It will be officially spring in a few days and it’s the perfect time to tackle your kitchen renovation project head on. If you’ve been procrastinating, no more stalling. Get motivated, step up, and move on it. Take it one step at a time because it’s no small feat. There’s definitely lots of things to consider when going through a remodel and it can be intimidating. So, where to start? I recommend first browsing kitchen images on Houzz, Pinterest, in magazines, or at showrooms and create an ideabook of designs that appeal to you. Make a note of what you like about the kitchens such as countertop design or cabinetry, colors, trims, hardware, floors, lights, etc… Once you have created an ideabook, (which likely includes thousands of images), think hard about your budget. Be realistic about what you can afford versus what is “nice to have”. Consider your layout and definitely don’t forget about lighting. Most people don’t include lighting in their budget, but lighting is really important. Go through your ideabook again. Keep the kitchen images that you think would work realistically with your budget and get rid of the others. This will narrow down all the endless options to keep you grounded, clear, and sane! Once you finalize your ideabook, you’ll be feeling inspired, motivated, and excited to get started on your kitchen renovation. As mentioned above, here are my top 3 tips for designing your kitchen that I hope you will find helpful.
It’s important to come up with a budget when designing your kitchen because there a lot of line items to consider and everything adds up. If you aren’t careful, before you know it, your budget has ballooned. So, be really clear about what you can afford. However, don’t forget to factor in 10-25% overage for unforeseen issues because there will always be something unexpected that comes up that you won’t anticipate or account for. If your money is tight, prioritize what is most important to you. If you enjoy cooking, then splurge on a nice stove and cut back on higher end cabinets or hardware. If you don’t cook very often, then allocate more of your budget towards a chic countertop and less on appliances.
Consider the layout. Does the existing work triangle between stove, sink, and fridge work for you? Do you want an island or a peninsula? Anytime you run new plumbing lines, it will add significantly to your budget so keep this in mind. If you are OK with the sink and stove in it’s current location, then keep it there and splurge on nicer appliances, cabinets, or lighting. If lighting is more a priority to you because your kitchen doesn’t get a lot of natural light, allocate more of your budget towards a better lighting plan versus changing the existing work triangle layout.
Speaking of lighting, electrical code requirements are constantly changing all the time, especially in California, so I recommend high efficacy lights such as LED recessed lights for general illumination, LED undercabinet lights for task lighting, and LED pendant lights for decorative accent lights. By covering all three layers of light – ambient, accent, and task lighting, you will be enhancing your kitchen’s visual appeal. Put all lights on dimmer switches and stick to cooler bulb color temperatures such as 3000K. If you have white kitchen cabinets and a warmer bulb color such as 2700K, your kitchen cabinets will start to look orange when the recessed lights are on and you wouldn’t want that!
If you are still overwhelmed and need guidance, contact a professional interior designer like myself to help consult you on your design project! An interior designer can help you transform your vision into reality.