You’re tired of staring at your old, outdated kitchen. You’re even more tired of trying to cook and entertain in a space that just doesn’t flow correctly! So, a kitchen remodel is on the horizon. Whether you’re going to design it yourself or hire a team to oversee the remodel (or a combination), it’s smart to do your research beforehand.
What are the key functions of a kitchen remodel? What should a remodeled kitchen do for you and how can you make sure that it has all the elements you need? After all, the last thing you want is to finish the project and realize that certain parts aren’t the way you envisioned. Let’s break down everything you need to think about before getting started.
The Kitchen’s New Scope
Many remodeled kitchens retain the same square footage and space as the original floor plan. (Simply put, there might just not be any room to stretch into!) However, others take over an extra dining room, knock out a wall or two, or even incorporate an addition onto the side of the house.
Expanding the kitchen’s square footage gives you plenty of opportunity to create new cupboards, a large island or two, or even a walk-in pantry or breakfast nook. Hiring a design team helps you make sure that your vision stays within budget and space constraints while still giving you the kitchen of your dreams.
If the new kitchen design is going to stay within the original parameters, then even more creativity is necessary. What changes are crucial and where are you flexible? There were plenty of elements that didn’t work in the old kitchen but just knowing what was wrong doesn’t necessarily mean you know how to fix it. Getting professional help in this area makes it easier to see a vision through.
Staying within Budget
Few home remodeling projects come in under budget. Something unexpected always gets uncovered and plans often go awry. You have two options. You can try to plan for a basic budget and save money where you can, knowing that you should also plan for extras down the line. Or, you can give yourself plenty of wiggle room, and then if you come in under budget, it’ll be a nice surprise!
Most design projects also require a down payment, especially if you’re working with contractors or designers. Even if you’re doing all the work yourself, you’ll put down plenty of money for the initial demo and supplies. Either way, prepare to have all of your budget available once you begin.
Yes, the kitchen is for cooking. Many remodels also call for other kitchen functions. Will you and your family be eating in a breakfast nook that requires a table and benches or chairs? Do you want a big island for entertaining or where kids will sit at the counter and do homework? Is there going to be a bar on the side for mingling? What about a walk-in pantry or butler’s kitchen? If you do a lot of from-scratch cooking or food prep then having ample space for that should be considered, too.
Using a designer or kitchen consult means you’ll have an expert to help you come up with some creative solutions for getting the most out of your space. You might know that you want all these elements but not know how to fit everything into your available square footage. People who have done dozens of kitchen remodels know just where to tweak things to make it work!
A Flowing Floorplan
You’re remodeling your kitchen so that you can enjoy being in it. No one wants to unload a dishwasher and have to carry heavy plates across the whole space every day. That dishwasher should be close to the sink, too, without blocking a walking path when it’s open. The refrigerator should be close to the countertop where you’ll be preparing food most of the time.
Don’t forget about ample countertop and cupboard space! You don’t want your kitchen to look crowded with too many things cluttering up the counters since you don’t have enough cupboards, nor do you want to struggle for space to prep and spread out because you didn’t leave counter space in the right areas.
In the kitchen industry, the space between the sink, fridge, and range is called the work triangle. (Makes sense.) Even in the largest kitchens, the space making up these three legs should be less than 26 feet to make for an easy, enjoyable cooking experience. Furthermore, each of these three legs should be between 4 and 9 feet. You could probably figure out how this would work in your kitchen using basic geometry and algebra, but a designer will help you get the most flow for your budget and available space.
The Right Type of Storage
Everyone knows a remodeled kitchen should have plenty of cupboard space. But it goes further than that. Do you need some cupboards with sliding shelves that make it easy to organize pots and pans? Or will your cookware hang from above a center-island cooktop? Many homeowners want certain cupboards with glass fronts to display beautiful dishes, but you probably don’t want all your storage to be see-through, so you’ll need to decide beforehand which ones will be the best for glass fronts. If you’re putting in a large pantry, should this be near the fridge or the largest counter-prep area?
There’s always something else to think about. Remodeling a kitchen means thinking about dozens of ideas and elements all at once, so hiring a design team helps take the pressure to remember everything off of you. They’ll probably even have plenty of ideas that didn’t even cross your mind or that you didn’t know existed, such as a pop-up storage area for your mixer or pressure cooker, a spice drawer with varied shelving so you can see all your spices at once, or a kick-push feeding station for your cat or dog that goes out of sight when guests arrive.
Longevity and Practicality
Your kitchen remodel should be fun, but you don’t want to finish and then realize it’s not going to last you very long. If your family is still growing, make sure that your kitchen will accommodate plenty of bodies and give you the space to cook for them in comfort.
Choose practical materials, too, that look good while providing the function you need. Marble countertops are beautiful, but will they hold up to young children? Tile floors give a luxurious look, but is there a better choice for easy cleaning? Kitchen professionals have all the options at their fingertips so you won’t have to sit around wondering if you made the right choice or not.
Lighting and Appliances
These electrical components are just as important as countertops and cupboards. Cooking and eating in a dark kitchen is never enjoyable, so your lighting should be ample while still giving a stylish touch. The same goes for the appliances. They need to be functional while adding to the aesthetic.
Those added touches always make a kitchen feel luxurious, too, such as upper cabinet lighting, a double oven, a pot filler, a hot water dispenser, or a six-top range.
The Right Style Elements
One of the best parts of a kitchen remodel is that it will look exactly how you want it. If you hated the dated color of your counters, flooring, or cabinets, those are out the door! If you’ve coveted the detailed backsplashes that you see in magazines, then you can add one! What about glistening stainless steel appliances or the bright shine of a copper farmhouse sink?
Think about the entire flow of your home when deciding on your new kitchen style. If your kitchen opens up onto the dining room or living room, the themes should complement each other to make the home feel put together. Aesthetics aren’t everything, but they’re a huge part of being satisfied with your remodel.
Bringing It All Together
A kitchen remodel has several functions that all need various types of attention to detail. You want your kitchen to flow while still accommodating the space you have. All your supplies should fit and be easily accessible at the same time. You want to enjoy looking at your kitchen, working in it, and eating in it.
Putting all these elements together yourself is a big task. With proper planning, a realistic budget, and plenty of time to research and design, it’s doable for most homeowners. However, bringing in a team of designers makes the process much smoother and more enjoyable. It also brings in a fresh, experienced eye and resources that might not otherwise be available to you.
Whatever you decide, give yourself plenty of time to design your kitchen exactly the way you want it as well as wiggle room in your ideas, budget, and schedule. Your dream kitchen is possible, especially with the right help!