Planning a kitchen remodel? As the president of Elegant Cabinets, I know that getting started in this process can be a very exciting time and most folks can’t wait to start leafing through design magazines and collecting images of their favorite kitchen designs. But before you dive into the dazzling world of aesthetic options, you’ll want to have a good understanding of what your needs are regarding the functionality of your new kitchen. By answering the questions below, you’ll avoid some of the common mistakes people make by neglecting to have a firm understanding of this first. It’s just so easy to get distracted by the myriad of amazing choices you’ll be making, especially when working with designers and contractors. After all, a kitchen remodel is often the biggest investment a family can make into a home, so you’ll want to make sure you get the most out of your work!
One of the first questions you’ll want to ask before starting a kitchen remodel is, “How do I want to use my kitchen?” Well, of course, you’re going to cook there! But how will you cook? Are you a budding chef who will spend a lot of time cooking and cleaning up after making your three-course masterpieces? You’ll need a stove top and maybe two sinks, which will affect the flow of the kitchen and you’ll need to take this into account. If this is your style, you’ll likely do some entertaining as well, so maybe a kitchen island is something that is non-negotiable for you. That way your guests can enjoy wine, hors d’oeuvres, and conversation while you cook. If you’re more into convenience and simplicity and maybe prefer cooking to be a private affair, then a smaller kitchen with a tighter workspace may be just fine for you and the extra space can be allocated for a purpose better suited to your personal style of living.
Which brings us to the question, “How many people will likely be using the kitchen at the same time?” The answer to this question will help you and/or your designer create a layout with an optimal workflow for your kitchen. If you have a large family who often all prepare separate meals at the same time, you’ll need space for everybody to cook and clean up independently without stepping on each other’s toes. Maybe you’re single and you love to have friends over for cocktails. A custom bar with an ice machine and a built in wine rack might right up your alley!
One of the very important questions to ask before starting a kitchen remodel is, “What do I typically cook?” I know this sounds strange, but this has a big impact on how your kitchen layout should be arranged to maximize your space. If you have a busy family that eats a lot of prepared foods, chances are you’ll need a lot of fridge and freezer space and a large amount of pantry storage with tight shelving. If you typically stick to fresh foods, you will likely need less dry goods storage but maybe two deep stainless sinks and an island chopping block for washing and prepping. Maybe now is the time to install that garden window you’ve been dreaming of so that you can grow herbs indoors year-round! If you’re an avid baker, you’ll need storage for your appliances and proper workstations for your craft. Maybe you’d prefer marble countertops and would like to consider a built-in extendable stand-mixer shelf that folds down behind a cabinet door once you’re done baking. If most of your cooking is done on the stovetop with high-heat, maybe an overhead range hood would be a valuable addition as opposed to a downdraft vent.
Which brings us to our next question, “How do I feel about countertop appliances?” Consider what appliances you have and how often you will use them. Which appliances will be stationed on your countertops? Answering this question will help you and/or your designer determine how much countertop space you will need to designate for them. Then you’ll need to take into consideration how much storage you will need for the appliances that you would like to be stored out of sight. In many cases, the dimensions of the appliances will need to be considered, too.
Lastly, ask yourself, “Where will I dine?” Some prefer to have the dining table in the actual kitchen area in place of an island, some prefer an open concept design with a separate dining area but with no wall between the two spaces. If you’re dining area has access to the outdoors, consider how the two spaces relate to each other. Maybe now is a good time to upgrade the windows or install some patio doors or even a reclaimed sliding barn door! Of course, you’ll want to consider how many people will typically be dining together to help you come up with the best layout here. If you have a large family and you entertain often, maybe you’ll need two dining areas, like a kitchen island and an open concept dining area. Or maybe your family unit is small, say one or two people and a separate dining area is a bit much. A simple dining nook might be all you need, perhaps tucked into one end of a kitchen island or maybe you’d like to consider a banquette with cozy cushions.
A good kitchen should fit you like a glove. Not just the style, but the function as well. So start with what you need the kitchen to do for you and then enjoy the process of choosing your kitchen’s look. At Elegant Cabinets, we are experts at combining form and function, so you never have to feel you are compromising one for the other. Let Elegant Cabinets help you achieve your very best kitchen.
Give us a call at 920-499-4444 and we’ll walk with you from start to finish.