There are many elements in kitchen remodeling to consider. Your budget will determine how much you can do. Your home may have a good working space, but might be unattractive. This may be your once-in-a-lifetime chance to create the ultimate gourmet kitchen.
If your idea of cooking is warming something in the microwave, you’re not alone, and you may want to dedicate more of your funds to the look of your space.
The cabinets in a kitchen are like the furniture of the room. The style of cabinets sets the style for the whole room. Because most kitchens are an extension of the rest of the living space, they should reflect the style of the rest of the home. Whether they’re of natural wood, stained, or have a painted finish, the cabinets will be a decorative focal point for years to come.
Storage space is often at a premium in the kitchen, and a remodeling project should consider what would make the kitchen most efficient. Large, deep drawers make it easy to find and grab pans. These drawers or shelves can be made precisely to the size of certain pots or pans you may have. Pullout shelves or rollouts offer easy access. An island in the center of a large space provides added storage and workspace. Drawer dividers help to keep utensils in place. These elements should all be part of the kitchen plan.
Kitchen Cabinet Styles
What style you select for your new kitchen cabinets depends on what look and feel you want to create. White or off-white kitchen cabinets such as antique white, bone and linen can create everything from a country to contemporary style kitchen. Sometimes just matching the decor of the rest of the home is your main concern, which helps to make decisions pretty easy. You just select a complimentary stain and the door style for your kitchen cabinets!
Usually, kitchen cabinet styles are just a matter of taste. The cabinet door design itself usually does not have to dictate the theme you choose. Accessories like color, wallpaper, paint, and decorations will usually carry off the theme on their own. In other words, let your own tastes be your guide unless you are trying to imitate or copy a specific style or theme of a favorite decorator.
Choosing kitchen countertops can be fun or it can be perplexing. The familiar laminate countertops that have been the industry standard for decades are what a lot of people choose to save money, but there are also a number of solid core, stone, and butcher-block styles to choose from. How do you know which one is right for you? That depends on what your needs are.
The typical laminate countertops these days are up to 400% more durable than they were before 1998. They are more resistant to scratching, scuffing and burning. They also come in a large variety of colors, textures, and patterns. There are three types of finished looks, which are gloss, semi-gloss or satin and textured.
Gloss finish is very shiny. With great success, it can mimic stone-like polished granite or marble on your kitchen cabinets. Though more durable than in the past, it is the finish that is most prone to scratching and scuffing. It can also show wipe marks more often. So, using this finish above your kitchen cabinets in front of a window with strong light is not usually a good idea. Using a light color will help hide wipe marks and smudges. Although the gloss finish is more revealing of marks, it has a very sharp and rich look.
Semi-gloss or satin finishes on your countertops are more durable and easier to keep clean because they don’t show wipe marks as easily and are more resistant to scratching and scuffing. This finish is the most popular for today’s kitchen cabinets. Expect to get many years of service out of a laminate counter with this finish on your kitchen cabinet countertops.
Textured finishes on your countertops can add lots of interest but are harder to clean if the texture is very deep. In a deep texture, dirt and grime can settle into the bottom of the grooves, wrinkles or patterns can be a nuisance to clean. Another problem in high use areas is the tendency to wear on the high spots on the texture. This finish on your kitchen cabinets countertops works best in a low light, warm setting like bars and game rooms.
Solid Core/Surface Countertops
Solid core or solid surface countertops like Corian are used mainly where you want to eliminate any visible seams in your tops. They are as durable or more durable than laminate kitchen countertops but lack the obvious seam line that laminate kitchen cabinets counters inherently have. Expect to pay more for this countertop material.
Stone countertops like granite, marble, or Silestone usually are your most expensive but most durable. Nothing matches up to the beauty of your tops like granite, marble, or Silestone on your kitchen cabinets. The most important aspect of stone is the installation and finishing.
Add an Island to Maximize the Kitchen
Ask most homeowners and they’ll tell you that there’s not enough countertop space on the kitchen cabinets, no matter how much or how little they have.
With a wide range of styles, accessories and trim moldings available today, it’s possible to create an island that will be just right for you and your family. If you are planning a kitchen remodel that will include an island, consider these tips:
- Most importantly, there should be sufficient space between the island and the other work surfaces (38-42″ is recommended) to allow for opening cabinet doors and for two people to work.
- Depending on your specific needs, the island can be located so it functions as an integral part of the work area. If can also serve as a divider between the kitchen and the family room.
- Adding an island permits a reconfiguration of the classic “work triangle” of the refrigerator, cooktop, and sink because it is an ideal place to relocate either the cooktop or the main sink, or to install a second sink as the focal point of a second work triangle.
- If the cooktop will be located on the island, with a wall oven elsewhere, consider pull out trays or drawers below the cooktop to store pots and pans. If the island will be a second workstation with a prep sink for cleaning veggies and the like, including a pullout wastebasket in the kitchen cabinets below might be a good idea.
- Be sure to plan for the mechanics necessary for locating the cooktop or sink in the center of the room. For the sink, you’ll need to supply the drain lines, and for the cook top, a ventilation system either an overhead unit or a downdraft model. Both the plumbing and the downdraft unit will require breaking through the floor.
- If your island will separate the kitchen and family room, it can become a multipurpose unit that shows a different face to the family room. The use of shallow, glass-fronted doors can be used as display space, while the kitchen side uses standard-depth base kitchen cabinets for storing pots and pans. The generous countertop is ideal for staging a buffet.
- And finally, don’t forget about adequate lighting. Without it, the island will lose much of its functional appeal.