Kitchen remodeling is now the number one home improvement choice as kitchens take center stage based on open-concept design trends. From food preparation and entertaining to work and study, the kitchen is now the main lifestyle hub. Coupled with myriad product and technological advancements, the pull of achieving visually stunning and functional kitchen design is number one on homeowners’ wish lists when considering kitchen remodeling in Royal Oak. While some homeowners can easily envision their granite countertops, two-tone cabinet installations, and restaurant-quality gas ranges in their remodeling plans, they may not be aware of the actual process, complexity, and possible stress associated with a remodel. By hiring a reputable kitchen design firm with years of professional experience, homeowners can avoid costly mistakes and be assured their kitchen remodel will be a success.
Planning the Kitchen Design
The first step in determining the scope of the remodel project concerns the homeowners’ vision for the project as well as the proposed budget. During the initial interview, the designer will determine the client’s style — perhaps contemporary or traditional — as well as their material and color preferences. The designer will consult with the client in determining how the space will be used as well as how many people may be using the space at the same time. A key question for clients will be to determine their need for storage. Since many kitchens share living room or family room space due to open-concept design, proper storage for pots and pans, dishes, and small appliances is critical for reducing clutter. The characteristics of selected surfaces like granite countertops versus quartz or laminate may be discussed as every surface requires some type of care and maintenance.
Appliance selection should be done early in the design process. Selected refrigeration must have sufficient depth and capacity to meet the client’s needs. Selected dishwashers should have a dBA or A-weighted decibel rating for near silent operation that will not interfere with conversations or a television program when in operation. Placement of electrical sockets, lighting, and power sources for technology should also be discussed. Once the designer and the client determine the kitchen layout, the client will be provided with a plan or 3D model. The plan will include work patterns such as triangles for reducing unnecessary steps between the sink, stove, and storage, as well as noting landing spaces for placing items on counters. The model will show cabinet, island, and appliance measurements, planned seating, and existing doors and windows.
Since cabinet choices are intrinsic to successful kitchen design, a basic understanding of kitchen cabinetry can be valuable. Cabinetry generally consists of base cabinets, wall cabinets, and taller cabinets that can work as storage pantries. The doors of traditional cabinets attach to frames around the outside edges of the cabinet box and feature attractive door overlays. Some more contemporary cabinets are frameless so that the cabinet doors completely cover the face frame resulting in a sleek presentation.
A wide variety of hardwoods including oak, walnut, maple, and birch are excellent choices for cabinetry. Although hardwood cabinets do have a higher initial cost, their natural grain patterns and low moisture content make them durable and resistant to scratches and warping for excellent long-term performance. Hardwood cabinets are also preferable for clients with allergies as their lack of resin results in low odor emission. Functional cabinets can be made from plywood, particle board, or MDF, which is a medium density fiberboard that can perform well when both sides of the fiberboard are sealed for moisture resistance.
There are a variety of joints used for cabinet drawer boxes including dado, dovetail, and mortise and tenon features, as well as joints that use metal fasteners and glue. Base cabinets are the workhorses that support sinks and countertops, with additional reinforcement needed for heavy farmhouse sinks and natural stone countertops. Glass inserts and special lighting can be added to cabinets as focal points for highlighting glassware and china.
General Pricing Considerations
The national average for a full kitchen remodel is just a bit over $20,000; however, prices will vary based on the size of the project, the materials, cabinets, and fixtures selected, and any changes that are made during the work. As labor and expenses average only 30% of a kitchen remodel, and finished materials and products account for almost 70% of the cost, design professionals can help clients save money by recommending material and product alternatives for cost savings as well as providing unique, high-end results for those with less monetary constraints. In each case, design professionals can provide options that focus on quality and craftsmanship.
Note that stone and quartz countertops can cost $2,000 to $5,000 more than laminate, and high end cabinetry can run $10,000 to $20,000 more than stock cabinetry, depending on the clients’ requirements. Since cabinets come in an almost overwhelming selection of materials, finishes, colors, and configurations, there are solutions for every budget and design requirement.
Kitchen islands lead the list of “must haves” in 2021, with some large kitchens showcasing double parallel islands for seating and food preparation. Seamless cabinetry that conceals kitchen appliances and range hoods is an emerging preference, and some clients are switching to large pantries and foregoing upper cabinets for an airier feeling.
Other trends in 2021 show some movement away from the all-white kitchen with subway tile, for the warmth of light natural stone and wood. Pops of color are showing up on islands and lower cabinets. Rich hues of dark blue and green are favored, and black cabinetry presents a look of refined elegance when dressed in gold or bronze fittings.
Full sheet quartzite backsplashes are making an appearance, as are workstation sinks with grooves for cutting boards and strainers. On-off touch faucets with magnetic spray pulls are trending, along with quality cooktops and ranges. Lighting combines task and ambient features, along with dimmer controls, for a softer, more comfortable light, in keeping with the kitchen’s place as part of the overall living area. In areas like Royal Oak, Michigan where temperatures drop during winter months, clients may consider including small pizza ovens or gas fireplaces in their kitchen remodeling plans.
Whether clients follow exciting kitchen design trends or plan for more traditional kitchens, enlisting the expertise of kitchen design firms in Royal Oak can make kitchen remodeling dreams come true.