Remodelling your kitchen is a major undertaking but well worth the effort. It gives you the opportunity to improve efficiency in the space, create a new look and the ability to plan for the future – at least 15 years or so of your future, as that’s typically how long a kitchen’s lifespan could be, or really, should be.
Much can change in 15 years, so when it comes to remodelling, make sure you think very hard about what the space will be and whom it is meant to serve for that time. Planning is always key. Try to stay within the style that suits the architectural character of your home and don’t get too swept up in the trends. Relying on what has always worked for kitchen design will help make sure you have a space that doesn’t become dated.
Consider the current kitchen layout. Does it reflect how you live now? Will the kitchen serve double-duty as your dining room? Do you cook daily or mostly as a hobby? What’s missing from the current kitchen that you always wanted? What does the current kitchen have that you want to keep?
So, with some consideration to the above, start planning the layout. You will need to consider all the pieces that go towards completing a finished kitchen: cabinetry/storage, countertops, appliances, sink and faucet, flooring, lighting, island options, texture and colour and pattern. Literally – floor to ceiling and everything in-between. And perhaps most importantly, consider your budget as it will certainly be one of the most costly projects in any home remodel – but it will also add the most value to your home.
Start your plan with the work-triangle – applying the elements that make the essential basis of kitchen design (the refrigerator, sink and range/cooktop). These should be close together but not crowded – usually from 5-8 feet apart – if you drew a line from one to another on your plan you should see a triangle – that’s a good start.
Typical kitchen layouts are usually U-shaped, L-Shaped or Parallel (Galley) – plan which of these best suits the space that you have. This will give you the starting point to be able to determine placement of other possible elements, like an island. Everyone loves an island and for good reason. It gives us the single most desired request in a kitchen – more counter space, especially since most contemporary open –planned kitchens give us relatively less perimeter counter space than traditional enclosed kitchens. The great thing about an island is that it can be any size and it can serve any function that you need; as simple as offering preparation counter space, to having the sink or cooktop located within it.
Review your appliance needs carefully and consider the long-term needs of the space. The range of appliances is vast and there’s something for every need these days. For example there are ranges, cooktops, vent-hoods, warming drawers, wall ovens (standard, convection, steam) and microwaves – and a host of options within those options. Then there’s the refrigerator (that option list is too long for this article), the independent ice-makers, the wine chillers, the dishwashers, garbage disposals and compactors. Even washers and dryers are now part of kitchen design. It’s a lot to consider – but do consider. The current popular colour for appliances is Stainless Steel, but white and black are making big strides back into design.
Cabinetry is the brains and beauty of a kitchen. Inside it keeps the space functioning with sufficient storage and outside it gives the eye something to admire. This is most important in planning, because you have many options here as well; doors, drawers, dumper-drawers, internal accessories like slide out shelving, lazy-Susans, etc. Then there are the materials other than wood - stainless steel, glass, plastics, lacquered finishes, laminates.
Choose countertop materials that suit the need of the kitchen as well as for its looks. Don’t be afraid to use different types of material throughout the kitchen or even more than one colour; e.g. you may use a quartz on the perimeter counters and granite or marble on the island. Typical counter choices are Solid-surface, Granite, Marble, Ceramic Tile, Stainless Steel, Concrete, Quartz and more – each have pros and cons and variant price points.
You should think function first before form when considering the sink. Its main purpose is for cleaning dishes and preparing food – so this will help determine the best size and features that fit your plan, the workload and your style.
Flooring options are open wide these days – you can use the standard porcelain tile, Stone, Linoleum (yes –its back!), Vinyl, Wood (yes – wood!), bamboo and even laminates.
Last but definitely not least – lighting. Without proper consideration to lighting your kitchen will likely be impractical and unattractive. Plan for layers of light as the lighting scheme is what w?ill make your beautiful cabinetry, top appliances, perfect flooring and all the accessories SHINE.
When all put together, you will be proud and happy to see your kitchen every single day for at least the next 15 years plus. Enjoy!
Need advise on Choosing Tools? We can help with that too!