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10 Kitchen Remodeling Tips Every Homeowner Needs to Consider

November 13, 2018

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A kitchen remodeling job is a significant undertaking for any homeowner and is often one of the most expensive renovation projects you might plan. However, renovating a kitchen can also be the most profitable project in terms of increasing your home's value, and a new kitchen can mean a more welcoming and usable space for your family. To ensure your kitchen renovation offers the results you expect and that you're happy with your new workspace for many years to come, note 10 tips every homeowner should consider before their project begins:

1. Be cautious about kitchen remodeling trends

New trends in kitchen design can offer exciting kitchen remodel ideas for a space you'll love for years to come; for example, granite countertops were once a trend, but have since become one of the most popular surface materials for kitchens. Poured concrete is also a somewhat new trend in kitchen surfaces, but this material is also likely to stay popular for years, as concrete can be buffed to a high gloss or painted any color, and is very eco-friendly, hygienic, and easy to clean.

However, some trends in kitchen remodeling can get tiresome very quickly. Bold and eclectic colors for appliances and cabinets, oversized appliances that offer far more interior space than you need, and too many open shelves can soon look tiresome or wind up being a waste of your renovation budget.

2. Remember to leave some room!

While it's good to consider including everything you've ever wanted in a kitchen to your current remodeling plans, you also want to avoid overcrowding your kitchen. Note a few tips on leaving some room in your new space, which might also ensure you don’t go beyond your expected or average kitchen remodel cost:

    • Be sure that all cupboard and appliance doors can open fully, without scraping walls, bumping into other cabinets or appliances, or cutting off foot traffic and doorways.
    • Ensure that all the kitchen drawers can open fully, without bumping into an adjacent appliance handle or other obstruction. If you can't open a drawer all the way, you won't be able to access items in the back of that drawer!
    • Be sure that you have enough workspace around the sink and next to the stove, rather than assuming a large center island will provide all the food prep space you need. You want to avoid having to continually move food from the island to the stove or sink so that you don't risk so many spills and stains.

    • If more than one person tends to use the kitchen at once, make sure your new center island and other such features leave enough floor space for everyone! Separate workspaces, such as a center island and a countertop surface that are both usable for food prep, can keep the kitchen from getting crowded when more than one cook is working.


3. Add some power points

Nothing is more frustrating in the kitchen than having to move a small appliance from one counter to another just because you're out of available outlets. Stretching cords over the sink or getting them too close to the stovetop can also be downright hazardous.

When renovating a kitchen, add some power points. New outlets can be added to the walls as well as along the side of open cabinets or the center island. Popup sockets are also a great choice. A popup socket is a tower of plugs that recesses back into the countertop when not in use, so it won't disrupt the look of your kitchen while still providing convenient power points even along long spans of counter space.

4. Include hidden and flexible storage

Everyone's needs for storage in the kitchen will be different, so planning a renovation gives you a chance to add hidden and flexible storage that works for you in particular. Discuss a few of the following options with your builder when creating the plans for your kitchen remodeling project:

    • Adjustable shelving inside your cabinets will allow you to move those shelves up and down according to whatever it is you want to store in those cabinets.
    • Rather than a false drawer in front of the sink, add a hinged shelf that can hold sponges, gloves, and other dishwashing needs. These shelves can also house small tools and utensils you need in the kitchen.
    • If you use lots of handheld tools and utensils, have a deep drawer installed in place of a lower cabinet, and line the drawer with compartments that allow you to store those tools on their end. This arrangement keeps those utensils more organized and accessible than storing them in a standard shallow drawer.
    • Deep drawers can also be used to house containers in which you keep bulk food items. It's easier to access bulk items when they're in containers in drawers you can slide out, versus having to pull heavy bins out of overhead cabinets or retrieve them from the back of lower cupboards.

    • A hinged, fold-down shelf installed along the bottom of an upper cabinet can hold chef's knives and other flat tools and utensils. A magnetic strip along the shelf can help to keep the blades of the knives in place.

kitchen lighting

5. Incorporate adequate and attractive lighting

When planning your kitchen remodel, you might be eager to add an overhead pot rack, but note if this feature would interfere with adequate lighting for food prep, reading a cookbook, and cooking itself. Remember that your kitchen's lighting should extend to every corner of the kitchen so that you can see inside of cabinets and also easily find outlets, tools in a drawer, and so on.

It's also good to choose attractive lighting for your new kitchen, rather than settling for a standard fluorescent fixture. You may not think the overhead lighting fixture is that important for your new space, but a new kitchen that is topped off with a generic lighting fixture can quickly go from beautiful to downright bland and dull. At the same time, an eclectic or bold lighting fixture can make your kitchen more unique and stylish, and add to its overall charm.

6. The flooring size and shape are essential!

When choosing new flooring tiles or timber-look slats for your kitchen remodel, remember that the size of each piece and their direction can make a significant impact on the overall appearance of the space. Large tiles might overpower a small kitchen, and wide timber-look slats can seem a bit rustic. Small tiles and thin slats can look more modern, but can also seem busy and cluttered in a large kitchen.

Installing tiles and slats on an angle can also make a small floor look choppy and cluttered, whereas putting down long, narrow slats will add length or width to the room. Note, too, that dark grout lines might not hide dirt as you assume. Dark grout against lightly colored tile and white cabinets can look dirty itself, so choose your tiles and slats very carefully and ask for the help of a designer if you're not sure the right choice for your new space.

7. Invest now to save money later

Investing money in quality features and surfaces and incorporating these into your kitchen remodel ideas can save you money over time. Note a few suggestions that are worth whatever they might add to your kitchen remodel cost:

    • Choosing energy-efficient appliances, as well as a refrigerator with zone control and a dishwasher with lots of wash cycles, can mean spending less money on water and electricity over time.
    • Track lighting and pot lights that can be shut off individually also allow you to save power and money.
    • A poured concrete floor or stone flooring can stay cooler than linoleum, laminate, and other such flooring choices. Choosing a flooring surface that remains cool can keep your entire home cooler when you're using the kitchen, so your air conditioner cycles on less often.

    • High-quality stone countertops might be more expensive than laminate and other such surfaces, but these materials usually last far longer than cheaper options so that you can save money on repairs and replacement over the lifetime of home ownership.

8. Don't forget the rubbish bins

Rubbish and recycling bins are probably last on your mind when planning a kitchen remodeling project, but if you ensure you include these in your plans, you won't need to find a place for unsightly trash cans in your beautiful new kitchen. To incorporate rubbish bins, consider a few suggestions for including them in your kitchen remodel ideas:

    • You might assume that you should locate trash bins in a far end of the kitchen, but you don't walk to walk all the way across your beautiful new floor to toss things into the rubbish! Keep bins close to where you prep food so they're easy to reach.
    • Ensure you can access those bins easily. Having to open a cabinet when you're holding a stack of rubbish or your hands are covered in food debris can be very cumbersome. Consider drawers and doors you kick or nudge with a hip to open so you can keep your hands free while accessing the rubbish.

    • Make room for rubbish bins that will help you organize your recycling and compost your food waste. Choose those bins first before you work them into the kitchen design; rolling bins can make taking rubbish outside easier, as an example, but you'll need room in a cupboard or lower drawer for those wheels or size of bins you want for your household rubbish.

9. Add some style

A kitchen needs to be functional and offer the necessary space for food prep, cooking, and storage, but this space should also be stylish and downright stunning! Avoid having too many white or overly light surfaces. If you opt for white cabinets and stainless steel appliances, opt for a warmer shade of stone for the countertops. Painting one accent wall a bold color can also make the space uniquely your own.

Oversized hardware, including cabinet door handles and drawer pulls, can bring in some warmth and a metallic element that livens up the kitchen space. If there is a window in the kitchen, incorporate a bold window treatment into your new design; this can be a dark bamboo shade or a brightly patterned curtain, rather than plain and dull blinds.

10. Opt for neutral items that work for years

Homeowners should plan on renovating or at least making some significant changes to their kitchen every five to ten years, on average. To avoid having to go through a full tear-out and face unnecessary kitchen remodel costs each time you make those changes to the space, opt for neutral, quality items that will work for many years to come.

For example, durable stone countertops and flooring can last some ten years or even longer. Investing in those materials now can mean that your next kitchen remodeling project might only require new cabinets and appliances. Choosing quality materials for all your kitchen's features and surfaces can mean putting off your next remodel for a few more years, or having only to replace certain elements and surfaces rather than having to tear out your entire kitchen!

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