Does the heart of your home need a remodel? For most people, the kitchen is the most‐used room by everyone in the family. From school day breakfasts and family dinners to weekend get-togethers and holiday parties, your kitchen is where you and your family congregate. It doesn’t matter whether you’re cooking a big meal or simply eating takeout, if your kitchen doesn’t fit your family and lifestyle, it’s time for a remodel. Because function comes first, the fancy and eye-catching finishes don’t mean anything if your kitchen doesn’t function the way you need it to. With that, here are the first ten helpful kitchen remodeling tips in a two-part series from K. Fedewa Builders:
Examine Your Current Kitchen
No matter what your reason for remodeling your kitchen, you need to look at your current kitchen before you can plan your new amazing one. So, planning your new kitchen needs to come after you examine the one you have now. What do you hate about your current kitchen? What do you love about your current kitchen? Are your appliances relics of the Cold War or are they from this decade? Do your cabinets have more scratches, chips, and dents than a car in a junk yard or are they still in amazing condition? Are there enough electrical outlets or do you need more? Would you prefer some additional natural light from a new window or doorwall?
Decide on Flow, Function, and Footprint
After examining your current kitchen, you now have a good sense of what you like and don’t like as well as what you want and need. Kitchens should be setup to eliminate wasted steps. You don’t necessarily need to stick with the “kitchen working triangle”, but you should definitely consider how you cook. Do you jump back-and-forth between your sink and the stove? Is there already a kitchen island or is that something you want? Are appliances in easy-to-access locations that make sense for how you cook, or is the refrigerator hanging out in another room?
Direct traffic the right way in, out, and around the kitchen. Determine how and where an island fits in, and what its purpose is and what its function should be. Will the island have seating at it? Throughout your flow planning, ensure that there are wide walkways. Nobody likes cramped spaces, especially when there are hot pans and sharp knifes in play. Allow more than one person to walk past major appliances. We’ve all seen the horror stories on TV where homeowners can’t open their stove or a fridge can only open if a drawer is opened just the right way…make sure you have plenty of room to open your stove, dishwasher, fridge, and cabinets while also being able to stand in front of them when you do.
Are you big on prep space? If so, ensure there is prep and landing space near your stove and sink, as well as near microwaves and even fridges. You will always need a good space to pull food out of the fridge, put down a hot bowl just out of the microwave, a place to chop veggies, put down ingredients that are “on-deck”, and more.
Function needs to be a major part of your planning process. Plan out placement and amount of electrical outlets and switches so that you have them exactly where you want them. Consider putting in USB outlets too to keep a tablet plugged in with your newest recipe on it, or even just to charge the kids’ phones. How beneficial would a pot filler be to you? Also, don’t forget to decide how much and where seating will go.
Plan and Budget
Kitchens remodels can be expensive. Don’t worry, some money can be saved by choosing to keep your existing cabinets, using your current appliances, not redoing the flooring, and more. However, don’t skimp on your kitchen budget then regret your choices. At the same time, don’t blow your life savings on a kitchen that won’t return the value you paid for it.
Planning your kitchen design is extremely vital not only to help you decide on that all-important budget, but to also ensure your kitchen remodel has a realistic timeframe and stays on schedule. If you keep making design choices and decisions on the fly, your contractor and bank account may both turn red. Because a kitchen remodel is a large undertaking, it is often best to reach out to a professional kitchen remodeler to get a design, go over material costs, set a budget, and determine a timeline. At K. Fedewa Builders, we have design professionals on staff as well as work with trade-partner showrooms so that we can help you put your dream kitchen remodel together the right way from beginning to end.
Quick Tip: Carry your kitchen in a bag…grab a sample of your cabinets, your countertop, paint swatches, and other finishes to each store, designer, etc. so that you can always know what will look good with each other.
Timeless Over Trendy
No matter what you plan for your kitchen, make sure it is a timeless look over a trendy look that you’ll grow sick of quickly. Trendy styles come and go, and if you’re planning on selling your house in the future, new buyers may not like these trends. In fact, many buyers are often turned off from a kitchen when looking at a house and will go with a different house that has a kitchen they prefer. New homebuyers don’t want to put additional money into redoing a kitchen when they first move in to replace your tastes.
Every kitchen needs an amazing focal point. This could be an incredible range hood, an island that seats ten, fancy flooring, splashy tile backsplashes, or even a countertop pattern that makes you instantly say wow. Whatever you decide the focal point of your new kitchen masterpiece is, stick with just the one. Too many patterns and eye-catching design choices can be overwhelming. Accent the focal point with softer, quieter, and more eye-pleasing options and finishes.
Kitchens get messy. From meal prep to kids eating, food gets everywhere. Because kitchens can get dirty quickly, they should also be quick to clean. Consider using quartz countertops and other stain-proof materials, floors that don’t absorb liquids, and finishes that you can simply wipe-off with common cleaning products rather than fancy (and expensive) specialty cleaners. Keep cleaning in mind and your kitchen will not only be the heart of your home, but it’ll be also your happy place.
One of the biggest improvements you can make to your kitchen is adding new windows or doors where they didn’t exist before. Allowing more natural light into your kitchen helps make your kitchen feel bigger. Even if you don’t add new windows, consider relocating the ones you currently have to serve you better. Maybe you want one over your kitchen sink but don’t already have one? Maybe you have a sliding glass door to your backyard that will end up being in a bad spot once you plan out your new kitchen? Besides natural light, new windows help improve energy efficiency. As an added bonus, new windows often tilt inward to allow for easy cleaning.
Keep your existing or go brand new? Depending on how your existing cabinets look and work for you, you may be able to save big money by simply keeping them. However, if your cabinets don’t fulfill your needs or look like they’ve been dragged behind a delivery truck, then it’s time to go with new cabinets. So, what kind of cabinets and where? Decide where your pantry cabinet will be, where the dishes should go, and where drawers best serve you. When planning your cabinet layout, break up cabinetry with interesting details such as shelves, cabinets with glass doors, or appliances. Add a dishwasher or stove in between to increase functionality while also reducing a wall of cabinetry. One thing to remember, that is often overlooked, ensure you determine the right height and placement for the microwave.
Eliminate Dead Space
To go along with choosing the right cabinets for your kitchen, you should try to eliminate dead space. Consider lazy-susans inside of corner cabinets to allow for items inside to always be accessible. Slide-out spice racks offer easy-to-access storage solutions for thin cabinets putting herbs and spices at arm’s reach while cooking. Remember to consider what the corner of your countertop will have on it as well. Will it store your coffeemaker, toaster, knife block, or something else? Make sure that every inch of your kitchen works for you. If you’re putting in an island, install under-cabinet charging ports and outlets for phones and other electronics or install hidden shelves under the overhang for school supplies.
An Island Paradise
A kitchen island makes a huge difference in any kitchen. Islands provide additional prep, landing, and seating space along with a stunning visual. Imagine your kids sitting down each morning to eat breakfast before school or coming home and doing their homework in the middle of your kitchen. Entertain guests at your next dinner party by utilizing your new island as a buffet for everyone. Adding an island to your kitchen can help change the entire look and flow of it. You may be able to remove walls and change the entire floor plan allowing the open concept into your living room that you’ve been wanting. Depending on the size of your kitchen, you can go huge with your island, confusing people with the new continent you have installed. Islands open-up a world of storage possibilities from the standard cabinets and shelves to specialty items such as a wine-fridge or chopping station. You can even have a cooktop or sink added into your island to help improve your cooking functionality.
So, you’ve studied your existing kitchen, planned out your new one, set a budget and timeline for the remodel, and decided on cabinetry and an island. Now, it’s time to decide on countertops, appliances, finishes, lighting, and more. Check out next month’s article with ten additional helpful kitchen remodeling tips. Contact K. Fedewa Builders to get started on your dream kitchen today at 517‐388‐6123, or explore our website at https://kfedewabuilders.com.
Article written by David Glaeser Jr.