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Kitchen Planning Guide: Ideas and Inspiration

A U-shaped kitchen with brown cabinets and a tile backsplash in different shades of gray.

Updated April 19, 2021

Holly H.

By Holly H.

Check out some of our favorite kitchen ideas and learn about design elements that can complement your kitchen décor and your lifestyle.

Classic Chic

A cream kitchen with brown subway tile, a kitchen island and wood floors.

For a classic and timeless look, add subway tile behind a wall-mounted range hood and unique pendant lighting above an island. A double wall oven and white cabinets with a cocoa glaze adds a luxurious touch to this chic kitchen.

Mix It Up

A kitchen with a bar-height counter, black-and-white cabinets and black stainless steel appliances.

Mix and match countertops, cabinet doors and hardware for a custom eye-catching look. A unique patterned backsplash ties the blacks and whites together in this kitchen, and a tiered island provides prep space and seating for casual meals.

Contemporary Allure

A contemporary kitchen with an island bench, dark brown cabinets and wood floors.

This contemporary kitchen features a double-duty island bench that uses this open space efficiently. Interior cabinet puck lighting draws attention to beautiful tableware, while an oversized pendant light and mosaic tile backsplash pull this room together.

Bold Display

A kitchen with brown wooden cabinets and a baby blue subway tile backsplash.

Using glass display cabinets to showcase tableware that complements the subway tile backsplash is the perfect way to make a statement. Adding a pendant light and prep sink to the island makes it easy for two cooks to work in this kitchen.

Cozy Farmhouse

A modern farmhouse kitchen with white cabinets, wood-look tile, an island and a tile backsplash.

Pairing white cabinets with a rustic wood-look tile floor and a red oak range hood cover gives this kitchen a modern farmhouse feel. The clear bottle shade on the pendant light conveys a vintage style and sliding barn doors are used to conceal a well-stocked pantry.

Heavy Metal

A black and stainless steel kitchen with black cabinets and a stainless steel backsplash.

Stainless steel brick tile works perfectly with silver grout for a polished modern look in this kitchen. Extending the backsplash upward behind the floating wall shelves provides a great background for tableware on display. The large island doubles as prep and storage space.

Modern Charm

A kitchen with cabinets painted blue and a globe light above a kitchen island.

The crystal knobs, crown moulding and globe lighting in this kitchen provide a modern and charming feel. Painting the cabinets and range hood cover the same color is a great way to refresh your kitchen and give a uniform look.

Splash of Marble

A white kitchen with a marble backsplash and stainless steel appliances.

Modern wall cabinets without pulls provide efficient, easy-access storage. The built-in microwave and wall oven offer a sleek, high-end look, and the white marble backsplash ties in the stainless steel appliances.

Rustic Artisan

A rustic artisan kitchen with an apron-front sink and a chandelier over a wood island.

This rustic artisan kitchen showcases an apron-front sink, freestanding island and warm wood finish cabinets. A dramatic chandelier provides just enough task lighting for the island while antiqued bronze fixtures and cabinet hardware complete this look.

Ready to Entertain

A kitchen with gray laminate cabinets, stone-look flooring and an island with seating.

This space was designed with entertaining in mind. The island provides a sink, work surface and space for guests to mingle and sit. Modern cabinets, stone-look flooring, an eye-catching backsplash and a high-profile range hood make this a kitchen to show off.

Check out the rest of our Kitchen Planning Guide series:


Kitchen Planning Guide: Create a Budget
Kitchen Planning Guide: Layout and Design
Kitchen Planning Guide: Manage Your Project

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