Remodeling a kitchen is an exciting adventure but can be scary at the same time. The kitchen is the heart of your home and usually the gathering place for friends and family. It serves as a place to do homework, a place to make cookies with your kids, a place to try your grandma’s pasta recipe! It is really the one area of your home that gets used the most. So its important to make it beautiful and functional. I have been a kitchen designer for over 8 years and here are some tips to help you along the way.
Tip#1 Work with a kitchen designer. I’m not just saying this because I am one. But honestly, the experience a designer can give you will save you many headaches in the future. Although I shop at the big box stores like Home Depot, I would recommend using a local designer that works with a limited number of cabinet lines so you can ensure that they specialize in the line. Often HD or Lowes sells over 10 different cabinet lines and there is no way to know alllll the ins and outs of 10 lines. The kitchen industry is always evolving and adding fun and quirky design accessories that only a kitchen designer would know. When design is your job–you love it and love to share the knowledge!
Tip #2 Pick out new appliances that offer the size you want, some type of rebate and that are energy-efficient. If you work with a kitchen designer, sometimes the designer can get you better prices at local shops that he or she often refers clients to. It doesn’t hurt to ask. If you pick stainless, research brushless stainless to avoid constant cleaning.
Tip #3 To save money, limit the upgrades and accessories to cabinets that you really know you will use. For example, Slide out shelves are great and offer easy access. But, there is no need to have them in every base cabinet. Use them for the cabinets with platters and bowls that you want to stack neatly and still have easy access to. Use deep drawers for pots, pans and Tupperware. Then use standard adjustable shelves for appliance storage or oversized platters. This will offer you more organization and be cheaper on the pocketbook.
Tip#4 If wood isn’t a must have for you, save money by choosing an all wood door paired with a furniture grade laminate box. Make sure the laminate box has a maple finish and not a cheap looking white finish. Your cabinets will still be sturdy and look expensive. But make sure your drawer boxes are wood with dovetail joints (a must). You could easily save 10% on the over cost by choosing laminate boxes over plywood.
Tip#5 Make sure the cabinet above your refrigerator is 24″ deep for easy access and then have your designer add tray dividers. Storing cookie sheets, trays or place mats up here makes sense because you don’t need to access them on a daily basis. It offers a great look and its very convenient.
Tip#6 Limit your glass cabinets. Glass is pretty, but can be over done. Depending on your kitchen size, making one area a focal point with glass is enough. Also, if you choose a glass insert instead of glass with mullions, you will save a lot. If you have a choice, tell your kitchen designer to order the cabinets “prepped for insert” and purchase your glass from a local glass store instead of the cabinet manufacturer. This simple tip will save you at least 50% on the cost of glass.
Tip#7 Create a focal point. In any design there should be a focal point. This could be a hood over your cooktop, an island with furniture feet or a simple “bumpout” in crown molding. Your glass cabinets could be a focal point. You can even “bumpout” your sink base, add clipped corners and waaalah-a focal point!
Tip#8 Choose a licensed contractor to do all of the hard stuff. You may have the ability to do the demo and rip out your cabinets. But a general contractor is very useful in a remodel, Often drywall needs to be replaced, electrical needs to be relocated and things may arise that a contractor can easily find the answers to resolve. Using an experienced cabinet installer can make all the difference in a kitchen. It’s not as easy as you think to install crown molding or hang a large wood hood. Making things level and symmetrical are very important and require skill that the average homeowner does not posses.
Good luck with your kitchen remodel and don’t hesitate to email me with questions or comments!
As Always-you can ask me anything!
XXXOOO SoFlo Home Design