as wallpaper, artwork and soft furnishings. 

  1. Play with colour theory

I’m sure you’re no stranger to colour theory, but have you considered following these useful tips? Starting off with making your room look bigger and brighter with carefully chosen designer paints. Yes, that’s right, you can completely change the perception of a room with colour.

For example, if you paint your walls lighter tones (never bright whites – these will create a harsh, cold feel!) you’ll cast more light into the room. You can even ‘lift’ low ceilings by painting them the same colour as your walls or slightly lighter. Here, you should opt of a matt finish or one with a very subtle sheen.

  1. Use lighting to your advantage

Your choice of lighting fixtures is essential if you’re aiming for an ergonomic kitchen in a cramped space. For those with particularly low ceilings, pendant lights might not be ideal, so try opting for semi-flush ceiling lights, wall lamps or ultra-modern LEDs. These will bring your kitchen décor into the present and create a sense of spaciousness. 

  1. Incorporate smart kitchen technology

When people talk about smart kitchen technology, it encompasses an entire spectrum of devices from voice-activated appliances to the addition of an instant pot. However, big or small you go looking into smart kitchen alternatives could save you valuable time – and even energy!

  1. Make your kitchen scream “you”

Finally, the fun part. What’s a kitchen if it doesn’t reflect your gorgeous personality? If you’re a culinary queen, you’ll want your utensils at hand, so consider personalising the cupboards above your cabinets with hooks to hang pans and other essentials.

And don’t forget to accessorise! From styling your kitchen with decorative fruit to whimsical plant pots, there’s so much to help you live beautifully. My own collection of unique chic homeware has lots of beautiful pieces that will bring personality to your home.

It’s time to try your hand

If there’s anything to learn about creating a stylish yet functional kitchen design, it’s that you don’t have to be an interior designer to achieve stunning results – just a keen eye and the gumption to see it through. 

No two kitchens are the same. Therefore, my parting words are to find the balance between the ergonomics and aesthetics that work for you; after all, your dream home is only as dreamy as you make it.

Until next time,



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