Today’s guest blog post comes from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). To learn more about them, please visit their website at www.nari.org.
A kitchen is a place for gathering and expressing culinary creativity. Does your kitchen inspire, or is it in desperate need of a refresh? When considering a kitchen remodel or update, the first step is knowing your personality and personal style. What colors inspire you? Do you like big, bold patterns or more neutral, soothing patterns? How much time does your family spend in the kitchen? Do you cook meals often? How much storage do you need? A redesign is a chance to build a dream kitchen that reflects your personal style, lifestyle and family values.
Before beginning the remodeling process, ask yourself the following:
- How is your kitchen used? Do you prepare meals for your family? Are you a gourmet cook? Do you cook and entertain?
- What is your personal style?
- How much time do you spend in the kitchen? Do you gather at the kitchen table for things other than meals such as family game night?
- How much seating do you require? Would an island be beneficial to add additional counter space and seating options?
- Do you have enough storage space to avoid cluttered countertops?
- How does your kitchen make you feel? Energized, anxious, happy, inspired or depressed? What emotion describes the way you feel when spending time in your kitchen?
I’ve helped many families remodel their spaces over the years, and when my husband and I decided to remodel our kitchen a few years back, I thought long and hard about my personal style and the feel I wanted to achieve in our new kitchen. Even though my husband and I have been in the business for many years and have designed and remodeled many kitchens, it took us a while to determine the right style for our home.
Thinking back on some of my favorite kitchen remodels we’ve created for clients, I thought of one that I love and wanted to replicate in my own kitchen. As we headed down that path and I realized, that kitchen was perfect in that house, for that family. Although I truly loved the overall look, I realized it wasn’t my style. We went back to the drawing board, considered the questions listed above and were able to build our dream kitchen that is a perfect reflection of our needs and personal style.
I’ve spent time in many kitchens while remodeling them, which helped me get a good feel for what I like and what is important to me in a kitchen. For others, my biggest advice is don’t rush the process. Spend time in other kitchens and showrooms. When you’re there, take notice of cabinet styles, floor plan layouts, lighting, patterns and colors. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in that space preparing meals for your family or reading the newspaper before work.
Next I recommend leaning on professionals for their expertise. Kitchen designers know about the cooking triangle, appropriate cabinet heights, depths, etc. - so rely on them for those things. Is a non-essential wall getting in the way of you and your dream kitchen? Experts can help you determine which walls can be removed to create a more open kitchen space with more design possibilities.
What is your current kitchen lacking? Beyond new cabinets or appliances, what are you missing that could really expand the functionality of your kitchen and allow you to use the space more? Do you want a bar attached, a coffee bar, a place to read the paper, watch TV while you cook, a place for kids to do homework while you cook, a place for entertaining? These are important things to consider and will ultimately shape your kitchen’s layout and features.
If you are creating a kitchen for entertaining, make a pathway for the cook that is separate from where the guests will gather. If you often cook for large groups or love to host dinner parties, consider having two sinks. If you have enough space, and if it makes sense with your layout, having two sinks will help cut down on clutter and make cleanup more manageable. Also, if budget allows, splurge on something that will make the space feel special. A built-in gourmet coffee maker would be a coffee aficionado’s dream. Whether it’s a walk-in pantry, built-in wine rack or indoor pizza oven, special touches go a long way in helping your kitchen reflect your family’s values and personality.
Finally, consider picking colors, patterns and textures that fit your personality. If you are an extrovert, you may gravitate towards things with bright colors and patterns that pop. If you are an introvert, you may prefer more calm soothing textures and tones.
There are so many factors to consider when embarking upon a kitchen remodel. Just reading this blog post is a step in the right direction. I hope you are now more empowered to make important renovation decisions and consider how design aesthetic is truly a reflection of your personality. I urge you to continue to do research, tour as many kitchens as possible and determine what budget and contractor can help you imagine and create the kitchen of your dreams.
Judy Transue currently serves as Managing Partner and Business Director for CHC Design-Build, based in Lenexa, Kansas. She is one of only a few female NARI Certified Remodelers in the nation.