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Project House #1: The Prons and Cons Of Designing Your Kitchen + 5 Kitchen Design Tips

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen a kitchen drawing (here) I shared about two years ago (though I hardly remember it myself). That was actually one of my first designs for this kitchen. I already shared my kitchen with you, it was in the background of some of my photographs (in this post ), but I haven't written about it yet.  I get a lot of questions about my kitchen, so today I decided to answer them and talk about the different aspects of kitchen design. I've been preparing posts about the inner design work and decorating we did in our new home for a while now.  I've decided to break down these posts in several components so they would be more reader- friendly. Not that I think that I have a great insight into designer and decorating secrets, as we only worked on things that we needed to and we are no professionals. I would like to share what I learned, though. I know it might be useful to someone. To be clear, this was the first and probably the last time we did something like this, although I did joke that we should start an interior designer company now that we have (hopefully ) learned a bit more about the decorating process.

 Kitchen design tip No. 1: Make sure all the measurement are correct!

 We did design this kitchen from scratch and to do something like that, and by that I mean to make a complete design you'll print out and hand down to someone, you'll need to make sure you've got good math and measuring skills. If you want to know what your kitchen will look like in the end, you'll need learn to work with special programs that allow you to not only accurately calculate dimensions but also to make a 2D model. It's possible to design your kitchen if you are an amateur, but it will probably take some work and time. You can also do a rough sketch with general dimensions, and take it to the professional who is making your kitchen. I don't know how it works elsewhere, but most companies that specialize in  kitchens have employers who are furniture and industrial designers. You can schedule an appointment with one of them and customize the kitchen together so it would fit your needs. There are bound to be some limitations, though. We did have a few meetings with designers, but in the end we decided to go solo. There are many options out there, and even if you're buying a kitchen as it is, you can still choose between different colours and styles. You can always make some alternations and so on. In is a time-consuming process no matter what's your take it on. Even if you are working with a professional decorator or other professional, be prepared to set some time aside for it.

 Kitchen design tip no.2: Do your research, compare the prices, inquire about discounts and get offers from everyone. 

Probably the thing to consider when it comes to designing one's kitchen is the price. You'll need to get offers from different contractors, maybe even schedule meetings with them. This might vary significantly depending on where you live. Whether or not to hire an inner designer is also a decision you need to make considering the area where you live in and the possibilities that are at your disposal to you. If there are many inner designer companies and professional where you live, hiring one would be an obvious choice. Designing one's home is incredibly time consuming, and if you have a professional you can trust at your disposal, you can save a lot of time. However, since my husband was quite literally the architect of this house, he was not willing to let anyone else step in. This means I had to take a big part of  responsibility onto myself, and it was a lot of work.  In addition, hiring a designer isn't that common maybe because most local people are, generally speaking, really into architecture and inner design.  We did the designing ourselves, and we were happy with the result but it was a difficult, expensive and stressful process. I'm not discouraging you against it. I obviously believe there are benefits to designing one's own kitchen and decorating one's own home, or else why would I opt for it? I'm just saying that is anything but easy. You need to sit down and think about whether it is worth the effort.

 Kitchen design tip no.3 : Always think twice! The functionality is as important as the aesthetic.

 There are many benefits to designing one's own house, but one disadvantage is that you'll have no one but yourself to blame if it all goes wrong. When our kitchen was all assembled, we realized we don't have the space to put a gas container in. We had designed drawers to go under the cooking apparatus there were drawers. The guy we hired to put the kitchen together it said: ' That's your problem, I followed your design down to every detail. ' The guy was obviously right as he only did what he was told to do. We ended up solving the problem quite easily by drilling a hole in the neighboring cabinet and placing the gas tank there.  While we are speaking about cons and prons, it is hard to do a financial assessment, because the prices do vary significantly in different countries and what might be a more affordable option in one country can be a more expressive in another. In other words, you'll need to do your research.

Kitchen design tip no.4: Think outside the box. Not everything has to be brand new. 

There is something recycled in our new kitchen and that would be: the washing machine. I argued with my husband on this one. He wanted to get a new washing machine, the kind that can be covered with acrylic (the same material as the kitchen) but I wanted to keep the old one.  That machine works beautifully and I personally believe in the proverb- if it's not broken, don't fix it. This washing machine is quite old, my own age actually, but I had an expert come in and take a look and he told me that the motor in this machine is the best, like BMW of the washing machines. In other words, they don't make them like that anyone. I wanted to share this piece of information because when moving or decorating people often just dump everything  in the garbage. If something is working, you shouldn't do that. If you don't want to keep it, at least donate it. We are facing major environmental problems because of the fact that people refuse to recycle and reduce their waste. For example, we left all the furniture in the old house, despite the fact we were paid nothing for it, and everything is still being used, so nothing went to waste. Moreover, I actually like how my kitchen looks with this washing machine because I think it gives it a more unique touch. I choose the black kitchen counter top and the machine just blended in nicely. I really like the black and white contrast in my kitchen.

 Kitchen design tip no.5: Select the kitchen style that best suits your needs, personality and the general feel of your home. 

We designed our kitchen having in mind the design of the entire house. Besides one antique piece, two closets and the recycled washing machine everything is our home is brand new. The advantage of buying brand new items is that you can easily match the design. In other words, our entire house is done in minimalist style. The colour palette is neutral, mostly white with a bit of gray and black.  I'm happy that we were able to our entire home in one style, however that doesn't have to be your choice. Perhaps you would like your kitchen to be one style and your living room the other. Our living room and the kitchen are joined, so it was important for us to match them in style. However, you will know what is best for you. Think about how you would like to feel in your home. That's more important than what is right now. 


Kitchen cabinets: acrylic ( high gloss)
Kitchen countertop: acrylic (matt with imitation marble print).
Floor tiles: porcelain tiles 
Dinning table: polished and painted wood
Chairs: faux leather and painted wood
Lighting: LED lighting tape in between the kitchen elements, one chandelier, 3 inbuilt LED lights (placed on the decorative lowered part of the ceiling)
Windows: PVC
Curtains: the same as in the rest of our home, we had them sewed.

Before we finish off this post, I have one question for you. There is one item I left out of my description and that is the backsplash. My kitchen backsplash is the pride and joy of my kitchen.  It was the best design decision I've ever made.  I'd like to see if you can guess what my kitchen backlash is made of? What is the material we opted for?


  1. Davvero bella: il bianco è così luminoso e mi piacciono molto le lucine a led!
    Kisses, Paola.


  2. Very nice and beautiful kitchen! We also went through that process few years ago ... I should post some pictures with the before ... pre-work ... work and finishing touches ... very important ... take your time and try to find the best people to really help you as many people just take your project to put a price on it ... not the best approach!

    1. yes, it is very important to hire the right people. The guy we hired was very nice, we also hired him for other work. I will write more about it. I hope you'll post your before and after photos too.

  3. I like your kitchen, although I would not install it myself as it's too modern for me. I appreciate how "clean" it is, in the sense it's very well assembled and you can see that the guy who made the furniture did a good job (although he didn't help you with a gas container). I never made my own kitchen, but I'm planning to in the future and I already established some general things I want - smart solutions for food storing, smart drawers for pots and all that stuff so that things on the counter would be limited. I really like the lamps you used here. Lighting is very important in interiors, it is one of the things that people usually forget about. Great post anyway, your kitchen is beautiful.

    1. I know this kind of modern design isn't for everyone, it can look a bit sterile. I do agree that lighting is important.

  4. proprio bella complimenti davvero, io non ne sarei capace sono onesta, poi è proprio bella grande e luminosa!
    Don't Call Me Fashion Blogger

  5. Hello, thanks for the information.

  6. Great tips here and love your all white kitchen and the overall clean feel. Your flat looks really nice : )

    Allie of ALLIENYC

  7. Your kitchen looks fab- so sleek and stylish Xx

  8. Love the concept your kitchen design, and the modern / minimal feel with the whites <3 Thanks for your DIY tips <3

    Serene Xo

  9. Hmmmm, not sure what the Backsplash is made out of!!! Er- Acrylic???
    Your kitchen is beautiful! I really like it. What nice cabinets. Very glad you kept the washing machine. We bought our vendor's washing machine from them which I was glad we were able to and my last washing machine was second hand.
    You are so right about checking the measurements- I've heard several cases recently where people have got it wrong!

    1. if you get the measurements wrong it can end up being a very costly mistake, I think we measured everything 100 times.

  10. I honestly applaud you for doing this yourself. I missed the post on Instagram cos I haven't been active. School will be out in 2 days, then I can reclaim my life. I'd fail woefully at this project cos I suck at math, anything to do with numbers. So my measurements would be off and I can't create a 2 or 3D model so it would just be an epic fail. I paint walls, lay tiles though and fix broken doors though. You won't believe it but I even got a chain saw and chopped down an annoying tree in front of my home last week. But this right here, looks so well done and I say a big kudos to you! It's clean and inviting. Great decision to keep the old washer, things aren't as durable as they used to be. I'm very positive that the gratification you get from knowing you designed this yourself is unmatched! You can start the business of remodeling!!!! Go for it.

  11. omg you did such a beautiful job, love the chic modern style.

    xo, chicdaze

  12. I love this post Ivana! I am in love with the minimalism look in kitchens and I really love the color white. I agree, it is important to hire the right people.

  13. Thanks a lot :D

    wooow, so cool :D super modern!

    InstagramFacebook Official PageMiguel Gouveia / Blog Pieces Of Me :D

  14. Great post, kisses!

  15. Your kitchen looks lovely! :) We redid our kitchen and it was painful and very messy as we decided to renovate the entire downstairs area, we had carpets up, tiles up, cabinets out, new appliances. In our case, we wanted to upgrade the stove top to a nicer one and the dishwasher had broken and needed replaced. It's my favourite room of the house though, it looks so nice! :) I will be sad to leave it behind if we get a new house soon.

    No idea what your backsplash is - glass maybe? That's popular.

    Hope that you are having a lovely start to the week! :)

    Away From The Blue Blog

    1. It's not glass, although it looks like it is. I will write more about it in the future.

  16. Gosh! Too chic!! Want to cook here!

    1. thank you so much, your comment means a lot to me.

  17. Mi piacciono davvero gli arredi interni questa cucina è fantastica 😊

  18. Very stylish and modern design. I like your kitchen. Thanks for the ideas and inspiration.

  19. I love the way that this has turned out, each corner is so gorgeous! Also, I love the tips, as they're all mega helpful and make a lot of sense. Especially the point about researching discounts and the general market, which I think is very important.

    Have a great week!
    Amy; Wandering Everywhere

    1. thank you Amy. Researching the market is so important when it comes to any investment and a house is certainly an investment.

  20. Looks really interesting) thanks for the post, dear)

  21. Nice kitchen

  22. Thanks a lot :D

    I really love this kind of modern homes :3

    InstagramFacebook Official PageMiguel Gouveia / Blog Pieces Of Me :D

  23. Thanks for sharing. It bothers me that every time I finish my meal I feel the kitchen is in a mess.

  24. Great post! Love your kitchen
    Mónica Sors

  25. I really like you kitchen! =)

  26. What a lovely kitchen, so calming clean and elegant.
    Laura xo

  27. Your kitchen is looking fab! Love how modern and minimal this is~

    Vivian | LIVE IN LOVE
    IG | @viviyunn_


  28. Great post...
    Have a nice day.
    Dilek ...

  29. Svaka čast na vešmašini :)
    Lijepa ti je kuhinja!

  30. this is such an interesting reading.

  31. Wow. Love your kitchen's modern look! What you have shared is very valuable and helpful. All the information you have shared gives me more insights on this. Thank you for sharing. Keep it up! Would like to see more updates from you soon.

    Water Blaster


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