Google “kitchen remodeling ideas” and less than two seconds later there will be more than one hundred forty-eight million results. How is that even possible? What’s a homeowner to do? Where to even begin? It’s important to do a lot of research before tackling a remodel of the hub of the home.
First Question: Will It Be Worth It?
Yes and yes. And yes, that’s two answers to one question. That’s because whether the homeowner remodels the kitchen with a plan to sell the home soon, or to stay in the house as their “forever” home, the investment IS worth it. The remodeling choices homeowners make depend on their personal goals. If they are going to stay in their home for at least five years, they may make layout and design decisions that are more taste-specific than if they are remodeling to sell sometime in the near future. Either way, investing in remodeling a kitchen in Utica will result in a payback not only in lifestyle, but also economically. Current research shows that nearly fifty-five percent of the remodeling costs for a kitchen will be recouped at the time of sale. Therefore, the net cost will be only a fraction of the initial investment.
Gone Are the Good Old Days
The kitchen used to be a solitary place where the cook toiled away while the rest of the family or party guests enjoyed themselves elsewhere. Those were the not-so-good old days. The current trend is for open spaces that allow everyone to enjoy the process, and even pitch in to help!
Start with the Basics
Before choosing the fun kitchen design elements, it’s critical to take a step back and consider the overall layout of the kitchen. Is it working for the family, and is it conducive to entertaining or holiday gatherings? Are there ways an island can be incorporated into the layout, or a peninsula?
Layout Is Everything
According to HGTV, there are five popular kitchen layouts: Double Wall or Galley type, L-shape, Horseshoe, Island, and Peninsula. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, and not every layout will work for an existing home. Another thing to take into account when changing the basic layout is the location of utilities like plumbing for sinks, dishwashers and ice makers in refrigerators. Adding gas lines to accommodate a new gas stove may also present challenges.
Storage: The Magic Word
“I have too many empty kitchen cabinets” said no one, ever. According to the American Society of Professional Organizers, their most popular request is to organize a kitchen. And with proper planning with a design professional, every space can be optimized to maximize its potential. Today, specialized cabinetry extends far beyond spice organizers. Drawers are an excellent way to gain easy access to the contents and are especially popular for pots and pans. Another space-saving innovation is to install vertical dividers for cookie sheets, cutting boards, and more.
“Work Zones” Are the New “Magic Triangles”
In the past, experienced kitchen designers lived by the “magic triangle” formula for kitchen layouts. The sink, refrigerator and store were laid out in a triangle pattern to optimize efficiency. Today’s modern kitchens utilize a newer concept, called “work zones.” Much like in commercial kitchens, there may be an area for prepping ingredients, one for the actual cooking process, and one for final preparation for serving. The remodeled kitchen should include the following work zones:
- Food Prep:The primary work zone with access to knives, large spoons and forks, mixing bowls, and cutting boards.
- Cleaning: Space for recycling and trash, along with brooms and cleaning supplies.
- Food: Concealed pantry or other storage for canned goods, boxed groceries and spices.
- Cooking: Storage for pots, pans, and other bakeware (including crockpots, toasters, blenders, etc.).
- Dishware and cutlery: A zone for plates, glasses, silverware, and other frequently used items (close to the dishwasher).
Cabinets Should Go to the Ceiling
Nothing dates an old kitchen faster than soffits above the cabinetry, or worse yet, open space for fake greenery and baskets to gather dust. Today’s kitchen cabinets go all the way to the ceiling, allowing extra space for storage or display areas. Many choose to have either clear or leaded glass inserts and lighting installed for their special items on display.
The Latest and Greatest
Top designers have revealed the latest ideas in kitchen remodeling, and some may be incorporated into kitchens at every price range. Here are just a few out-of-the-box ideas:
- A designated area for a coffee bar with an espresso maker will be functional and attractive for a coffee-loving couple.
- A curved kitchen island may be just the ticket for those wanting to expand their serving and barstool dining spaces.
- A cozy kitchen banquette (also referred to as a nook) with a cushioned bench may accommodate early morning coffee or a space for kids to do online learning or homework.
- Designers are also loving what they call “panel-ready” appliances, meaning they can be hidden behind matching cabinetry to provide a room-like feel.
- An integrated debris collector under the cabinet allows for crumbs and other messes to be easily swept away, vacuuming it into a storage area below.
- For vertically challenged (otherwise known as short) homeowners, a step can be incorporated into the base of the cabinetry that can elevate them to reach into their tallest cabinets.
- Trash compactors are making a comeback in modern kitchens as they reduce landfill waste and can also be used for recyclables.
The Heart of the Home
As the true central gathering hub of the home, the kitchen can either enable a calm start to busy family mornings, or it can be a chaotic, cluttered spot where no one wants to hang out. With an improved layout and ample storage integrated into the kitchen design, a remodel can make the whole family happier and more productive. New kitchen remodeling in Utica can improve the value of a home, increase family time, boost efficiency, encourage more home cooking and entertaining, save energy costs with updated appliances, and better fit the family’s lifestyle. Most happy remodelers are sending out party invitations even before the paint has dried!