Remodeling the kitchen is a serious project, which requires a lot of preplanning and usually involves considerable investments. But any upgrade to the heart of your home means more joy and comfort for your family, so the effort is really worth it. And with these tips the whole process will be made easier.
Rough-In Works First
If you are planning any demolitions and rough-in work, make sure to do them first. So, tear out old cabinets and appliances, replace the plumbing and electrical installations, install new doors and windows, and THEN finish the walls. Doing it the other way around would lead to duplicated effort and will cost you both time and money. When the walls are done, hang the wall cabinets, install new lighting fixtures, and move on to putting down new flooring. Regardless of the flooring material, be extra careful when placing base cabinets and appliances to avoid scratches.
Make a Small Kitchen Look Larger
If knocking down walls is not an option, there are simple visual tricks that can help you make your tiny kitchen appear larger. Light shades add a spacious feel to small spaces, so you can never go wrong with an all-white kitchen. If you have a lot of windows and natural light to reflect on the white surfaces, the effect will be even stronger. The biggest problem in small kitchens is the lack of storage space. Floor-to-ceiling cabinets might solve this problem, but they also make the space look cramped. There are two options here. One is to opt for open shelves instead of wall cabinets. They open up the room and provide display space. The other option is to put frosted glass on the cabinets’ doors. The glass will also visually open the space, but hide the clutter.
Consider Current Layout
The biggest mistake most people make when remodeling their kitchens is that they stick to the existing kitchen footprint. Do not feel married to the traditional kitchen layout. The purpose of the remodeling process is to customize the space and make it more functional with regards to your own cooking routine. Ask yourself:
How much do you move around while cooking?
Is there anything that restricts your movement?
Can you easily reach the items you use the most?
Can more than one person cook at the same time?
Think carefully about every single detail, from the location of the sink to the direction in which the cabinet doors open, and see if there is anything you would change. Beware of bulky kitchen islands. They have become a sort of a commonplace in all kitchens, although they are not always an ideal solution. A peninsula does the same work, but takes up less space. It can also serve as a room divider, if you want to separate the kitchen from the dining room.
If you plan on selling the house any time soon, then sticking to a more universal layout will work better.
New kitchen appliances are perhaps the biggest investment, but if you have already decided to replace them, add a few extra bucks and buy energy-efficient ones. They might cost more initially, but the savings on the utility bills will quickly make up for that initial difference in price. For a start, switch to an Energy Star-certified refrigerator and a water-saving dishwasher, since these are the biggest energy savers.
Refreshing on a Budget
If you do not want to break the bank, you can still freshen up your kitchen for a few hundred dollars and in a few hours of work. Just by changing cabinet handles and knobs, you can make a huge difference. Add a fresh coat of paint and your old cabinets will look as good as new. Replace the old faucets for the same effect. Or provoke interest with a classic white backsplash made of subway tiles arranged in a herringbone pattern.
**Lana Hawkins is an architecture student from Sydney. She enjoys writing about interior decoration and renovation, which she does regularly for Smooth Decorator. Lana is interested in sustainability and green building, as well as landscaping.