BLURB: Tired of the old kitchen and its weary old cupboards and the peeling paint? Have you been poring over home improvement magazines, blogs, and articles while fantasizing about a kitchen that looks as good as the food you cook? Here are some things to consider before getting on the bandwagon.
If there’s one thing that you need to keep in mind while deciding upon your kitchen remodel, it’s this: Your kitchen should reflect your personality, your style of cooking and your design sensibilities. That said, the new design for your kitchen cannot stand out like a sore thumb when viewed with the rest of your home decor. You should aim to blend the new design within the existing canvas of your home, while at the same time including smart storage solutions that avoid the over-cluttered look most kitchens wind up with. And, discussions about the right kind of furniture and other design elements like light fixtures and trends like open shelving are best left for another time. In this article, let’s focus on getting the skeleton of your kitchen remodels correct.
What’s Your Kitchen Style
Take a moment to close your eyes and envision your new kitchen. How does it look and feel? How would you describe this mental image? Would you call it roomy and classy, with the potential to entertain big parties often? Or, is it a quiet nook that invites you to de-stress and relax at the end of a long day? Everything in your kitchen should be a part of that vision you build: Whether it’s a gourmet kitchen or a rustic, country-style kitchen that offers homely warmth; does it contain sleek stainless steel appliances or something more custom made?
One way to organize all these ideas is to create detailed checklists or answer questionnaires that help you narrow down your exact needs. Maybe you’re someone who doesn’t entertain guests very often; or, you love the challenge of a new cuisine; or you simply like your good old bacon and eggs. Whatever your needs are, you need to become aware of them before you set out on a kitchen remodel.
Battle Of The Aesthetics
There’s always going to be a tug-of-war in your head about buying things for your kitchen; your heart might clamor at the beauty of certain things, but your head might remain grounded and point out that they aren’t functional. However, It’s important for one side to win this battle. To make your decision, take a look at your finances and what your priorities are. Do you want that farmhouse sink? Or chrome fixtures to replace the old ones?
If you aren’t the type to cook regularly but are in love with the idea of a beautiful kitchen, then you know which side of that tug-of-war is headed for victory. On the other hand, if you are on a budget, the functionality of a kitchen usually wins over the aesthetics that define a high-end kitchen. It’s a personal choice but most people err on the side of functionality over beauty. So, concentrate on what you need and forgo the extra sink, high-end cabinets or shiny new appliances in exchange for more functional additions like more storage space or even a kitchen island.
Best Bang For Your Buck
Another battle that you might be facing is the one between cost and value. Are the things you’re buying worth the money? How good is the quality and will they stand the test of time? So, make sure you look at varying price points for every single product and make a wise choice. Make a list of existing problems in your kitchen and understand how everything you buy will help you deal with those problems while keeping tabs on the cost factor all along.
If you’ve been eyeing some extra square feet from an adjacent room in the hopes of enlarging your kitchen, then think twice. Is the money you’d spend on knocking down the wall really worth it? Most experts think keeping the current layout is the best way to proceed. In fact, keeping the original windows can save you $500 to $1,000 per window; the wood floor, hidden beneath all that linoleum, could save you upto $2,000. And simply keeping the plumbing fixtures in the same locations means you can reuse existing plumbing, saving yourself between $200 to $500. Now, think about all the amazing things or updates that saved money can bring to your new kitchen.
Speed Doesn’t Guarantee Quality
We get it – you’re dying to start using your sparkling new kitchen and show it off to the world. The fact that you need to live in a significantly reduced space, thanks to all the construction work, is not helping either. In this state of mind, it seems almost right to say yes to anything and everything your contractor presents you with. Don’t! Stop yourself from rushing into hasty decisions that you’ll regret later on.
Your contractor isn’t the one who has to live with all the decisions you make during the remodel. It’s important to be mentally prepared to wait it out for as long as it takes or until the remodel has been completed to your satisfaction. You’d thank yourself later on when your family enjoys their new kitchen and your friends cannot stop exclaiming over how amazing your kitchen is.
Never Lose Touch With Your Why
A kitchen remodel is definitely the blank canvas waiting for your personality to convert it into a work of art. However, to believe that a new kitchen will bring forth a new you is just plain wishful thinking. You need to remember that you will still be you even after your kitchen’s new design has made it unrecognizable. So, if in the past you were someone who hardly cooked or threw dinner parties, then it’s highly likely that a fancy kitchen won’t suddenly make you the new social butterfly on the block.
Similarly, if you’re someone who made it pretty obvious you cooked, then the new marble countertop won’t clean up on its own. Instead, stay in touch with your cooking personality and remind yourself why you decided to remodel your kitchen now. Did you need more storage space for all those exotic spices you can’t stop hoarding? Do you have kids who will soon be old enough to make their own simple meals? Or, did you need more room to accommodate your growing list of friends who come over for dinner? Your kitchen remodels should reflect all these things and some more.
Nobody Said It Was Easy
When you set out on a remodeling journey, it’s quite easy to get paralyzed by all the analysis you naturally do. After all, there loads of things to consider before you begin such a project, especially one that aims to reinvent the busiest space in your house.
Having said that, it’s also equally important to take a step back and analyze your needs and desires with a clinical eye and go for only those things your budget and current lifestyle can truly accommodate. Once you’ve spent the money, you know it isn’t going to come back – so, the more real and functional your plan, the better it will work out for you in the long run. If you play your cards right, you might just wind up with the kitchen that everybody can’t get enough of.