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Important Things to Consider with Your Kitchen Remodel

Doing a kitchen remodel can be one of the most exciting things a homeowner will do. This said, it can also be one of the most stressful things a homeowner will do! Over the years we’ve remodeled a lot of kitchens… Needless to say, we’ve learned a lot and want to share some important things to consider when remodeling your kitchen. Here we go…

Get help from a Professional Kitchen Designer

A professional kitchen designer will help you avoid design flaws in your new kitchen that will not be evident until your kitchen remodel is done. You can either hire a kitchen designer who typically charges by the hour or have your General Contractor provide this service. The right kitchen Contractor will have the ability to provide this service. In this situation, the design consultation is typically provided as part of the overall contracting service and part of their contracting fee.

Accept the fact that going without a kitchen will be highly unpleasant

A typical kitchen remodel can take up to two months to complete. During this time you will be without the full use of your kitchen. Furthermore you will be living in a construction zone which is not pleasant. So set your expectations and know it is going to be highly unpleasant.

To avoid this, a lot of our clients will schedule the kitchen remodel when they are out of town or on vacation. Even better, if you are lucky to have a cottage, simply move to your second home during the renovation.

Choose your appliances and sink before you design your kitchen

Appliances have a big impact on layout. When planning, you need to know the size and functionality of all your appliance selections. Don’t just measure the appliance width. Know the depth and leave clearance for circulation around door openings. For example, this is a big issue with the refrigerator. We often see homeowners make the mistake of locating their refrigerator too close to a wall and as a result cannot fully open the doors to change shelf hight or fully open the drawers.

Pick your sink early in the process as well. Sinks come in many different styles and sizes which require your sink cabinet to be designed around your selection. For example your kitchen may be designed for an undermount sink but your selection becomes a farm style sink causing a potential design issue with your sink cabinet.

Botton line…Your appliances and sink selections drive a lot of your cabinet selections and layout design.

Don’t Overcomplicate your kitchen design…Make one show stopping design choice, only one!

A big mistake we see homeowners make when designing their kitchen is they over design the aesthetics of the kitchen. You have to understand how everything works together. If you don’t get this right, when completed, the kitchen will be too busy and not have the impact you may have been looking for.

We find it’s best to pick one show stopping design choice and be simple and clean with the rest of the kitchen. You then can accessorize kitchen to pull it all together. A great example of one show stopping design could be installing a fun tile floor accent. Here is an example:


Do a tile dry run

If you are installing a fun tile for the kitchen floor do a tile dry run. This means layout the tile so you can see what it looks like before you start to install it. Sometimes when all laid out, you will find it’s not what you thought it was going to be when you were looking at the tile samples.

Carry a kitchen in a bag

In order to get the perfect match for your materials, carry all your samples with you when making selections…tiles, hardware, countertop,, cabinets and paint chips. As you look for each piece of the puzzle, it’ll be helpful to see what you’re working with and how it all works together.

Make all of your design choices upfront

We find a big mistake homeowners make is not making all the design decisions up front. Why is this important? It avoids financial surprises at the end of the project. For example, you may want open shelving in your design. If you don’t pick the actual shelves on the front end, you may not budget properly for installations costs and end up with a financial surprise on the back end. Examples of open shelving:


Embrace drawers

This is big…Consider pull out drawers for almost everything. Many older kitchens were designed with lower cabinets with a top drawer. The cabinet design is a very un-efficient use of space. Everything located in the lower cabinet gets lost in the back of the cabinet. When incorporating drawers you are able to effectively “pull” the cabinet space out and have easy access to everything. Incorporating more drawers dramatically increases the usability of your cabinet space. Some examples:



Include something natural

Adding a natural element like wood adds warmth and contract if you’re using colder materials like marble or if you do an all white kitchen. Here is an example:

Consider cleanup

Your design choices will impact how much time you spend cleaning later. Look out for things that will get dirty; for example, open shelves flanking the range look fabulous, but you’ll have to wash the items sitting on them often because grease splatters. Put a line of silicone along the seam between the counter and backsplash behind the sink (they make it to match grout colors), to prevent water from darkening your grout. And don’t forget to plot out where you’ll place the garbage and recycling, which need to be accessible to your prep space and sink.

Let us know how we can help!

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