Home is where the heart is, and for many of us, that means a cosy, comfortable space where we can share time with friends and family. Even in homes that are just a few hundred square feet, we strive to create spaces with character and cosiness. That’s why one of the most popular home renovations across all sizes of homes is the kitchen. But what makes a room a kitchen? The answer is not as simple as you might think. There are no universal standards for what makes an ideal kitchen layout or design, so what makes one unique depends on personal taste and needs. If you’re planning to redo your kitchen blog or renovate another space in your home into a new kitchen, it’s important to know what features make one room stand out over another. Here are some expert tips on what makes a room a kitchen:

A Few Basic Requirements

While there are no hard and fast rules for what makes a room a kitchen, there are a few basic requirements that should be satisfied in any kitchen space.

– Functionality – No matter what else you consider when designing a kitchen, it’s important to start with functionality. Before you even think about aesthetics, you’ll want to assess the needs of the space and make sure the layout is optimized to serve those needs.

– Safety – With the potential for open flames, sharp knives, and hot surfaces, the kitchen is one of the most dangerous rooms in the home. You’ll want to make sure it meets all safety standards for both design and construction.

– Serviceability – You’ll also want to make sure your kitchen is built with serviceability in mind. This means it’s easy to clean and maintain, and that any appliances are easy to remove and replace when necessary.

Space and Light

When it comes to designing a new kitchen or choosing a layout for a room you’re renovating, the space available and the amount of natural light the room receives can make a big difference in how the rest of the room is designed. For example, in a small kitchen where every inch is at a premium, you may want to consider a kitchen island where you can put your sink and stove to free up space on the counters and tabletop.

Whereas in a room with ample space, you may want to consider a layout where the sink is installed on the wall to give you more space for a larger table. The amount of natural light a room receives can go a long way in determining what type of lighting fixtures you put in the space. If your kitchen gets a lot of sunlight throughout the day, you may want to consider a pull-down light fixture to limit glare on your countertops.


When it comes to the amount of storage space in the kitchen, the general rule of thumb is the more, the better. While having more storage is always recommended, it may not be possible in small kitchens where every square inch is a premium. Where you decide to put your upper cabinets and lower drawers can also have a huge impact on how the rest of the room is designed. 

For example, in a kitchen where you have a wall oven, a microwave, and a large sink installed, you may want to consider putting your upper cabinets above these appliances to free up space on the walls where you can install a larger, eat-in table.

Comfort and Convenience

What makes a room a kitchen is almost as much about comfort and convenience as it is about functionality. When it comes to seating, you may want to consider how many people will be eating in your kitchen regularly and what their seating needs may be. For smaller kitchens, an eat-in table against a wall may be the most practical option. If you have a larger kitchen and want to create a space where friends and family can visit while cooking, you may want to consider a freestanding table.

If you have young children in the home, you may want to consider stools or chairs that are lower to the ground so they can share a table with their parents without having to climb up. If you have pets in the home, you may want to consider a table with a surface that can easily be cleaned when food gets spilled on it.

Decor and Design Elements

While functionality and comfort are important when designing a kitchen, the aesthetic of the space is also important. Depending on the overall style of your home, you may want to choose a certain type of kitchen design over another simply because it fits better with your design aesthetic. For example, if you have a modern, minimalist design aesthetic throughout the rest of your home, you may want to choose a sleek, stainless-steel kitchen design to match. If you have a rustic, country-style design throughout your home, you may want to choose a kitchen design that incorporates wood, iron, and other rustic elements.


When it comes to what makes a room a kitchen, a lot of it comes down to personal taste and needs. With a few basic requirements in mind, you can start designing a kitchen that not only looks great but also functions well and is safe. From the amount of space and light the room receives to the amount of storage and decor elements, each decision you make can have a big impact on the design of your new kitchen.

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