An Inside Look into the Kitchen Design Process

Many clients are overwhelmed when designing a kitchen. Where do you even begin, there’s so much to think about! Here’s some expert advice from our in-house designer, Melissa Saliba:

When designing a kitchen, I like to start with the cabinets. Cabinets say a lot about your home and ultimately define the style of the kitchen. Cabinet design begins with choosing your desired style of door. A flat-panel door will automatically make your kitchen feel more modern/contemporary; whereas a raised-panel door with detail will create a more traditional feel. The next important decision to make is what type of wood you want to use for your cabinets and picking out the right stain or paint color.


Once I have the cabinet color selected, I move on to flooring. Some homes have hardwood and others have tile. When using either material, it is important to decide if you want to match the cabinet to the flooring or have them contrast one other. There is no right answer here! If you choose to match, it is important to select a correct color match. If you opt to create contrast, you want to make sure the materials have the same tones whether that be warm, cool, gray, red, etc.


Once you have decided on a cabinet color and floor color I would move on to the countertop. There are so many options for countertops – granite, quartzite, marble, quartz, soapstone, etc.…the list goes on and on. We tend to stick with granite, quartzite, and quartz here at the Burnsteads since those are three of the most durable options. A trend many of our homebuyers prefer right now is more solid quartz on the perimeter of the kitchen and a statement granite on the island. The statement granite often has a lot of pattern and color variation.


The kitchen backsplash is what ties everything together. Depending on your style, you can do something simple and classic like a 3×6 white subway tile or something more dramatic like a 3×16 glass tile. I would say if you have busy granite as your countertop, you should pair it with a simple backsplash. The backsplash should be consistent in color and texture, as you do not want too many competing patterns in your kitchen. If you have a solid-color quartz on the countertops, you have more options for a kitchen backsplash. You can consider using, glass and stone mosaics, different color glass mosaics, etc.

The finishing touch to a kitchen is the cabinet hardware. This is a way to dress up your kitchen and really define the style. I like to match the finish to either the plumbing fixtures or the light fixtures. Cabinet hardware can be pricey, but it adds A LOT to your kitchen.