There’s seemingly no end to the number of features you can choose to include in your kitchen remodeling project. It’s an exciting process that can quickly turn into a stressful one, especially if it’s your first remodel.
Because a kitchen remodel involves many different components such as appliances, labor, and materials (including flooring, countertops, and cabinets), many people don’t know where to start. One of the first things we ask our clients to do is create a priority list. There are lots of ways to do this, but these two steps will help you map out a new kitchen design that includes everything that matters to you and your family most.
- What needs to change?
To get started, take note of how the kitchen space functions today. Which appliances or areas of the room do you use the most? What rarely, if ever, gets used? Do you want to create a space more conducive to entertaining? You might need two dishwashers. How’s the storage situation? And so on. Then answer these questions to guide your new design:
- Do I want to change the size of my kitchen?
- Do I want to change the location of gas or electric appliances or water-fed fixtures like the sink or dishwasher?
- Do I want a wine cabinet or fridge? A coffee bar?
- Should I think ahead and plan for convenient appliance storage now?
- Do I want to add or move any walls, windows, or doors?
- Do I want a custom island?
- Will I need additional electrical outlets or USB ports? Today, many people use their devices for pulling up recipes or watching favorite shows while they cook, so you’ll want a port nearby.
- Will I require task lighting?
- Do I want a new custom tile backsplash?
- Do I want to change the overriding style, say from traditional to contemporary?
- What materials do you want to use?
Be as specific as possible. This may be the most time-consuming step of all, but it’s crucial to figuring out what items are on your “must have” list. At a minimum, write down your preferences for the:
- Cooktop, oven, microwave, warming drawer. Are you interested in chef grade appliances? They can be a big part of the budget, so be sure you really need them. For example, if you like the look of high-end appliances, but don’t want to invest in Viking or Wolf, KitchenAid offers some good-looking choices.
- Sink, including number and size of bowls, faucet, sprayer, and garbage disposal. For example, do you want a second prep sink in an island? Or one large prep sink with a cup sink in the island?
- Storage, including: shelving, cabinetry, a walk-in pantry (include hardware)
- Lighting fixtures such as recessed, LED, undercabinet, and decorative fixtures
- Range hood, fan, or vent
- Windows, including blinds and screens
- Doors, including hardware
- Wall treatments, including: paint, wallpaper, tile, backsplash material
If all these questions start to sound overwhelming, here’s a great trick we like to suggest. Keep a diary that covers two to three weekdays and one weekend. Make two columns labeled “Like” and “Don’t Like” and write down everything that works or doesn’t work as you go about your day in the kitchen. Pay careful attention to the times you find yourself saying “if this was only….”
Finally, if you’re one of those people who have trouble deciding what to make for dinner, let alone what appliance you want to cook it on or in, take heart. As long as you get the big stuff like layout right, you’ll likely be thrilled with your new kitchen. The good news is that one of our designers can help you not only craft a great floorplan but also select the right materials, fixtures and furnishings based on your diary.
At J.T. McDermott, we have two in-house interior designers who are happy to help you separate the “must haves” from the “nice to haves.” They know the right questions to ask to help you discover your personal style, and they’ll help narrow down options, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. If you want to learn more about how to pick the best kitchen features for your upcoming remodel, schedule a conversation with us today to discuss your ideas and needs.