A culinary kitchen remodel allows home chefs to create their dream cooking space. With careful planning and design, you can have a kitchen that is optimized for cooking, entertaining, and fitting your unique style. From high-end appliances to creative storage solutions, a culinary kitchen remodel has lots of opportunities to customize.

Assessing Your Needs For A Culinary Kitchen

Before beginning a culinary kitchen remodel, take time to assess how you use your kitchen and how you want to use your new kitchen. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

How do you cook?

  • Do you mostly cook quick meals or more elaborate dishes with multiple courses?
  • What types of cooking do you do regularly – baking, frying, sautéing, etc?
  • Do you frequently cook for large groups or parties?

What’s your cooking style?

  • Is your kitchen cluttered or sparse when you cook?
  • Do you prefer lots of clear countertop space or don’t mind a more crowded workspace?
  • Do you cook with speciality equipment like pressure cookers or rice cookers?

How do you grocery shop?

  • Do you shop for a few days at a time or do big trips less frequently?
  • Do you tend to buy in bulk or prefer fresh ingredients?
  • Do you shop at warehouse stores like Costco or local farmer’s markets?

Do you entertain in your kitchen?

  • Does your kitchen double as a space to entertain guests casually?
  • Do guests interact with you while you cook or mostly stay out of the workspace?
  • Do you need space for guests to sit and eat in the kitchen?

What’s your design style?

  • Do you prefer modern and sleek or traditional and ornate kitchen design?
  • What color schemes and material finishes do you find appealing?
  • Do you want your kitchen to flow with an open concept home or be more closed off?

Key Elements Of A Culinary Kitchen

Once you know how you want to use your new kitchen, you can start planning the layout and elements to include. Here are some of the most important components of a kitchen designed for cooking enthusiasts.


The appliances are the biggest splurge for most culinary kitchen remodels. Opting for pro-style or commercial grade appliances allows you to have restaurant-quality cooking in your home.

  • Range: A professional range with 6 or more burners gives you ample room for cooking multiple items at once. Options like griddles and grill tops also increase functionality.
  • Oven: Many pro-style ranges have double ovens. Convection baking is ideal for even heating. Steam ovens provide extra moist cooking options.
  • Refrigeration: Large fridge and freezer capacity planned creatively helps you store fresh ingredients and prepped foods efficiently. You may want specialty refrigeration like wine fridges or drawers for produce.
  • Ventilation: A powerful vent hood with external ventilation is a must for handling stove smoke and grease.
  • Small Appliances: Mixers, food processors, sous vide machines and other gadgets can have dedicated storage and electrical outlets.

Sink And Prep Areas

Having spacious and smartly planned cleanup and prep zones makes cooking tasks more streamlined.

  • Multiple sinks allow for separating messy prep from clean up.
  • Large single bowl farmhouse or apron front sinks provide ample room for washing large pots.
  • Durable surfaces like quartz hold up around sinks and stand up to daily use.
  • Separate prep sinks optimize workspace near stoves and ovens.
  • Islands or tables create additional prep space and can conceal storage.

Storage Solutions

No culinary kitchen can function without abundant and well-organized storage.

  • Pull-out drawers and shelves in lower cabinets keep items visible and in easy reach.
  • Upper cabinets can have lift mechanisms that lower hard to reach areas.
  • Tall pantries with adjustable shelves offer limitless room for dry goods, small appliances, and extras.
  • Corner lazy susans and specialty organizers keep awkward spaces useful.
  • Pot racks above islands provide visible hanging storage for bulky cookware.

High-End Surfaces

The surfaces you choose need to be durable, easy to clean, and resist stains, heat, and scratches.

  • Natural stone like granite and quartz make excellent countertops in busy kitchens.
  • Timeless subway tile, glass tile, and porcelain withstand splashes near sinks.
  • Water-resistant wooden floors or slip-resistant porcelain floors are good options that offer comfort underfoot.

Optimal Lighting

Proper lighting makes prepping ingredients, reading recipes, and cooking safely much easier.

  • Ambient overhead lighting brightens the full kitchen.
  • Task lighting under cabinets illuminates workspaces.
  • Pendant lights over islands add focused beams of light.
  • Natural light from windows makes the space feel open and airy.

Culinary Kitchen Layout And Design

Your kitchen layout impacts how easily you can move from station to station as you cook. Placement of appliances, prep areas, and storage makes a big difference in kitchen workflow.

Kitchen Work Triangle

The work triangle concept recommends efficient placement of the three busy zones of a kitchen – the refrigerator, stove, and sink. Keeping these areas in close proximity, but with ample room to maneuver between them, results in a compact and useful work triangle.

Stove Visibility

Placing the stove and ovens against an island or peninsula improves visibility as you cook. You can monitor multiple pans and interact with guests without having your back fully turned. This placement also improves ventilation.

Separated Work Zones

Breaking up kitchen tasks into different workstations prevents congestion. For example, keep food storage separate from the cleanup area near the sink. You may have prep zones on both ends of an island to allow multiple cooks.

Walkways And Openness

Incorporate at least 42-48 inch wide walkways so multiple cooks can pass through comfortably. Minimize upper cabinetry and open sight lines from the kitchen into living areas for a spacious feel.


Place items you use most frequently at midlevel heights between waist and eye level. Put lesser used items up high or down low. Easy access to the pantry, fridge, and dish storage streamlines cooking tasks.

Specialty Features For Culinary Kitchens

Unique additions tailored to the needs of cooking enthusiasts take a culinary kitchen remodel to the next level.

Beverage Stations

Having water, wine, coffee, and other drinks on tap directly in your kitchen adds convenience. Dedicated beverage stations let you skip the fridge by installing undercounter wine coolers, beverage fridges, and plumbing for specialty taps.

Extra Seating

Incorporate banquette seating, barstools at counters or islands, and cafestyle tables for casual dining in your culinary kitchen. This allows guests to hang out comfortably while the cook is at work.

Smart Technology

From WiFi enabled appliances to voice activated lighting, smart home tech adds modern appeal and functionality. Auto-closing drawers and motion activated faucets improve ergonomics.

High-End Ventilation

In addition to an industrial style vent over the stove, you may want features like exterior venting, makeup air systems, and air purification to manage humidity, grease, fumes, and smells from cooking.

Specialty Pantries

Expand your pantry capabilities by adding amenities like beverage fridges, additional sinks, custom storage for small appliances, and organization systems to keep everything in its place but easily accessible.

Choosing Materials For A Culinary Kitchen

The materials you select for a culinary kitchen remodel should not just look good but also be highly functional in a busy cooking environment.


Popular durable options like granite, quartz, soapstone, and solid surface stand up well to heavy daily use. Neutral tones keep these counters clean looking. Butcher block counters add warmth but require sealing.


Glass, metal, and ceramic tile withstand splashes and are heat resistant. Subway tile is a classic. Large format tile has minimal grout lines to clean. Mosaic tile adds artistic flair.


Stainless steel and enamel coated cast iron are durable sink materials. Copper and stone add style but require more maintenance. Look for sinks with thick padded insulation to reduce noise.


Wood or wood-look porcelain tile is attractive but can dent and stain. Sheet vinyl floors are budget friendly and extremely water resistant. Polished concrete is industrial chic but hard underfoot.


Opt for plywood box construction and soft-close hinges for durability. Stains, glazes, and painted finishes suit culinary kitchen style. Lighter wood tones like maple keep things bright.


Matte black and oil rubbed bronze finishes are popular. For an industrial vibe try exposed hinges. Pulls and handles should have some heft and be easy to grip with wet hands.

Creating An Efficient Culinary Kitchen Workflow

A culinary kitchen flows efficiently from one cooking task to the next. Here are some tips for maximizing workflow in your new kitchen:

  • Group ingredients, tools, and appliances – Organize items you use together in convenient clusters. Ex. knives by the prep sink, pans by the stove.
  • Store most used items at the optimal height – Keep heavy pots and pans low, everyday dishes midlevel, and lesser used items up high.
  • Minimize reaching and unnecessary steps – Arrange items so you don’t have to take extra steps. Ex. oils above the stove.
  • Leave breathing room around appliances – Allow open areas around ovens, fridges, etc for opening/removing items without banging into countertops.
  • Incorporate multiple work triangles – Having more than one work triangle allows multiple cooks to help prepare meals.
  • Include a landing zone – Have a temporary storage spot like a kitchen island to place hot pans or ingredients as you cook.
  • Use circulation patterns that minimize cross traffic – Design pathways so cooks aren’t constantly bumping into each other.
  • Allow for prep ahead of time – Include space to do prep work before cooking so tasks go smoothly once the actual cooking starts.

Common Mistakes To Avoid In Culinary Kitchen Remodels

While planning your culinary kitchen renovation, keep in mind some common mistakes others have made so you can avoid them:

  • Choosing style over function
  • Putting storage out of comfortable reach
  • Not planning enough prep space
  • Selecting delicate materials that stain and scratch
  • Failing to splurge on heavy duty appliances
  • Skipping specialty organizational solutions
  • Not enough lighting
  • Neglecting ergonomic height standards
  • Forgetting accessibility requirements
  • Overlooking ease of cleaning needs
  • Undersizing refrigeration space
  • Not accounting for ventilation needs

Planning Your Culinary Kitchen Remodel

The planning process is crucial to creating your ideal culinary kitchen. Here are some tips for planning a successful culinary kitchen remodel:

  • Define your budget – Determine how much you can realistically spend on the remodel so you select affordable materials and appliances.
  • Interview contractors – Find an experienced general contractor who has done high-end kitchen renovations before. Read reviews and inspect past projects.
  • Review building codes – Your contractor will handle permits and ensure building codes are met, but understanding codes yourself prevents surprises.
  • Visit showrooms – Browse designer kitchen showrooms and stores in person to review products like cabinetry, tile, hardware, and lighting fixtures.
  • Create floorplans – Experiment with different layouts on paper first, keeping in mind work triangles and traffic flow.
  • 3D modeling – Using 3D modeling software helps visualize the finished kitchen space accurately before construction.
  • Plan electrical – Add up needed outlets for appliances, lighting, and electronics so your electrician can size the panel accordingly.
  • Schedule realistically – Remodels notoriously take longer than expected. Build in a buffer when scheduling so you aren’t rushed.
  • Pack up the kitchen – During construction you’ll need to empty cabinets and drawers. Be prepared to pack things up temporarily including food.

Designing A Culinary Kitchen Island

The kitchen island is the natural centerpiece of a culinary kitchen. Follow these tips when designing your culinary kitchen island:

  • Size it generously – Allow at least 4 feet wide and 2 feet deep for ample functional surface and leg room.
  • Incorporate power – Outlets and USB charging ports on islands keep devices powered conveniently.
  • Use substantial materials – Granite, quartz, or stainless steel countertops can handle heavy prep work. Opt for sturdy base cabinets.
  • Make seating comfortable – Barstools should have supportive backs and foot rails. Allow at least 15 inches of overhang for seating.
  • Light it up – Use hanging pendant lights to spotlight meal prep zones or entertaining areas. Undercabinet lighting illuminates workspaces.
  • Store smartly – Include storage like shelves for cookbooks, pull out spice racks, or hideaway garbage bins. Pot racks above provide visible hanging storage.
  • Add specialty features – Some possibilities are beverage fridges, warming drawers, ice makers, sink, and touch control faucets.
  • Keep clearance – Allow 42 to 48 inches minimum between facing cabinets so cooks can easily walk around.
  • Use luxurious finishes – Details like custom legs, intricate corbels, marble accents, and rich wood finishes elevate the look.

Selecting Backsplash Tile For Culinary Kitchens

The backsplash is a prime spot to add eye-catching tile in your new culinary kitchen. Consider these tips when selecting backsplash tile:

  • Opt for heat and water-resistant materials like ceramic, porcelain, or glass tile.
  • Larger tiles have fewer grout lines to trap grime. But small tiles let you create intricate patterns.
  • Neutral hues like white, gray, or beige keep the focus on accent colors. Metallics like bronze or copper add glam.
  • Extend tile fully from countertops to cabinets for a seamless backsplash with minimal grout lines.
  • Create zones using tile – Ex. Use intricate tile only behind a focal point like the range. Do solid tile elsewhere.
  • Contrast tile with countertops – If counters are neutral, use bold colored tile. With patterned counters, opt for simple tile.
  • Incorporate texture and dimension – Glass, metal, and handpainted tile add depth. Hexagons, subway tiles, and mosaics make patterns.
  • Accent with trim – Pencil trim, chair rail molding, and tile inserts provide transitional accents between tile and walls.
  • Protect sections prone to splatters – Behind stoves, sinks, and prep areas use the most durable water-resistant tile.
  • Carry tile into open shelving – Extend backsplashes into exposed open shelving areas for a finished look.

Choosing Countertops For Culinary Kitchens

Countertops suitable for culinary kitchens must be attractive yet highly durable. Here are tips for selecting countertops in your remodeled kitchen:

  • Opt for heavy duty materials like granite, quartz, or solid surface that withstand heat, stains, and wear.
  • Neutral solid colors hide spills and wear best. Butchers block and concrete offer textured organic style.
  • Check that edges and seams are sealed. This prevents moisture and spills from penetrating into sensitive areas.
  • Get large pieces with few seams. Seams eventually crack and trap debris. Larger pieces have fewer troublesome seams.
  • Include extras like trivets and cutting boards to protect counters when prepping and serving hot items.
  • Add a pop of accent color with one area of colorful tile or a contrasting prep sink or island.
  • Extend counter overhangs for bar seating or extra prep space. Support overhangs properly so they don’t crack over time.
  • Keep adequate clearance around edges for cleaning. Having appliances bump up against the counter makes wiping spills tricky.
  • Transitions between different counters should be seamless. Ask fabricators to blend seams using tight joints or coordinating caulk.
  • For hygiene keep grout lines in tile countertops minimal. Solid surface counters like quartz have no grout to harbor germs.

Choosing Cabinets For Your Culinary Kitchen

Stock cabinets might not cut it for a culinary kitchen where you need storage that can handle serious usage. Here are tips for choosing sturdier cabinets:

  • Opt for all plywood box construction and avoid particle board or melamine. Plywood is more stable.
  • Dovetail joinery and reinforced back panels add stability and prevent sagging over time.
  • Look for full extension soft close drawer guides to access contents easily.
  • Opt for roll out trays, spice pull outs, pot organizers and other specialty storage accessories.
  • Include glass doors on upper cabinets to display attractive dishware while keeping dust free.
  • Use larger oversized cabinets for storing bulky pots and small appliances out of sight.
  • Install pediment trim, corbels, and moulding to add architectural detail to cabinetry for a custom built in look.
  • Choose cabinet colors and finishes that conceal fingerprints and water spots for easy upkeep.
  • Oil rubbed bronze, brushed nickel, and antique brass knobs stand up to handling and display an elegant finish.
  • Place frequently used items in the prime midlevel cabinets. Use upper and lower cabinets for less used items.

Adding Extra Storage To A Culinary Kitchen

Even well-planned culinary kitchens need ample extra storage. Here are innovative ways to increase storage in your kitchen remodel:

  • Install floor-to-ceiling pantry cabinets with adjustable shelving for expansive storage. Add specialty organizers inside.
  • Use blind corner cabinet organizers to access hard to reach corner spaces.
  • Take advantage of wasted vertical space with tall cabinets that reach to the ceiling.
  • Add pull-out vertical drawer organizers behind cabinet doors. Great for baking sheets and cutting boards.
  • Include wine racks and beverage fridges to free up refrigerator