Your kitchen is not just another room in the house – it’s a meeting hub for the entire family, the place where you start every day, and, the place where you spend time relaxing and enjoying the joys of cooking amazing foods.
If you have decided to do a kitchen renovation, you definitely want to make sure everything goes smoothly. However, like in the case of most home renovation projects, a kitchen remodel needs a bit of planning ahead.
Of course, excellent kitchen design doesn’t just “happen” – but what are the DOs and DON’Ts of kitchen renovation?
We have some tips for you – so read on and find out more.
DO: Define What You Need
One size doesn’t fit all – not in fashion, and most definitely not with anything else under the Sun.
We’re created to be different, unique individuals. Every household is different. Every apartment or house is structured differently.
Why would your kitchen look exactly the same as that of Gordon Ramsay, then?
Of course, mainstream kitchen design trends are fine, and they can provide you with plenty of inspiration – but that doesn’t mean all kitchens have to look the same (e.g. state of the art stainless steel appliances, an island in the middle, granite countertops, and so on).
Before you even look at design ideas on Pinterest, start by defining what you need. Take the following into consideration:
- The size of your kitchen. The “classic” island-in-the-middle design may not be suitable for smaller spaces, for example – and pushing that island against a wall might just not look as great. The size of your kitchen dictates the kind of design and arrangement you should be looking for – so DO make sure to take this into consideration.
- Your kitchen blueprint. Even with very large kitchens, there might still be issues that make certain types of design downright unsuitable. It is of the utmost importance to think of your specific kitchen format before you start looking for furniture and appliances. For example, a square-shaped kitchen room should not be decorated the same way as a U-shaped kitchen. A kitchen that’s connected to the living room via an open space should not be renovated the same way as a kitchen that has some sort of delimitation between it and the living room.
These things might be quite difficult to figure out on your own if you haven’t done 100 kitchen remodels yet – so this is why it’s quite important to consider hiring a professional home designer to help you (if not with the entire project, then at least with the basic rules you should follow).
DON’T: Start Without Defining Your Budget
Like it or not, kitchen redesigns aren’t cheap. Depending on what exactly you want to change and how much of it you want to change, a kitchen remodel can leave you short of a few thousands of dollars at least. No matter who you are and how much you earn, that’s not a sum of money to neglect.
The great news is that you CAN save a lot of money without sacrificing the quality of your redesign (or the functionality of your new kitchen).
The key lies in defining a very clear budget from the very beginning. Doing this will not only allow you to make sure you don’t overspend, but it will also give you a bird’s eye view of the entire project, so that you know what to skimp on and what to splurge on.
Keep this in mind, though: if you want to be absolutely certain you will stick to your budget, you have to be realistic about it – so study the market a bit and analyze the prices for the main products and services you’ll use. Although it might seem like just another costly addition to your financial plan, a kitchen designer can help you draw the basics of a realistic, feasible budget plan – and they can also help you save a lot of money by working with the right contractors and buying your new appliances from the right places.
DO: Choose the Right Layout for You
Your layout (or, in other words, the way you arrange all the appliances and cabinetry) is one of the single most important elements to consider when doing a kitchen remodel. This is not a matter of aesthetics only – it is a matter of functionality too.
For instance, it wouldn’t matter how nice your refrigerator is if it would block access to some of the cupboards. You need to make sure you choose appliances and cabinetry that are suitable in size for your particular kitchen – and you absolutely need to make sure you arrange them perfectly well together.
Skipping this step could have annoying consequences (to say the least) – so measure everything, put everything on paper, and see if your idea works for your particular kitchen layout.
Again, hiring a professional kitchen designer for this kind of task will prove to be more than helpful. After all, these people have studied the best layouts and they have an eye for detail that will not allow them to make any kind of embarrassing layout-related mistakes. This is what these people do for a living – so they have seen it all and they know how to pull off the best layouts for each type of kitchen out there.
DON’T Forget the Importance of Storage Space
You’d be surprised how many people simply don’t take their storage space into consideration when they start a kitchen renovation project!
That happens mostly because the vast majority of people only think of the “exterior” of their new kitchen and forget to consider the “interior” as well.
However, neglecting the importance of storage space could have a few effects on your project:
- It could make the kitchen difficult to use;
- It could make you end up storing a lot of items on the cupboards, which would ruin the aesthetic appeal of the entire kitchen;
- It could affect the way your food is stored and preserved;
- It could lead to last-minute storage implementations that are just not well-planned, unrealistic, or downright impossible to use
To include the right type and amount of storage space in your plans, you will have to ask yourself a couple of questions:
- How much storage do you have now?
- Is the storage space you have now enough for your needs?
- Is there any way you can add more storage space?
Thankfully, there are a lot of smart ways to boost a kitchen’s storage space even if it might seem impossible at first. There’s a lot of information on this online, and an experienced home designer can help you with this as well, if you want to make sure your project will be 100% successful.
DO: Make Sure There’s Enough Lighting
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, your kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house – not just for its functionality (allowing you to store and cook food), but also for the meaning it bears within any kind of household.
Food brings people together – and, unless you have a huge living room space where you get every single meal, it’s more than likely that you will spend most of your breakfasts and dinners in the kitchen. THAT is why it’s of absolute importance to make sure there’s enough lighting in your kitchen.
Also, keep in mind that while the amount of light that gets in your kitchen is crucial, the way the light is positioned is also very important. Aside from natural lighting (which should be more than plentiful, especially if you want to start your mornings in a nice ambient), you should also make certain to add some sort of lighting over the kitchen island (or simply the center of the kitchen, if you don’t have an island), near the stove, and near the sink.
Remember to take into account your personal preferences and habits as well: where do you spend most time prepping the food? Is it on the kitchen island, is it on the table you use for eating, is it on a countertop? These are the spots you will use a lot, and you need good lighting there, so remember to include this in your plan.
Your kitchen remodel might seem like a difficult project now – but once you plan everything out and once you clarify the details, everything will fall into place. Yes, there’s a lot of work in creating a kitchen space that’s both pleasing for the eye and actually functional, space-savvy, and suited to your particular habits. However, putting a bit of extra effort into this kind of project is more than worth it – just think of how much time you will spend there and how amazing it will feel to finally prepare your favorite meals in a space you love from every single point of view.