Kitchen Remodeling Choices You Won’t Regret
We know it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of choosing the latest trends for your new remodeled kitchen. It’s equally as easy to be filled with remorse by fad-driven design choices a few years later. Let us guide you through kitchen remodeling choices you won’t regret.
You’re probably only going to remodel your kitchen one time. After all, a complete kitchen renovation has a national median cost of $68,000, according to the “Remodeling Impact Report” from the National Association of Realtors®. With that much of an investment, you want to make the right choices.
Let’s take a look at some kitchen features that will provide lasting enjoyment and keep their functionality, beauty and value.
Contemporary But Not Cold
The overall design of your new kitchen is a good place to start when talking about kitchen remodeling decisions you won’t regret. Gone are the corbels, onlays, distressed finishes and heavy moldings of 20 years ago. They were definitely a fad that was destined to disappear. But you don’t want to go to the opposite extreme either and get a kitchen that resembles a doctor’s office.
So that you won’t regret your choices, try for a look that is a balance between traditional and modern. Transitional design is traditional without being fussy, and modern without being stark. Simple cabinets, like Shaker, warm wood, neutral finishes and minimal ornamentation are transitional style hallmarks.
Open Floor Plan is a kitchen remodeling decision you won’t regret
Open kitchen layouts are ideal for interaction between the cook(s), family and guests. Today’s homeowners want to combine a casual lifestyle with family togetherness and easy entertaining.
More and more kitchens are incorporating dining rooms and family rooms into a unified open floor plan. Consequently, kitchen cabinets are looking more like fine furniture, and counters and islands are becoming dining tables.
Open layouts are here to stay. You won’t regret knocking down a wall when remodeling.
White cabinetry is beautiful, versatile and timeless. It works with any design style — including traditional, farmhouse and contemporary.
You won’t regret choosing white – it’s the most marketable color. You’ll find it at the top of the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s annual survey of most popular kitchen colors.
Why choose white? It
- Has been associated with happiness and purity
- Makes a small kitchens feel larger
- Is a standard color for any manufacturer, so you will find white cabinets, tile, counters, sinks and appliances at any price point
- Provides a neutral background for your personal touches
White kitchens will never go out of style. You’re more likely to regret choosing bold colors for your countertops, cabinets or appliances.
Hardwood for Flooring
Hardwood floors have kept kitchens warm and cozy for years and that won’t change anytime soon. More than half of home buyers who purchased a home without hardwood floors say they would have paid extra for them.
Hardwood flooring makes a home feel inviting. It
- Works perfectly with any kitchen style
- Unites the spaces in open floor plans.
- Is tough. Hardwoods can take a kitchen’s high-traffic use for years. Solid hardwood flooring can be refinished 10 to 12 times during it’s typical 100-year lifespan.
Designer Tip: Porcelain planks that look like wood are easier to maintain than solid hardwood. No waxing or re-finishing required.
Shaker Style for Cabinets is a kitchen remodeling decision you won’t regret
Shaker cabinets, with their clean, simple lines, are an all-American style that looks good in any setting. Their doors, with plain frame-and-recessed-panel design, is an important part of transitional style.
Shaker cabinets have been in-style for more than 100 years and that’s not going to change anytime soon. No regrets.
Quartz for Kitchen Countertops
Quartz countertops are the #1 most popular countertop material today. And for good reasons.
- Hot pots, veggie chopping and abrasive pads can’t damage quartz
- Unlike granite, it doesn’t need a special cleaner.
- No sealing required – it’s maintenance free
- It defies stains, mold, mildew, and bacteria.
- Quartz is versatile and pairs well with both light and dark colored cabinets
Man-made quartz is available in hundreds of colors and patterns, including marble look-alikes.
Quartz is pricey, but it is a choice you will not regret.
Subway Tile for the Backsplash
Subway tile really was used in New York subway tunnels in the early 1900s. Like Shaker cabinets, subway tiles are a part of the all-American design style.
As a backsplash, it will protect against moisture, it’s is easy to clean, lasts forever and always looks good. It’s versatile enough to work with many styles, and you probably won’t get sick of it in five years.
You can choose subway tiles for your backsplash without regret.
Designer Tip: Specify gray or beige grout to keep it from looking grubby.
Including universal design features in your remodeled kitchen guarantees accessibility and stay-in-your-home convenience for anyone in your family, no matter their age. A survey on kitchens from the American Institute of Architects reports on the growing popularity of ergonomic design, a sign that kitchen design-for-all is not going anywhere.
A few things to include in your remodeled kitchen to get you started thinking ergonomically:
- Create different countertop heights. Standard height is 36”, but you can raise or lower sections to accommodate the cooks’ different heights
- Include a wall oven. A person must bend to access the oven in a typical stove. But a wall oven can be installed at any height.
- Add roll-out shelves to base cabinets to bring contents out to you.
A kitchen trend you might regret is an over-the-range microwave. Installing the microwave over the stove has been standard kitchen practice for years. Home buyers are now using universal design principles in their new kitchens, and as a result, they want to keep as much as possible accessible for the entire family. The microwave can easily be installed in the island. Or substitute a microwave drawer instead.
Incorporating lots of built-int storage features will change the way you use your kitchen. You will never regret including lots of storage in your remodeled kitchen. Never.
Built-in storage helps keep your kitchen clutter-free. According to a Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, 75% of kitchen remodelers want to do away with clutter on their countertops and 66% want to be able to put their things away in its own place.
Pull-outs and roll-outs mean bottles aren’t lost in the back of the pantry anymore. Your kitchen designer will make sure every inch of available storage space gets used, including the toe kick space.
Designer Tip: A toe-kick drawer is a great place to keep placemats.
Extra deep drawers, especially by the range, make cooking and pots and pans storage easy. They’re more accessible than typical base cabinets and easy to work into a kitchen design. They’re also available with add-ons, like pegboard drawer organizers.
Cabinet manufacturers have answered homeowners’ demands for more and smarter storage. They now provide nearly unlimited storage options, such as shelves and compartments that unfold, turn, extend and slide. You can get specialized inserts for drawers that will organize your coffee pods. There’s a pull-out that conveniently stores your plastic contains and lids. If you don’t want a roll out for storing your pans and lids, there are options.
Something you might regret is installing a pot rack. Pot racks had their moment in kitchen design but placing a pot rack over the island, however, is no longer “in”. Choosing a kitchen design that’s sleek and minimalist will remain a safe choice for years to come.
Stainless Steel Sinks
A stainless steel sink may feel bland when compared with all the other options available today, but there’s a reason it’s a timeless favorite. It complements any type of design, from ultra-modern to farmhouse. Beyond its looks, it outperforms solid surfacing, acrylic, enameled steel, and cast iron when it comes to resisting stains, abrasions, high heat and sharp impacts, like from a dropped skillet.
You won’t regret choosing stainless steel for your sink.
Thanks to ever-improving technology, LED lighting has evolved past its former cold, clinical look. Now it’s used in every room throughout modern homes.
In the kitchen, LEDs can be used, for example, to light the area under cabinets in the toe-kick, light up the inside of drawers and cabinets when they’re opened, illuminate inside a hutch to show off collectibles. They can be attached to a motion sensor and turn on when someone enters a dark room. They’re excellent for task lighting areas where food prep is performed. They come in a variety of warm and cool shades with hues from the color spectrum. You can even get ones that change colors for a party room.
LEDs are more efficient and last longer than halogen and fluorescent bulbs. Now there’s something you might regret – choosing halogens instead of LEDs for your new kitchen.
Polished Silver Finishes
Kitchen finishes come and go, but polished silver is timeless and will be a favorite forever. You can find it in pretty much everything for the kitchen — appliances, stools, utensils and cookware. You can choose polished chrome or nickel hardware, faucets, shelf brackets and more for an attractive accent that endures.
You might regret it if you choose rose gold for your kitchen. It’s pretty, yes, but it’s definitely trendy.
A kitchen remodel is a serious, long-lasting, expensive project. You want to make the best choices to protect your investment and still get a kitchen that makes you happy. By choosing products that have timeless, proven value, you can be sure your kitchen will provide you with enjoyment and functionality for years to come.
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.