A New Kitchen: Getting Started
The kitchen was once a room with only one purpose — meal preparation. Today, kitchens have been transformed into the heart of the home. They’re a place to cook, a place for family to come together at the end of the day, a place to entertain friends, a place for holiday meals with extended family and friends.
In big kitchens, specific work zones are designated for organizing different functions: cooking, clean-up, eating, entertaining, paying bills, doing homework, storing wine – and more. Even a galley-style kitchen can work in today’s most popular trend where the kitchen is an open to and an integral part of the combined living / dining / family area.
A new kitchen should be more than just a space to cook in; it is about improving the quality of your at-home life. You may have dreamed about a new kitchen with beautiful Carrera marble countertops, but is marble really practical for your busy and active family? If you’re going to rush in with a cleaning cloth every time a drop of red wine or lime juice spills during a girls’ margarita party, you’re going to start hating it. There are many attractive, more durable and manmade materials. You may be happier with one of those in the long run.
Isn’t the kitchen the first place your children run to when they come home from school – for a snack, to tell you about their day, to do homework? And when you host a party, don’t your guests end up in the kitchen? Do you find cooking to be relaxing? Do you and your partner enjoy preparing a meal together? Shouldn’t your kitchen be “your happy place”?
That’s the reason most people want a new kitchen – to create a space that’s at the center of their lives, one that’s functional, efficient, stylish and makes them smile when they walk in the room.
Most anything goes these days. How a kitchen looks has become more diverse, with no single look, material or color a “must-have”. The days of all dark or light wood kitchens are over. Homeowners are even moving away from the style of white painted cabinets and granite countertops.
Of course, the kitchen work triangle remains the essential core of an efficient kitchen design, but how the cabinets, floors, backsplash, lighting, appliances and countertops look – well, that’s all up to you.
What to Consider
Start by asking yourself this question: “what do I do most in the kitchen?” How you use your kitchen can be a good starting point for your design choices, from adding an island to where you’ll hide your trash cans.
Think about making your kitchen energy efficient, as well as incorporating elements of universal design, so that you can stay in place as you age. You’re the one who is going to live in this space, and with proper planning, you can enjoy it for a long time.
Do Your Homework
A piece of advice from the professionals: do your homework before you do anything. The costs involved to purchase appliances, cabinets, flooring, lighting, countertops and the labor to make your dream kitchen a reality can be overwhelming.
According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, cabinetry is the biggest high-ticket item to prepare for in your budget, followed by:
- Lighting, plumbing, doors and windows, walls and ceilings
Remodeling Magazine does a cost-vs-value analysis every year for home remodeling projects. Their report for 2019 shows that the average national cost for a midrange kitchen remodel is $66,000, and that is up from last year. For an upscale kitchen remodel, the national average cost is $131,000, and that cost is also up from last year.
Of course, this average cost for a kitchen renovation depends on many factors — including the size of the kitchen, the quality of the materials and the complexity of the job.
Go online and to the big box stores to educate yourself about the latest appliances, materials, cabinetry, countertops, flooring, lighting, backsplashes – what’s available and what items cost.
The pros at Kitchen Design Partner are here to guide you.
Think of Kitchen Design Partner as your resource for all things relating to kitchen remodeling. We have the experience and expertise to not only match you with the best possible kitchen designer for your project, we also have a library of resources at your disposal.
Where to Start?
So many choices can be overwhelming. Where do you start?
- Make lists of what you love and don’t love about your current kitchen
- Visit friends’ remodeled kitchens and hear their stories about the remodel process
- Visit showrooms and/or home improvement centers and ask questions about price, durability and functionality
- Take notes, lots of notes
- Search the web for resources and bookmark products and materials that appeal to you
- Take screen shots when you see a layout or cabinets or a sink that you like and save them to show to your designer
- Sign up with a site that lets you share using the cloud, like Pinterest or Houzz, where you can save photos of design elements that inspire you
- Research some of your favorite possibilities, price them out, put them all on your wish list. Then start cutting back if your budget isn’t enough. Most homeowners must pare down once the quotes come in.
Why a Kitchen Designer?
A kitchen designer will show you samples and explain the many choices available, which ones will work best in your space, and how to stretch your budget to get as many items on your wish list as possible. He or she has the experience and know-how to get you the kitchen you want with all the storage and good looks your budget allow.
That’s why we’re here. Kitchen Design Partner will match you with the best kitchen designer for your project.
We invite you to browse through the library of articles we’ve compiled to help you with your decision-making process. We also have “Before-And-After” Case Studies that have been submitted by our talented designers to illustrate their design expertise.
Seeing how homeowners, just like you, benefitted from a kitchen remodel and improved their homes can give you the inspiration you need to make your kitchen remodel project the kitchen you’ve always wanted.
KDP exists to offer insight and advice about all things related to kitchen remodeling. Our goal is to connect homeowners with talented, experienced kitchen designers who live and work in their communities. We are a serious resource for anyone preparing to remodel their kitchen so they can make the best possible choices about designers, contractors and products.