Choose Your Sink First During Kitchen Remodel
Kitchen designers will start planning your kitchen remodel by reviewing photos you like to get an overall idea of what you want the new kitchen to look like. But designing a kitchen is more than picking pretty tile patterns or fabulous cabinet finishes.
The number of products that go into a new kitchen can be overwhelming, and to make all these decisions at once can be too much for some people. Having to make so many decisions can be paralyzing. They obsess about picking the wrong appliances or cabinet finish color and how the wrong decision will ruin their new kitchen. Their indecisiveness makes it difficult to focus on other important aspects of the job.
For other homeowners considering a kitchen remodel, making the selections for their new kitchen makes them feel like a kid in a candy store. They like everything and can’t stay focused on what’s the right choice for the overall design.
Sequence of Decisions – What Comes First?
An experienced kitchen designer guides the decision-making process. He or she understands the importance of keeping the sequence of decisions on track because one hold-up can affect the entire project.
The sequence in which product selections should be made is a logical series of steps. One decision influences the next, and then that decision influences the one that comes after, and so on.
So what comes first – cabinet finish? Tile pattern? Countertops? Let’s start at the beginning.
Appliances, Sinks and Lighting
Appliances and sinks should be decided on during the preliminary design phase, so the plans can take into account the sizes and dimensions, which will, in turn, affect the cabinet layout.
Most kitchen designers have a favorite appliance store they will recommend. Both store personnel and designer have worked together before, and each knows what is needed at this stage. It’s critical that the designer gets the information about your appliance selections before they can proceed with your new kitchen lay out.
You will select your appliances in terms of manufacturer, model number, size and the finish you like. You might be surprised to see that stainless steel isn’t the only finish option. Black stainless has become popular, and there are many other options, such as vintage finishes and enamel colors. Choices like this can determine the overall look and vibe of your kitchen.
The type and number of lighting fixtures should be selected at the beginning of the design process as well. You will have to decide on can lights, semi-flush mounted lights, how many pendants over the island and so on, in order to complete the lighting plan that your contractor will use to gather estimates.
Also, the decision on how many pendants to use affects how many junction boxes you need on the ceiling — and that decision needs to be made before plans get approved for permits and before the contractor closes up the drywall after rough electrical is done.
Note: You don’t have to pick the style of hanging pendants you want now, but the number is needed to get accurate quotes. With regard to sinks – this is the time to decide whether you want a prep sink in addition to the main sink. At this planning stage, you don’t have to decide on sink style or material, only the number of sinks and their sizes.
Cabinets, Countertops and Tile
Rather than selecting the cabinet wood specie, finish color and door style and then picking countertops and tile, you can work with your kitchen designer to assemble an overall color scheme of materials for your new kitchen. Your designer will help you lay each of the items beside each other and create collages of patterns, textures and colors to see what works best together. And what you like, of course.
If you tell your designer you want a white kitchen, you most likely mean you want white cabinets. But does that also mean you want white countertops and white subway tiles? There are many shades and variations of white available and how you mix and match those whites with other parts of your new kitchen will make a huge impact on what the overall kitchen will look like.
Tip: Your kitchen designer can order samples of all the materials you’re considering, and she can get a door sample with your style and finish for final approval. Some designers will go to the stone yard with you and help you with your choice and tag the actual slab you choose for your countertops. (If this is important to you, determine at the outset if that service is provided.) Your designer will order a sample of tile for your backsplash. All these extra steps will cut down on costly mistakes.
Using decorative tile in the kitchen is a great way to express your personality and style, but tile is a permanent decision; once it’s up, it’s expensive to change. Together with your designer, you can compare and study colors and patterns. Look at what you are considering alongside photos and samples to be absolutely sure you’re making the right choices.
Choosing the floor material and color can also create a decision-making challenge.
Are you keeping your original wood floors and plan to refinish them in the kitchen only? Or are you getting new wood floors to match the old? A “perfect match” can be difficult to achieve. The natural patina caused by aging and wear and tear of an old floor is nearly impossible to match. Companies offering reclaimed wood floors can make matching somewhat easier. Even if you’re not trying to match new to old, be sure to test all stains you are considering.
If you’re doing tile or stone floors, your designer will probably tell you to pick those materials at the same time as the cabinets, backsplash and countertops. That way all materials will work together in your new kitchen will impact the overall finished space.
Once you’ve decided on all the items that make up the collage of materials for your kitchen, it’s time to look at paint colors. Paint colors are tricky to decide on. You want to evaluate paint swatches in the new kitchen without anything that will influence how your finished walls will look, like the harsh light coming from work lights.
When looking at your paint swatches, your walls should be primed white. Any amount of color in the room can throw off the new wall color sample tests. You’ll probably want to go with a neutral color, and these days, neutrals can be any color versatile enough to be used as a background that goes with your other selections. Shades of white, cream, beige and gray are considered neutrals.
Tip: When looking at paint chips, pick your wall color, then go up or down two rows on the sample chip to find a trim color. The trim color will give you some definition without any upsetting contrasts.
Choosing the materials and finishes for a new kitchen can be overwhelming and seem daunting. An experienced kitchen designer, such as one recommended by Kitchen Design Partner, can—and will–ease you through the various phases and make the entire process flow smoothly.
When you see your new kitchen and view the results of your efforts, the pain of making all those decisions will be forgotten.
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.