How many of us can honestly admit that kitchen remodeling can be super unnerving?
Right from planning the basic kitchen layout to finding the right designer to creating that customized cooking space you have been dreaming about all along — the process is tedious enough to scare us out of our wits.
Of course, for tips on kitchen remodeling, there is a complete paradigm to refer to. Friends, neighbors, latest interior magazines, endless discussions with the contractors and so on. If we turn to the internet for some original ideas, the sheer number of questions we have and the abundance of results that appear may do more good than harm. So, where do we even start for something as overwhelming as this?
The short version answer is: Take it one step at a time. You know how they say, before you start the journey, better have a map. What we mean is that you need to align your priorities AND your budget, and the right choices will follow.
Now, considering the role played by the kitchen, it goes without saying that any effort invested in this direction is bound to be a big pay off in the future. We are not only touching on the resale issue here but also the changed status of the kitchen space today.
With most of us prioritizing the space that works as the prime of our house, a place where friends, family and the craved ‘me time’ find a common linking point — it is no wonder that our kitchens become the soul of our houses. It goes without saying that it needs to be treated accordingly too.
We get all that, and have you covered! This article answers all the broad questions you may have about your kitchen remodel. You can branch out from there if you need to look for very specific information. This article is basically a great starting point to get to the specifics.
Setting the Right Priorities for Your Kitchen Upgrade
Why are you looking to renovate your kitchen? This is one question you certainly need to ask yourself. The answer will pave the way ahead for your entire project.
Maybe your needs have changed or perhaps your family has grown…or maybe you are just bored out of your mind, looking at the same walls day in and day out. Now, whatever your reasons may be for refurbishing, you need to have a clear vision of the purpose of the remodel.
Because unless you are clear, you run the risk of going haywire as well as exceeding the original estimate. Understanding the difference between “What my kitchen needs” and “what I want for my kitchen but can do without” will help you strike the right balance between aesthetics and functionality. Once you come face to face with the basic purpose of the needed change, you can plan and concentrate on those particular areas without going overboard.
Setting the Right Budget for Your Kitchen Remodel
Any home improvement project asks for a well-planned and well-defined budget. However, you need to be extra careful with a kitchen remodel as it is an expensive project. No matter how ambitious you are, you have to make sure that you spend your valuable money carefully.
There are two aspects to every remodeling project. One is the pre-estimated budget, and the second is your planned budget.
The first step in getting an estimate should always be to consult a professional contractor and discuss in detail the changes you are looking for. Some changes are direly needed and there are others that you just wish for. You need to balance each against your budget and make the final call. This will also help you to save money by letting you invest in bulk where most required.
Other than this, in case you are on a low string budget, you can opt for refacing kitchen cabinets and countertops instead of replacing them. Also, elements like a sink can be refurbished economically at home. Additionally, there are a number of tasks like painting, adding a backsplash and tiling that you can take up yourself to cut down on the budget. Here’s where knowing WHY you are remodeling comes into play.
DIY or Remodeling Company – Making the Right Call
This one is tricky because…hey, DIY saves money. On the other hand, you also want the project to come off right in the end without any flaws. You also need it to be intricate and meticulously done.
In fact, it often happens that in our mad pursuit to save big bucks, we end up scooping much more dough on DIY experiments than what we had planned in the beginning.
The solution? The key is to find a balance between DIY and professional help. As mentioned above, basic resurfacing of cabinets, repainting, adding a creative backsplash and even tile flooring can be taken up by DIY enthusiasts.
For the rest, we have professional contractors to help us out. Let’s admit they have years of experience behind them and the right skills to handle any unforeseen crisis. Of course, you can share the ideas and state your preferences. Other than this, it is better to let them handle the heavy stuff, including plumbing and wiring.
Making Your Kitchen Stand Out But Not Too Much
What we mean is that your kitchen should synergize with the rest of your home. This can only be a result of thoughtful architecture and creativity.
In our opinion, it is an imperative for the tone of your kitchen, the style adapted and most importantly, the design vocabulary, to fit in with the rest of the house. The final output should come across as a separate identity under no circumstances. For instance, if your entire house has a beach resort vibe going on, and you install pendant lights and hi-tech under countertop lighting — it will stick out like a sore thumb. One says warm, other says sci-fi. Not a good match, right?
That’s why the themes have to align. As a rule of thumb, anything you do in your house must necessarily form the part of the larger picture. Find out if your new project falls in with this design equation. Otherwise, time to go back to the drawing board!
Do You Need More Storage?
This is very subjective. But if you are anything like a regular American family, the answer in most cases is a big fat yes.
Of course, your storage needs will change with time. Your kids will become teens. Many of you may even have elderly parents or relatives living under the same roof as you in a few years. Basically, as time passes by, your storage needs will keep altering and amplifying.
It follows that your new kitchen must have more cabinets, drawers, shelves, corner units, pantry and such stuff for extra storage to meet every arising need. After all, you don’t want to base your requirements just on your current needs, right? You have to plan ahead of time.
Additionally, you also want to move ahead with the time and want a changed storage vocabulary that fits in with the contemporary styles. Essentially, new cabinetry is almost always a very strong reason why kitchens look different after an upgrade.
Do You Need to Upgrade the Kitchen Appliances?
Can we visualize a kitchen sans kitchen appliances?
Appliances define our kitchen and bring in a visual grace and style here. Not to miss out on their functional presence, of course. But if your kitchen has outdated or bulky ones, it is time to go shopping for new ones.
For most of us, kitchen appliances meant a picture of odd-shaped gadgets peeping in from every corner a few years ago. Now, the new design language asks for sleek ones with clean lines and high-tech features. This is precisely why concealed appliances have been making waves in the kitchen industry lately.
These appliances add a fine élan to your kitchen interiors besides saving up on space. Ovens, microwaves, refrigerators, chimneys, hobs, etc — all built-in with the new energy-saving efficiency capabilities, also save a lot of your time, money and energy over time.
Does Your Kitchen Need More Lighting?
Lights. The ultimate mood setters. Ah, the difference that ambient lighting can bring to a kitchen can run into volumes.
And there are so many to choose from. Lights under the cabinets, for instance, serve as efficient task lighting when working. When in a mood for a little serene ambiance you can simply dim them. On the other hand, visual treats like Pendant lighting do wonders for your kitchen environment. A series of small pendants in a small kitchen can create a very refined look. They work well for islands too. Then there are recessed, low-power lights. You can have them over the sink area as well as prep areas that do not have cabinets above them. You can also have LED strips along the edges of cabinets and a chandelier for a dramatic impact.
Honestly, given that there are SO many options, the only advice you need to follow here is to have enough of it in your kitchen. You want a comfortable lit environment when you work, but anything beyond that is completely up to you. Remember to set a dedicated budget for this as well, and you can take your fancy!
Related: Cost of Kitchen Remodeling