Does your kitchen fit your busy lifestyle? Today’s kitchens are at the hub of family life, serving as a dining area, office, and gathering place. Whether you choose a major kitchen remodel or just want to rejuvenate one aspect with new lighting, appliances, cabinetry or tile, updating your kitchen can make it easier to accommodate your family’s daily routine.
In addition, if you remodel your kitchen—or even update some aspect of your kitchen—you will most likely recoup your investment if you choose to sell your home: just one more reason that kitchen remodeling ranks among the most popular renovation projects each year.
There are three basic elements to good kitchen design:
1. Gather ideas for your kitchen remodel
The first element in good kitchen design is the process of exploring possibilities and discovering the many options available when you remodel a kitchen.
In this stage, keep your eyes open for ideas. You can look at magazines, showrooms, builder’s model homes, and the homes of neighbors.
You should also try to think about all the ways your kitchen might enhance your lifestyle. Consider including the following ideas in your kitchen design:
- Hobby area
- Homework space
- Computer space
- Recycling bins
- Fire extinguisher
- Entertainment center
- Phone and answering machine center
- Second sink or dishwasher
- Display space for fine silver or glass pieces
- Mood lighting and natural light
The key is to dream a little and indulge your imagination. While you won’t be able to afford everything you can dream of, you might be surprised by how much is possible. Compile a list with pictures, drawings, and samples of all the features and functions you want in your new kitchen.
2. Consider the current layout of your kitchen
The second aspect of kitchen design is layout. Most courses and guides on kitchen design focus on this element. This is when you look at the various features of the kitchen and choose the location of appliances and work areas.
For years, the key to good kitchen design was the appliance work triangle. This refers to the arrangement of the refrigerator, sink, and stove.
With the increasing use of microwaves, many people now refer to this as the work diamond. The majority of cooking activities entails moving easily back and forth among these three or four kitchen staples.
3. Choose the best design style to complement your lifestyle and your kitchen
The final element in good kitchen design is essentially aesthetic. Choosing the right colors, finishes, and textures is essential to creating a space in which people will enjoy living.
Keep in mind that the fewer years you plan to live in the house, the more important it is for you to choose popular aesthetic options that will enhance the resale value when you sell your home.
Kitchen Design Budget
Even an extremely modest kitchen remodeling project will cost $8,000 on the low end. On average, kitchen remodeling can cost about $22,000.
If the project is not designed well, much of that money may be wasted. Pulling together all the elements, working around all the existing limitations, addressing technical issues like plumbing and electrical wiring, and making product and material selections add up to a complex equation.
It’s best to work with professional kitchen designers who deal with these issues daily. Pros will often come up with creative solutions that you may not have considered. With the increased demands we place on our kitchens, it’s very important to make the best use of all available space. Whether enlarging the house, taking room from a closet, eliminating a hallway, rearranging cabinets and appliances, or any number of other options, a pro is more likely to see the best solution and know how to achieve it.
One trend in kitchens that has grown over the years is increasing the size. In most homes, there isn’t a lot of unused nearby space in which to expand the kitchen. This, as well as cost considerations, often cause homeowners to rule out moving walls.
Size is important to have a functionally up-to-date kitchen, and many kitchens of yesteryear were designed as tiny spaces. Nevertheless, there are almost always affordable ways to add square footage.
Many people eliminate their under-used formal dining room or living room. Others incorporate the space once allocated to a pantry, entryway or back porch. Sometimes a hall can be eliminated or moved to open up more space.
As a last resort, you can always consider extending the kitchen with an addition. Sometimes, doing so opens up the opportunity to enhance other parts of the home and create a great room, like a library or master bedroom suite.