In so many homes, the kitchen is the heart. It is much more than a place to prepare food. Families gather, reunions take place, quiet conversations are held, coffee is sipped, and bonds are formed. Investing the remodeling dollars into this space is money well-spent. Not only does it add to your resale value, but it makes for improved living.
When renovating a kitchen, the wish list can get lengthy. You can pour over the pictures of gourmet kitchens and peruse the appliance stores for top-of-the-line refrigerators. Sticker shock is sometimes devastating, making you believe you’ll never have the kitchen of your dreams. Plan within your means and tackle the project in phases if you must.
Like any home improvement project, you can dream big. But, when it’s time to execute the plans, you’ll need to separate the dreams from reality. What is an unnecessary splurge? What is a logical, worthwhile investment? How can you save money without compromising quality? Let’s look at some guidelines to help you answer these questions and more.
Decide What’s Important
Every homeowner’s needs are different, and the demands of your kitchen will not be the same as your neighbors. Perhaps you need updated appliances, but your neighbor needs more cabinet space. Your remodeling plans will look very different.
Function should be the filter to determine priorities. Look at the following categories and decide what is most important to you.
- Layout Efficiency
- Cabinet Space
- Appliance Functionality
Like many homeowners, you’re probably thinking that all these categories are important and they all need to be updated now! Unfortunately, the budget doesn’t always allow for everything right now. What area is hurting you the most? What is the most inconvenient? From what improvement would you benefit the most? Answer these questions, and the order of your to-do’s will become obvious.
When looking at the different elements of the kitchen, the cabinets come to the forefront of most homeowner’s mind. They play such a pivotal role in the overall space. They define the layout of the room and provide the storage for nearly everything. Furthermore, cabinets are most likely the largest component of the kitchen and can set the mood for everything else. For example, bright white cabinets will create a much different look than dark espresso.
Given the impact of cabinets, you should invest in them accordingly. Solid wood, custom cabinets are the standard that many people have come to expect in their kitchens. The craftsmanship behind these pieces is typically second to none. When shopping for a cabinet maker, look for an established shop that offers plenty of options. Visit their showroom to discuss the layout and make your selections.
In addition to wood, stain, door fronts, drawer styles, and hardware, you can choose many other additional features. Some popular, custom choices include soft-close doors, built-in spice racks, pull-out trash bins, pots and pans holders, utensil drawers, and under-cabinet lighting.
If you’ve hired a contractor like Harris Renovations for your remodel, then you will be connected to a trustworthy cabinet maker. Planning this component of the kitchen will be an enjoyable, seamless process. In the end, you’ll have the functional cabinets you’ve always wanted.
Top It Off
You can’t have cake without frosting, and you can’t have cabinets without countertops. Many people are overwhelmed by the options, while others believe their options are limited. Rest assured, there is a countertop for everyone, and picking the one for you does not have to be a headache.
Knowing what is available, and the pros and cons of each, is key to making the right choice.
- Quartz – This engineered stone is highly resilient, being stain, acid, scratch, heat, and impact resistant. Because its surface is non-porous, it does not need to be sealed like natural stone.
- Polished or Honed Granite – This widely popular countertop creates a high-end look in most any kitchen. Granite does require a bit more care than granite. Wipe up all stains quickly and follow an annual sealing routine. Polished granite is shiny, where its honed counterpart offers a matte look.
- Laminate – By far the most budget-friendly option, laminate is making a comeback. With a multitude of choices, including patterns that resemble natural stone or wood, you can easily find a match for your kitchen. Beware of the hot pot. This material is not resistant to extreme heat.
- Stainless Steel – This metal can create a modern, industrial look in your kitchen. The surface coordinates with any color and is one of the easiest to clean.
- Concrete – This material is very customizable, with a wide variety of stains and textures. Finding a qualified contractor who specializes in concrete installation can be a challenge.
In addition to researching these options, you can also consider soapstone, travertine, marble, and butcher block. Narrow your options down based on the look that appeals to you the most and fits your budget. Compare the features of your shortlist and pick the one that suits you best.
Finding the Floor
Decision-making is endless in a remodel, and floors are just part of the process. Being informed is the path to the perfect floor. Though you have quite a few options, two deserve the most mentioning.
Luxury and Engineered Vinyl Planks – Forget the dated vinyl floors of the 1970’s. These planks mimic the look of real hardwood and offer the worry-free feature of being waterproof. Yes, waterproof!
Tile – You can count on tile to be timeless. It is durable and easy to clean, making it ideal for kitchens. Technology makes it possible to achieve nearly any look, even hardwood and natural stone, with tiles.
Yes, this is a short list indeed. Why so picky? Flooring trends have come and gone. Some materials are outdated and not worth the investment. Other materials that were on-fire popular are now a homeowner’s regret because of their incompatibility with the kitchen. In this room of the house, you need a waterproof and durable floor with a classic look. When you look at so many of the other options, you will find that they do not fit the bill.
Enjoying Your Space
At the end of your remodel, your kitchen should be a dream come true. Even when compromise is necessary, try to settle on options that you can live with comfortably. Remember the elements of the kitchen that are important to you. Improve the areas that are lacking the most. And, create memories in the new space that will last a lifetime.