At Chagrin River Company, we believe your custom kitchen should be designed around what you need, what you want, and how you live. Designing and remodeling your kitchen should start with a plan for how you use your kitchen and who will be using it. The kitchen should be based on your design preferences, sense of style, priorities, and budget.

We think kitchen updates should never be cookie-cutter designs. You spend too much time there for it to be a garden-variety, middle-of-the-road room. If you decide to invest your time and money in kitchen remodeling, the result should be the perfect custom kitchen design for you and your family.

Custom Kitchen

Custom Kitchen Design Best Practices

While we don’t do cookie-cutter kitchens, there are kitchen design best practices that we know from industry sources and our years of designing and remodeling kitchens, that inform us about the placement of appliances, layout of cabinets, amount of storage you’ll need, and the space needed between elements, such as the dishwasher and an island.

Using kitchen design best practices, we go above and beyond cut-and-dried solutions and design your kitchen around your family: a family made up of people of different ages and heights, specific needs, and preferences.

If you’re short, we can avoid high cabinets that you’ll have trouble reaching. We can add base cabinets that have roll-out shelves if you have trouble bending down. If someone uses a wheelchair in your home, or has mobility issues, we can place a sink and microwave where they can reach them. Small children? Pets? We’ve got you covered. Do you always – or never – stock up at warehouse stores? That will determine how much pantry storage we recommend.

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How You Use Your Kitchen is Key

We will suggest what should be in a kitchen, and where, based on how you plan to use your remodeled kitchen. A kitchen for a couple of empty-nesters who love gourmet cooking will look different than one that is the hub of activity for a young family that spends lots of time hanging out there, having snacks, doing homework, sorting mail, and keeping track of everyone’s calendars.

An avid baker will have very specific opinions on counter heights and surfaces, size and type of ovens, and storage of ingredients, tools and small appliances. Homeowners who love to entertain often want an open kitchen for guests to mingle nearby, but outside of the food prep area while the hosts prepare the meal. A kitchen used for entertaining may also include easy access to a deck or patio.

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Lighten Up

Lighting is an underappreciated aspect of kitchen design, and the days of having one overhead fluorescent fixture in the center of the room are long gone. Well-planned choices and placement of light fixtures are critical for both functionality and aesthetics. The same kitchen can either work well and look great or not, depending on the lighting.

First, you never want to have to work where you will block the light you need to see what you are doing. So under-cabinet lighting, pendant lights over islands, and lighting around the stove are important. And don’t forget adequate lighting in your pantry. You also don’t want lighting that glares in your face when sitting at an island to eat.

General lighting should factor in how natural light will work in the day, and what will be needed at night. You also want to be able to control your lighting for ambiance and function, so having dimmers and lights on different switches is useful.

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Your Sense of Style and Budget

We can design a kitchen for any purpose, to almost any style that matches your personal design sensibilities and taste. Having photos of kitchen styles you like, with explanations of what you like about each photo, is very helpful. Images of kitchen features that you prefer for style, color, layout, etc. can be saved to Pinterest, for example, and we can review them together.

Budget also comes into play when designing your custom kitchen. We can give you an idea of what quality kitchens of various sizes, styles and purposes typically cost. Then, once you have decided on a budget, we can custom design your kitchen based on what is realistic within your budget, in addition to all the other factors.

We can also help you optimize your budget by learning your priorities based on what you need, what you want, and what you wish you could have if budget allows. We use a process called Value Engineering to help assure you get the most from your budget, always based on your priorities, not ours.

What’s Your Dream Kitchen?

Is it a kitchen for entertaining? A family-friendly kitchen? A gourmet kitchen? We’d be happy to share some ideas, design trends, and new products for you to consider when you begin think about transforming your existing kitchen into a kitchen you will love for years to come.

Why settle for a ho-hum kitchen? Simply contact us online or call, and you will be on your way to making your dream kitchen a reality!

All photos are projects by Chagrin River Company. See more of our work.


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