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Symmetry and Balance in Kitchen Design

December 14, 2015No comments

Your list of must-haves in a new kitchen may include a lazy Susan, traditional raised-panel cabinets or a six-burner pro range. While planning a remodel, do not overlook the design fundamentals of proportion and symmetry. Achieved by balancing similar-weight objects across the space, these intangible properties create a sense of beauty and well-being.

Kitchen island built of black Shaker cabinets has symmetrically aligned drawer bases for maximum storage and a balanced feel.

The island above is symmetrically constructed of three drawer bases, a 36-inch center unit flanked by 24-inch units. The horizontal lines flow smoothly across the bank of cabinets. In the background one wall accommodates the built-in refrigerator, pantry and oven cabinets. Blocking those elements together maintains a smooth line and prevents a choppy look.

One approach to symmetry is to choose a natural feature such as a range or window and balance around it, creating a sense of rhythm. In the kitchen above, the cooking zone becomes a focal point, beautifully framed by identical lighted glass door cabinets.

Only an experienced designer will notice the problem in the design below. The image on the left demonstrates a common error, a wall of cabinets of varying widths, sometimes created in a misguided attempt to align cabinet sizes vertically. Since the eye primarily tracks horizontally, irregular-width base cabinets are less of a concern than irregular widths at eye level. What a difference simple changes make in the effect! What was an awkward run of cabinets has become a graceful stand-alone feature.

side by side renderings of a kitchen wall, one with awkward-width cabinets, the other balanced and symmetrical


Other elements that affect the symmetry of a kitchen design include pendant lights, articles placed on countertops, an irregular line across the top of cabinets, open shelving and negative space between a vaulted ceiling and cabinets. Our design team will be happy to help with any questions.

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60 pages of photos and information on cabinet styles, storage options, specialty cabinets and accessories, and a remodel planning guide.

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