Practically Perfect: Designing a Practical Kitchen for Your Fairfax County Home

When designing your dream kitchen, what is it you look for most? Is it beauty you’re after? Or functionality?

The good news is, you can have both!

So, how can you make sure that your kitchen renovation is practical while still being aesthetically appealing? Let’s dive in.

In a practical kitchen, there are two basic design rules:

  1. Minimizing unused space
  2. Optimizing the flow of traffic

As long as all your design choices lead back to these two ideas, you’re on the right track.

Maximizing Space in Your Kitchen


There are lots of fun and visually exciting ways to make the most of your valuable kitchen space.

Kitchens are busy places, so you want to use up every bit of square footage you can. Not only will this increase the utility of your room, but it will also eliminate under-developed, awkward-looking gaps in your design.

Your Cabinets

From Pinterest

You may not currently be getting all the use you can out of the space above, below, and inside your cabinets. Boost the function of your cabinets with these space-saving storage solutions:

  • Above the Cabinets: If there is a gap between the top of your cabinetry and the ceiling or you have a soffit that houses your kitchen ductwork, even this humble space can serve a purpose. Use this unusual space to display your decorative serving ware, or store other rarely-used items. You can keep fragile or impractical things up there or integrate your collections of cookbooks, antique glass, or vases into the décor.
  • Upper Cabinets: Use risers to maximize shelf space in your cabinets. Risers are especially useful for taller bottles and containers, so you can still see all your stuff, even when it’s stacked.
  • Lower Cabinets: Install roll-out racks to help keep things in order and use the full depth of your lower cabinets. Organize from back to front. Keep your most-used items at the front, while the things that you use less frequently, like holiday items and specialty equipment, can stay hidden.



Instead of letting your knives clatter around in your drawers, you might consider installing a magnetic knife strip onto your backsplash. This keeps your tools handy, away from busy little hands, and they’ll stay sharper longer.

A miniature stacked shelf or a rotating rack on your countertop is ideal for spices and other frequently-used culinary necessities.

Traffic Flow

Don’t let any inch of kitchen potential go untapped. There are tons of creative ways to use kitchen space, depending on your needs.

Having a good flow of traffic through your kitchen can also keep things running smoothly and efficiently. While working in the kitchen, you should be able to move from one space to another with limited interruption. A good flow of traffic makes it simple to navigate through your kitchen and lets you go about your business without a second thought.

The Kitchen Triangle


One tried-and-true kitchen design concept is the kitchen work triangle. The points of the triangle are the stove, the sink, and the refrigerator. In a practical kitchen, you should be able to move freely between these three points when you cook. A good rule of thumb is that the arms of the triangle should never be less than four feet and never longer than nine feet. Within these dimensions, you should find it easy to switch between tasks without any wasted movement.

Kitchen Work Zones

Having a good understanding of how you and your family use your kitchen, you have the basis for a perfectly practical design. Since most kitchens are a hub of activities for the whole family, it’s important to know what purpose you want that space to serve. Once you have those ideas sketched out, you can divide your kitchen into dedicated zones to support those activities.

Baking Zone


Some ideas might include a baking zone with ample, flat space for rolling out dough. You’ll want to place your baking zone close to the sink and garbage for easy cleanup, and have your utensils, mixing bowls, and tools close at hand.

Beverage Zone


A beverage zone could house a coffee machine, a bar fridge, a hanging rack for glasses or mugs, an espresso machine, and its own sink and cutlery drawer, so thirsty people don’t get in the way of others working in the kitchen.

Seating Area


If you have a large family or entertain a lot, you might want more sitting around a bar top or the kitchen island.

Whatever your vision of a dream kitchen might be, it can be just as beautiful as it is practical. When you’re ready to get started, Foley Homes is ready to help you make it happen. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help.

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