Most people can’t help themselves. Whether visiting a friend’s house or searching for their dream home, it’s hard not to envision the changes they would make to create their dream kitchen. A true custom kitchen, with all their personalized choices, is at the top of most homeowners’ wish lists. Research shows that people who’ve remodeled their kitchen have only one regret—that they didn’t do it sooner.
How to Tell When a Kitchen Needs a Remodel
Chances are, if a homeowner is wondering if it’s time for a kitchen remodel, it’s a sign that it’s past due for an update. Has it been more than ten years since the last remodel? Is the layout working? Is there adequate storage space? Are appliances energy efficient? If the answer to any of these is no, it’s time to start researching how to remodel a kitchen.
Why Remodel a Kitchen?
There are many great reasons to remodel an outdated kitchen. Beyond the obvious boost in resale value, remodeling can improve functionality and convenience for the whole family. Many style-conscious homeowners now prefer a light and bright aesthetic to one that’s dark and dated. There’s another upside. Increasing energy efficiency with new appliances will save money and help the environment.
Research Comes First
For avid watchers of TV shows like House Hunters, it’s interesting to watch one couple see a kitchen and love the countertops and cabinets, while another couple hates them and insists on a complete gut job. Everyone has their own particular style and design ideas. Experts recommend finding a middle ground between what’s currently popular and what the homeowner may love. Research will help narrow down the many choices homeowners will need to make.
Smart remodelers do plenty of searches for kitchen remodeling ideas to learn about current trends and identify their likes and dislikes. Popular websites like Pinterest, Houzz, Curbed, HGTV, and more are available with thousands of design ideas. In addition, contractor websites often showcase before and after photos of their work.
Homeowners should spend lots of time in the planning phase. It’s critical to know what is currently working and what’s not in terms of layout, appliances, and more. While some may fall in love with crystal chandeliers and rhinestone-encrusted cabinet pulls, these may not be the best design choices for a busy young family with three boys. And the popular rustic aesthetic may clash with an ultra-modern or traditional home.
Professional Designers Help Avoid Costly Mistakes
Most kitchen remodeling firms provide the assistance of a professional designer to help clients make the best decisions for their homes. A kitchen designer will know tricks most homeowners don’t. But without their client’s input, the results may not reflect their individual style and needs. Knowing one’s design style and taking time to plan and make decisions early are the top ways homeowners can guarantee they’ll end up with a successful result. A design pro with a trusted firm is the way to go for homeowners who want their home to hold its value, function in the real world, and look good at the same time.
Functionality is Paramount
Layout is key, and the magic triangle is a well-known principle of kitchen design. From the refrigerator to the stove to the sink there should be enough space for more than one cook in the kitchen. By positioning the three main areas at equidistant points, both space and functionality will be optimized.
The Importance of High-Quality Cabinetry
Contractors, designers, and realtors all agree on one thing: putting cheap cabinetry in a kitchen remodel is definitely not the way to go. Experienced homeowners who’ve remodeled say that cabinetry should be one of the biggest investments in a kitchen, regardless of the price of the home. No one wins if particleboard ends up in a landfill.
It’s always best to take kitchen cabinetry all the way to the ceiling. Nothing dates a kitchen more than small collections of knick-knacks or fake greenery above the cabinets. Having an empty space above the cabinets only creates room for clutter and dust. One designer recommends glass-front cabinets with integrated lighting above the wall cabinets to highlight rarely used serving bowls and platters.
Invest in More Storage Options
Cabinets with drawers can be life-changing. Maybe that’s an overstatement, but drawers truly are one of the greatest kitchen organization improvements of this century. Drawers make it so much easier to access large pots and pans for a relatively small increase in cost.
Consider working a walk-in pantry into the plan. It’s a remarkably economical way to upgrade a kitchen—a pantry can provide as much storage as a wall of custom built-ins. Roll-out shelving makes all the contents easily accessible. Pantries are also a great place to store infrequently used appliances while keeping countertops clear.
Add More Lighting
A well-planned lighting scheme can really brighten up a kitchen. Allow room in the remodeling budget for quality lighting fixtures. A designer can help figure out the correct size, quantity, and spacing for lighting, including pendants to go over an island. Also, be sure the design plan includes plenty of GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) outlets to avoid the use of extension cords.
Don’t Forget the Jewelry
Cabinet hardware is the finishing touch, like “jewelry” for the kitchen. Prices range from low to super-expensive, so taking time to shop around will be well worth the time spent to get an upscale look on a moderate budget. Flat black, gold, copper, weathered nickel, and brass finishes are currently trending. Top designers believe the hardware doesn’t need to match the faucet as long as it blends in with the rest of the design. In addition to the finish, there are options on size, style, and more. Some kitchens look best with a combination of knobs for upper cabinets and pulls for the lower drawers. The use of all pulls is a more contemporary look; pulls should be mounted horizontally on drawers and vertically on doors.
Happy Family, Happy Life
The entire family will be happy with a kitchen remodel that makes it easier to find what’s needed, put things back where they belong, and that offers eventual increased resale value. Finding a trusted kitchen remodeling company in Utica with experienced designers is the first step to making a home more functional and beautiful. Don’t wait, because everyone knows that every great gathering begins and ends in the kitchen!