Design a kitchen to fit your lifestyle

Design a kitchen to fit your lifestyle

Whether you have accessibility needs, too many cooks, or love to entertain, StarMark Cabinetry dealers can provide thoughtful design ideas and inspiration to make your kitchen functional and fabulous.

Entertain family and friends

Whether your entertaining style is a casual potluck, a martini mixer, or a formal dinner party, you’ll want your guests to feel at home without feeling in the way.

  • When designing your home
    • Maintain a great room effect between the kitchen and the living room so that nothing is closed off
    • Install a whole-house stereo system with speakers hidden in your kitchen cabinets
  • Keep serving utensils near the serving area for easy access
  • Make the most of an island or peninsula
    • Place electrical outlets toward the back to keep cords from crock-pots and warming trays out of the way
    • Install a sink located out of the cook’s way
    • Install a separate ice-maker under the island counter for preparing beverages
  • Seating around the island is a must
    • Use swivel bar stools without backs so guests can visit in various directions during meal prep
    • Tuck the stools under and out of the way for serving
    • You could also have a raised bar area for standing
Entertain family and friends

Design a wheelchair accessible kitchen

It’s possible to have an accessible, convenient kitchen without sacrificing beauty. All it takes is a little planning.

  • To accommodate a wheelchair in your kitchen cabinet design, make sure your kitchen has adequate floor space. 48 to 60 inches between counter tops is recommended. 
  • Have multiple counter heights or pull out bread boards for work space.
  • Look for base cabinets with a higher, deeper toe kick. 
  • Install a lowered sink with open space underneath, but make sure exposed pipes are insulated to prevent injury.
  • Look for sinks that can be raised and lowered for multiple person use, and install dishwashers at an elevated height. 
  • Lower the height of your cooktop, and have a separate oven. Both should have handles and knobs that are accessible from the front. 
  • Place the microwave on a low counter top or under the counter. 
  • The refrigerator should either be side-by-side or have the freezer on the bottom. 
  • Store dinnerware, tableware, and glassware on open shelves or roll out trays in base cabinets. 
  • Use roll out trays and revolving shelves for smaller items.
  • Glass front wall cabinets make it easy to see what’s behind the doors.
Design a wheelchair accessible kitchen

Two cooks in the kitchen

If you and your mate both like to spend time in the kitchen, consider yourself lucky! And consider some of these kitchen design ideas to make meal prep (and your relationship) run smoothly.

  • Think about your work triangle, or your patterns of movement. For one cook it is from the sink to the range to the refrigerator. For a second cook it is from the second sink to the cook top to the refrigerator.
    • These two triangles shouldn’t interfere with one another.
    • Each leg of the triangle should be a minimum of 4’ and a maximum of 9’.
    • Plan appropriate cabinetry between each appliance.
  • Separating the oven from the cook top, which can be located on the island, aids traffic flow.
  • A kitchen island is a must in a two-person kitchen, and preferred over a peninsula, which can box one person in.
  • Your kitchen cabinet design will need to have two sinks, one of them on the island, positioned so that the cooks aren’t back-to-back and can easily converse.
  • You won’t want to be cooking cheek-to-cheek either, so make sure you leave 48 to 60 inches of space between your counter tops and island.
  • A second dishwasher makes clean-up a lot easier.
Two cooks in the kitchen

Kids in the kitchen

From toddlers to teenagers, your kids will be in the kitchen with you and using this busy room themselves. That means you’ll need to keep safety, convenience, and efficiency in mind when creating kitchen cabinet designs.


Babies and toddlers

  • If you are thinking of starting a family soon, or if you have a baby now, consider leaving space in your kitchen for a bassinet or playpen, making sure it is away from stoves where hot food might be spilled. You may also want to include a large counter space for a bouncy seat, where baby can watch you in action.
  • Young toddlers are crawling, walking, and exploring their world. Avoid low display areas, unless you fill them with baby-safe items; avoid glass inserts on base cabinet doors, use plexiglass instead; have plenty of counter space around microwaves and stove tops to avoid spills; keep appliances and cords neatly hidden; and keep knives and cleaning products out of reach.
  • To make your life a little easier, store all of baby’s foods and serving utensils in one cabinet close to the microwave for quick meal prep.
  • Use roll out trays in base kitchen cabinets to store everyday, non-breakable dishes and cups, cereal boxes, and snack items. 
  • You will want to have a 36-inch high counter on your island or peninsula for budding artists to color or sculpt clay while you prepare dinner or for serving snacks. 
  • Be sure your counter stools have high backs and arm rests to keep kids from slipping off.
  • Toddlers love to help. Let them! Keep your recycling center accessible so they can help clean up.
  • Even toddlers are using the computer, so consider locating a computer desk away from kitchen traffic, but where you can easily monitor its use.
Babies and toddlers in the kitchen

Grade school kiddos

  • Microwave location is critical for grade schoolers. It should not be above the cooking surface—kids might climb up onto the stove top to use the microwave. Place it on a low counter top, in a base cabinet, or in a wall cabinet where the bottom of the microwave is no more than 48 inches from the floor. Place counter space in front or to the sides of the microwave so hot dishes can quickly be put down.
  • Use roll out trays in base kitchen cabinets to store everyday, non-breakable dishes and cups, cereal boxes, and snack items.
  • You will want to have a 36-inch high counter on your island or peninsula for budding artists to color or sculpt clay while you prepare dinner, for doing homework, or for serving snacks.
  • Be sure your counter stools have high backs and arm rests to keep kids from slipping off.
  • Kids this age love to help. Let them! Keep your recycling center accessible so they can help clean up. Have them help load and unload the dishwasher by locating it close to the sink and storage space for dishes. Have a lower counter that is 30 inches from the floor for kids to stand and help with meal prep.
  • Consider locating a computer desk away from kitchen traffic, but where you can easily monitor its use.
Grade school kiddos in the kitchen

Tweens and teens

How to make life easier in the main kitchen

  • Locate your pantry out of the flow of traffic, and store quick-fix meals towards the front to avoid congestion.
  • Have a side-by-side refrigerator with ice and water in the door. Since these don’t have a lot of freezer space, keep another freezer elsewhere.
  • Keep drinking cups next to the fridge.
  • Install a warming drawer in a base cabinet to keep meals ready for kids eating in shifts.
Consider installing a second, smaller kitchen in a family or recreation room
  • You can use it as a wet bar later or as a prep kitchen for those big holiday dinners with the grandkids much later.
  • This kitchen cabinet design could have a sink, a small refrigerator, a microwave, a pizza oven, a small dishwasher, and an ice maker. 
  • It should also have pantry space for quick-fix meals and snacks.
Tweens and teens in the kitchen