When planning a kitchen remodel, there are several factors to consider in order to plan and design a kitchen that best fits the needs of you and your family. Design elements such as the layout, workflow, lighting and renovation materials all play a huge role in the efficiency, quality, and functionality of your kitchen space.
When planning your kitchen remodeling project, think about layout, function, and efficiency. No matter what size or shape kitchen you design, it’s essential to create a kitchen layout that makes cooking easier and more efficient.
Maximize the Space
When designing your new kitchen, take advantage of every square inch of space. If you’re renovating your existing kitchen, you can gain space with taller overhead cabinets, corner cabinets, and built-in storage racks. If you’re adding on to your house and expanding the size of your kitchen, your options are endless.
Create a Good Workflow
When planning the placement of your refrigerator, sinks and other major appliances, create a convenient, easy path between them to maximize prep time and cooking efficiency. Make sure you have adequate electrical plugs scattered throughout the kitchen, so you can easily plug in small appliances when you need them.
A design element like exposed storage and cabinets is a great way to open up your kitchen and make it feel larger. Sometimes your kitchen may seem dark and cluttered when closed cabinets overpower the space. Opening up a few of those cabinets can freshen things up a bit while still being efficient for everyday use.
Open Spaces. Functional Kitchens
Appliances for Your Kitchen Renovation
New appliances make up a big portion of kitchen renovation costs, but they are often necessary to give an old kitchen updated style and energy-efficient features. When replacing your old appliances, look for new ones that are energy efficient. Not only can they make your kitchen tasks easier and faster, they can save you hundreds of dollars each year on your home energy costs. Look for appliances with Energy Star labels to maximize energy efficiency.
Today’s state-of-the-art appliances offer homeowners many advantages in the kitchen. Stoves and ovens, microwaves, and small appliances can now be programmed for cooking times and on-off cycles with a computer or smartphone from any remote location. Refrigerators can be programmed to let you know when foods are expired or need to be replaced. You can even program your grocery list through your refrigerator. Just imagine the endless possibilities and joy of cooking with these innovative appliances in your kitchen.
New kitchen cabinets can cost a lot of money, so it’s important to consider your storage needs, lifestyle and budget when choosing cabinet materials.
Most quality, upper-end cabinets are made of 11-ply or 13-ply plywood. It’s strong, durable, less likely to warp, and easier to refinish or reface. Plywood cabinets are more expensive, but they will hold up well over time in a busy kitchen.
Particleboard is a cheaper alternative to plywood. Its smooth, dense core is not likely to warp, but the face material can swell or detach when subjected to steam, moisture, and water. Although particle board is heavier than plywood, it can be damaged faster by daily wear-and-tear on drawers and doors.
Cabinet boxes are the spine of your cabinets. They hold a lot of weight from small appliances, pots and pans, dishes and food items. If your cabinet boxes aren’t strong enough, your cabinets will break down faster resulting in cracking, chipping and breaking. In your remodel, consider cabinets and materials that will fit with your lifestyle and needs. While they may end up costing you more upfront, they will save you money in the long run, and add greater value to your home.
If your cabinets are perfectly serviceable, painting them can give your entire kitchen a facelift, and you can do it yourself with minimal effort and cost. You can choose different types and colors of paint or even strip and sand down the cabinets and refinish them. This is a great way to get the appearance of new cabinets to fit in with the rest of your renovation, without spending the extra money. This is also a great way to change “styles” without making major changes. Want farmhouse chic? Maybe white cabinets are the thing. Traditional style? Beautiful stained wood will be classic and warm.
When selecting countertop materials for your kitchen remodel, think about durability, maintenance requirements, style, and budget. There’s a wide variety of beautiful materials to choose from, so it’s important to choose one that provides maximum durability and easy maintenance and complements your kitchen style, colors, and finishes. There is a wide variety of countertop materials for your kitchen for you to choose from.
Beautiful natural stones like granite, marble, limestone, travertine, and slate offer organic appeal for any style kitchen. Natural stones come in polished and honed finishes and numerous patterns and colors, so it’s easy to find one that fits your design style. For maximum durability and protection against spills and stains, natural stones should be sealed.
Ceramic and porcelain tiles offer excellent durability and easy maintenance in kitchens. With a non-porous surface, tiles are completely resistant to spills and stains without any protective sealers. Tiles come in endless patterns, textures and colors, and a wide variety of sizes, shapes, borders and accent tiles.
There’s a variety of man-made countertop materials on the market such as quartz and concrete. Many are heat and burn resistant, stain and water resistant, and easy to clean and maintain. Unlike old plastic laminate materials, today’s man-made quartz countertops have the look of natural stones and other organic materials that can give your kitchen a modern touch.
Kitchen Flooring & Materials
Kitchens are high-traffic areas that tend to take a lot of abuse. As a family-friendly space, a kitchen floor is subject to mud and dirt from shoes, stains from all types of spills, pet hair, and daily dust and grime. With hot surfaces, an unexpected spill, or broken glass on the floor, you even run the risk of bodily injury. When choosing a flooring material for your kitchen remodeling project, it’s important to think about durability, maintenance, and safety.
Whether you prefer the look of stone, tile, wood, or linoleum, your kitchen floor should fit your lifestyle. If you have a large family or love to cook and entertain, you’ll need a floor that’s easy to clean and maintain. It’s important to consider your lifestyle and how much time you spend in your kitchen.
Whatever your lifestyle, your kitchen floor will take some abuse if you spend any time in the space. Choosing a flooring material that’s easy to clean and maintain is important to the lasting-power of your kitchen floors. Porous materials will absorb stains easier, light colors will show dirt faster, and hard materials will crack or chip if heavy items are dropped on the floor.
At times, the kitchen can be a chaotic place, especially when you are entertaining a group or cooking a large meal. To prevent falls and accidents, avoid highly polished surfaces on kitchen floors. Opt for materials with texture or honed finishes that provide slip-resistance.
Good lighting is essential for a kitchen that’s functional and practical. For best efficiency, your kitchen should include a combination of ambient lighting (overhead lighting) and task lighting.
Ambient or general lighting should provide adequate overall illumination that lets you see properly and move safely around the kitchen. It should provide uniform, comfortable levels of light and brightness without glare.
Task lighting provides direct illumination over appliances, sinks, countertops, islands and dining surfaces. It’s meant to direct light downward over specific areas to make tasks in those areas easier and safer.
The Small Things
Not all pieces of a kitchen renovation are big or expensive projects. Adding small touches like a stylish backsplash, updated fixtures, and innovative and modern hardware can help transform the look and efficiency of your new kitchen.
Add a Backsplash
A great way to add an extra bit of style to your kitchen is by creating a backsplash that fits with the look and feel you are going for in the space. Adding coordinating tile or other materials to the wall behind your counters will help tie together your countertops and cabinets to create a finished, put-together look.
Incorporate New Fixtures
New cabinets and countertops mean new fixtures. Instead of putting your old fixtures back on, consider springing for a new sink and faucet. Updating your light fixtures can brighten the space, add task and mood lighting, and give your kitchen a more modern appearance.
Update Your Hardware
While you’re putting the finishing touches on your new and improved kitchen, don’t forget about the hardware. Replacing the hardware on your cabinets might not seem like a very obvious or important update, but it can often be the final piece needed to really pull together all of your new kitchen upgrades.
A full kitchen remodel requires proper planning, time and effort, as well as a healthy budget. Your new kitchen should be designed with longevity in mind, so that, ideally, you can enjoy it for the next 20 years without having to make any big changes. Need help financing your home improvement project? DFW Improved offers some great options for customers who prefer to finance their remodeling project, made possible by Greensky Financial.