Designing a custom kitchen is something of an ever-evolving, deeply personal process because how we use our kitchens is changing constantly. Kitchens are now family spaces used for cooking, obviously, but also entertaining, dining, work, and even lounging. So, planning a kitchen in great detail from the outset is a must to ensure the final results perfectly suit your needs. Designing a custom kitchen is best done by experienced professionals – but only hand-in-hand with you. That is because how you use your kitchen will affect the design choices you will make deeply. Below we take you through the design process so that you can take all your creative kitchen ideas and balance them with practicalities to create a kitchen that’s as beautiful as it is functional.

Kitchen Layout & Flow

Palmetto House Luxury Kitchen Renovation designed and built by DMG Design+Build

Flow is one of the most important aspects when it comes to planning a kitchen renovation or designing a custom kitchen. Your new design should allow for easy movement between different areas of your kitchen without causing congestion. Additionally, you need to make sure that appliances are placed in locations that are convenient for everyday use. Consider natural light and thoroughfares in your layout planning – seating areas are best place near windows, while the main cooking zone shouldn’t also be the main thoroughfare between the hallway and the garden through the kitchen, for example.

Think about the way you use your current kitchen; experts refer to this as the kitchen work triangle. You’ll want to incorporate this kitchen work triangle into your custom kitchen design. The idea is to ensure optimal productivity between your sink, stove and refrigerator. Create distinct work zones with relevant tools stored there. By getting the spacing just right, you never have to move too far nor feel too cramped.

Storage & Custom Cabinetry

Quality, custom cabinetry is the backbone of every custom kitchen. Cabinets provide extra storage space and can come in various sizes and styles to match any design preference. Standard shelves and drawers aren’t always enough. From built-in organizers to pull-out shelves, there is a way to store almost anything without compromising. You can incorporate additional features such as pull-out drawers or lazy susans to maximize storage potential. Figuring out all the innovative options isn’t always easy, but searching for kitchen storage ideas on Pinterest is a great option.

By building storage into the original design, they’ll perfectly suit your cooking style and you won’t have to adjust your cabinets after they’re installed. Don’t forget to ensure your cabinets are at a comfortable height. Even your top cabinets should be easy to reach. If you’re petite, you can have a stool built-in to your kitchen to make it easier to reach things. If you opt for completely custom cabinets, you can get everything you need.

A pantry is another convenient way to store food and household goods and nailing down the placement can help determine the configuration of the rest of your kitchen. You might also consider a butler’s pantry with room for appliances and maybe a coffee station.

Don’t Forget the Small Appliances

From blenders and food processors to coffee makers and juicers, people are relying more and more on small appliances in their kitchens. All-in-one appliances are even popular now to combine several smaller things into one. However, these all take up valuable counter space. When creating your custom kitchen design, consider how you can build in storage for these specific appliances. You might create a dedicated cabinet with shelves sized for those appliances or have cubbies with outlets built into your island to store often used appliances.


custom kitchen with built-in technology and high-end appliances

A major renovation is the ideal time to incorporate advanced technology into your kitchen that seamlessly integrates with the design of the room. Smart appliances such as refrigerators with built-in touchscreens are becoming increasingly popular, but there are many other options. You may want to consider a warming drawer that can be used to slow cook, a steam oven, combination microwave, vacuum drawer to prepare food for sous vide cooking, fridge drawers in place of or in addition to an upright fridge, dishwasher drawers, a wine cooler, a barbecue grill, teppan yaki, gas and induction domino hobs in place of a ‘standard’ 60 or 90cm-wide hob. 

Appliances aside, power sources are becoming more and more necessary in a well-planned kitchen. Why not have a fold-down panel that hides all your outlets? Or, what about a charging drawer to keep your phone and tablet protected while you’re using the kitchen?


Thinking through all your options for water in your new kitchen will CHANGE YOUR LIFE! We’re using water all day long in some form or fashion and there are endless opportunities to optimize those tasks. There are the more obvious options such as installing a reverse osmosis water filtration system, a pot filler above your cook top, a hands-free faucet ect, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box! What about a water bottle filling station, a faucet above your pet’s water bowl, an instant hot water system, or a coffee/espresso machine with a waterline? The options are endless.


Luxury custom kitchen with gorgeous natural stone countertops

When choosing countertop materials, you need to consider the type of material that best fits your needs. While you should definitely consider looks when it comes to your countertop, there’s so much more to it. For instance, do you want a material that looks amazing but is difficult to clean? Are you the kind of person who will take the time to maintain delicate natural stone countertops and add new seals every year? Will stains on white marble drive you crazy or do you need the natural coolness of marble to roll out pie crusts and biscuit dough? If you have a family that does a ton of cooking, durable materials such as quartz or granite are ideal. If you’re grabbing takeout or eating out most of the time, gorgeous natural stone will turn your kitchen into a stunning oasis within your home.


Lighting can help create the right atmosphere for cooking and entertaining, and should be selected based on the size of your kitchen and aesthetic needs. Task lighting above counters or islands is essential for performing everyday tasks safely and efficiently; you may also want to consider adding accent lighting to draw attention to any special features in your kitchen. You may want to incorporate ambient lighting for the entire room or add pendants for lighting enhancement.


Luxury custom kitchen with a beautiful vent hood

Ventilation is a key factor to consider in every kitchen for both looks and functionality. Ventilation ensures the right circulation of air in your kitchen. It is vital when you cook or prepare food and is all the more crucial when maintaining the smell of your kitchen. A quality range hood with a powerful extractor for your kitchen’s ventilation is the most efficient option but we can’t forget aesthetics. Ventilation isn’t always pretty but it definitely can be. Technology in extractor systems has advanced considerably, so you can choose between wall and ceiling-hung hoods, discreet flush-fit ceiling designs, hoods concealed in cabinetry or in a chimney breast, downdraft extractors built behind a hob, and hobs with integrated extractors. The right range hood can elevate your space and become a key focal point in your kitchen.

By carefully considering each element mentioned above, you can be sure that your new kitchen design will be both beautiful and functional. Our step-by-step process will help you when designing a custom kitchen – but you should always ensure that each step suits exactly what you want from the finished room in terms of layout and practicality. By taking the time to plan out every detail, you can have confidence knowing that you’ve taken all necessary steps towards creating your dream kitchen. If you’re considering a kitchen renovation or starting from scratch with a new construction home, reach out to our team for a consultation.

Luxury Custom Kitchens by DMG Design+Build