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Many people consider the kitchen to be the heart of a home. Since it’s where most people take their meals, entertain, and gather, it does make a lot of sense. Your kitchen is one of the most important rooms of the home, and if you’re building a custom home, your kitchen can be just that much more special. The benefit of building a custom home kitchen is that you’ll get to create the cooking and dining space of your dreams.

Whether you’ve always imagined a massive farmhouse dining table, or you’re in love with sleek subway tile, now is your chance to make that kitchen a reality. But, since you want it to be perfect, you’re probably going to want to do a bit of planning. In case you need help getting started, here are a few things to remember when you’re designing the custom home kitchen of your dreams:


Let’s start with a basic: flooring. Though there are many options out there, you probably already have an idea of what you’re looking for. It’s good to start with flooring because you can build from there and because it’s often an easier decision than some of the other choices down the line.

Consider the overall look you’re going for. Are you looking for something rustic that reminds you of a cottage, or do you like a more modern feel? You can’t go wrong with hardwood flooring, but sometimes tile can give off a cleaner look. Is basic white what you’re looking for, or do you want something with a bit more texture and character? It’s good to remember that your floor should serve as a canvas in a way, for the rest of your kitchen. The more neutral the floor, the more the eye will be attracted to the other features in your custom kitchen.


Islands have been all the rage for some time now, but that doesn’t mean you have to have one. If you’d prefer a large dining table that creates a more open flow from the kitchen to the dining room, it’s up to you! Another popular option for smaller kitchens is an island on wheels. This way, you can take your prep space wherever you need it, and it can double as extra table space for those family-style meals with all the fixin’s.

If a traditional island is more your speed, do you want it to match your countertops and cabinets, or are you looking for more of a statement in the middle of your kitchen? Islands also function as a great place to entertain for smaller parties, because your guests can sit at the island and watch you cook!


If you’re considering cabinets, are you looking for something traditional, like a classic wood finish, or would something more modern catch your eye? Think about what types of cabinets you like, whether they have glass panes, or are solid. Another consideration to make is if you’d like the cabinets to go all the way to the ceiling. Making them extend that extra foot can give you considerably more storage, but it might also make your kitchen feel a bit cramped.

Perhaps you’re not interested in cabinets at all and are looking for open shelves. Again, it’s your dream kitchen! The beauty of a custom kitchen is that every choice is yours. Just make sure that if you do go for open shelving that you leave space elsewhere for pantry items and appliance storage. That way your beautiful shelves won’t get too cluttered.


With your flooring and cabinetry all picked out, you can decide on countertops. The most common decision here is whether you want your countertops to contrast, or complement the color of the cabinets. If you’re going for an all-white look, sleek white and grey marble counters always look great, but the contrast of a dark granite is also beautiful. Be sure to do your homework on countertops, and talk to your custom builder before making a decision. Some materials are better than others, and you’ll want to make sure you’re happy with your final decision.


The sink is an aspect of kitchens that some people forget about, but that can have a major effect on the design of your kitchen. A big white farmhouse sink can’t help but look classic, while a stainless steel option can go from contemporary to industrial depending on what the rest of your kitchen looks like. Don’t be afraid to look around online, or even check out some open houses in your area. They’ll give you a better picture of what your kitchen and sink could look like when completed.


Possibly one of the most important decisions, your appliances are a big investment. It’s worth it to do a lot of research now because you’re likely to have the appliances you choose today for 15-20 years. These days, most people are going for matching appliances, but if you really like a built-in refrigerator, know that’s an option. It’s also a good idea to think outside of the box. If you cook a lot, why not add in a double oven? If you’ve got a few kids and can’t bear to stand in front of the sink washing dishes all night, consider a double drawer or dual dishwasher. They can save you a lot of time and work over the years!


Before you finalize your overall design, make sure you thought about storage. It seems that kitchens always end up holding more food, bakeware, and appliances than we originally consider, so leave yourself plenty of storage space. Walk-in pantries are a great way to save yourself tons of room, and they also make a great spot for those appliances you don’t use every day. There are so many unique storage solutions out there these days, from hidden microwaves to pull out shelves in your pantry, that your custom kitchen should have no problem housing all your belongings.


A kitchen is made in the details. Small things you wouldn’t consider, like the finish on the hardware, the type of faucet you choose, or the pot filler behind the stove, can have a great impact on the overall look of your kitchen. Don’t forget about them. Stainless steel hardware modernizes any kitchen style, while an industrial faucet can add character and utility to your sink. There are a lot of things to consider when you’re putting the finishing touches on your kitchen, so don’t rush yourself, and allow plenty of time to plan and deliberate.


Finally, before you sign off on the design for your kitchen, make sure you’ve thought about it in relation to the rest of your home. Your kitchen should flow easily into the dining room and living room, following a similar color scheme or style. It’s easy to get caught up in designing your new custom home room by room, but if you just take a step back every so often to consider the bigger picture, you’ll end up with a cohesive custom design that looks and feels like home.

Designing a custom kitchen isn’t easy! There are hundreds of small details to consider, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. If you’re planning your custom kitchen, but feel like you could use a little help, don’t hesitate to call Whitmore Custom Homes. A trusted, local custom homebuilder in West Michigan, we’ve been helping our clients build their dream home for years now, and would love to help you build yours. To see some of our past work, check out our gallery, and to get in touch with us for more information on how we help, give our office a call at 616-499-6209 or contact us online today!

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