Putting your home through a kitchen remodel can be stressful, but the result is often worth the minor inconvenience of being without your kitchen for a few weeks. A home's kitchen should be functional and also downright stunning, and work for your own needs and your family's needs in particular. Sometimes a kitchen needs a full renovation to fulfill all those needs!
To ensure your kitchen remodel is as smooth as possible and that you're happy with the results, you need to plan carefully and note every detail you'll want from your home's kitchen. It's also helpful to consider investing in the necessary time and budget for your kitchen remodel cost, to ensure the final result of your remodeling project will be a perfect fit for you and your home.
Note a few smart strategies for your kitchen remodel design, so you wind up with a kitchen you love for many years to come.
Start With Ergonomics
Ergonomics refers to the efficiency of someone's workplace, as well as convenience and comfort. To ensure you're happy with the ergonomics of your home's new kitchen, consider what features might make the space more efficient and comfortable for you, and note a few suggestions to discuss with your kitchen remodeling contractor:
- A wall oven means not having to bend over to put food in, and retrieve food out of, the oven. This added convenience is useful for anyone but especially for those with back problems, and who cook large meals that include oversized dishes. Not having to bend over to put a heavy turkey or casserole in the oven, or slide that dish out of a lower oven once it's cooked, can be a great convenience for you.
- Deep drawers might replace lower cabinets. Drawers allow you to access items without having to bend and then reach into those far, back areas.
- Locating the refrigerator and stove closer to the sink can mean less walking between these appliances when prepping food or cooking. A pot filler, or faucet that juts from the wall, located over the stove also means not having to haul heavy pots from the sink to the burner when you need to boil water for cooking.
- A taller kitchen island can be an excellent choice for taller people, who might get arm fatigue or pain in their neck and shoulders when using a shorter island for food prep. On the other hand, shorter homeowners or those who keep items in upper cabinets might appreciate shelves on rolling, hinged arms that can be slid out and pulled down, for a more comfortable reach of those items.
Consider Traffic for Your Kitchen Remodel Ideas
When planning a kitchen renovation, consider how foot traffic flows in and out of the kitchen, and how more than one person often uses the kitchen at a time. An improved layout in the kitchen can mean more natural traffic flow and less congestion. Consider a few suggestions you might keep in mind for your kitchen renovation:
- If there is a back door into the kitchen that is often used by children when they arrive home, you might place the stovetop away from their usual pattern of foot traffic. Moving the stovetop can ensure a child's safety as he or she rushes through the kitchen, and reduces congestion between them and anyone cooking at the stove!
- If more than one person does the cooking at a time, space the appliances a bit further apart and away from the sink. This added space will reduce congestion in the kitchen when one person chops and preps food while another tends to the stovetop or dishes in the sink.
- Place your pantry or food storage cabinets near the door that leads to the garage or the entryway used when you return from shopping. Closer proximity between this doorway and your storage areas reduces the amount of walking you'll do while carrying heavy grocery bags in from the car.
- A large kitchen island is an excellent option for food prep and for serving the family breakfast and casual dinners; however, be sure your island doesn't get in the way of a refrigerator or oven door, and that it doesn't have sharp corners that can cause injury as someone walks around it.
Think Long-Term Durability With Your Kitchen Remodel Design
Kitchen surfaces typically need to be the most durable in the home, as a kitchen may be the one room that everyone in the family uses every day and the place that suffers the most food spills. Kitchen flooring tiles need to be exceptionally durable and resistant to stains, while kitchen counters need to withstand scrapes, nicks, and gouges from heavy pots and pans, sharp knives, and the like.
When choosing materials for kitchen counters, floors, and a backsplash, think of their long-term durability rather than just the initial purchase price and installation cost. Cheap laminate countertops, for example, might be very affordable to purchase and have installed, but the glue that holds those counters to their underside can quickly dissolve when exposed to the high humidity levels of a kitchen. Butcher-block counters can also be very affordable, but might soon show nicks and scratches or burn marks from hot pots and pans.
Note, too, the long-term maintenance cost of certain materials when making your choices for your kitchen remodel ideas. Porous laminate tile might hold lots of dirt and debris in those pits and pores, and these tiles may need consistent professional steam cleaning. This type of cleaning is often more expensive than the sealcoating required for more expensive stone tiles. Cheap tiles used for a backsplash might also need regular professional cleaning, while a high-end glass is often more resistant to food stains and debris.
Add Color Where It Can Be Changed Easily
Neutral shades of white, eggshell, sandy beige, sage green, and soft grey are trendy for kitchens, as these light and bright colors evoke a feeling of cleanliness and keep a kitchen from seeming overly dark and dull. However, these colors can also become a bit industrial and drab themselves! Adding appliances or cupboards with a bold color to bring some personality into the kitchen can be a mistake, as you might soon get tired of that color but also find it somewhat expensive to buy new appliances or paint your kitchen's cupboards.
A good compromise is to add a bit of bold color where it can be changed somewhat easily. For example, during kitchen remodeling, you might opt for a bright paint color along one accent wall. Repainting that one wall when you get tired of its color is not very difficult or expensive. Eclectic artwork and a fun pattern on window curtains can also add personality to a kitchen and is also affordable and easy to change.
Another suggestion for adding color while keeping down your average kitchen remodel cost is to include some open shelving, which allows you to display colorful dishes, platters, drinkware, and the like. Once you get tired of your bold red serving bowls or serving platter with the holiday theme, you can swap these out for pieces for something in another color, or put those items away in a cupboard and bring out your neutral pieces instead.
Consider Added Storage, Not Added Space
Your kitchen's footprint might not need to be expanded to provide more storage for your cooking tools and utensils, dishes, and foodstuffs. When planning your kitchen remodel, note how to add storage versus simply adding space:
- An overhead pot rack can open up lower cabinets and drawers, or ensure that you no longer need to store pots and pans in the oven! A pot rack can be built around a track lighting fixture or placed over the stovetop.
- A pegboard along a wall can allow you to move hooks around so you can accommodate various pots and pans as well as cooking tools and utensils. This type of storage is very versatile while also opening up space in cabinets and drawers.
- Sections of walls can be knocked back and shelving areas built around wall studs. You can then display bottles of wine, serving platters, cookbooks, and other attractive items in these spaces, keeping them out of drawers and cupboards while also ensuring they're still close at hand.
- A contractor can help you find wasted space in your kitchen that might allow for added storage; for example, putting hooks on the wall above the stovetop enables you to hang up your cooking utensils rather than storing them in a drawer. A magnetic strip above a countertop can hold knives, keeping them out of drawers. Even small storage ideas like these can mean opening up space in your kitchen, so you don't need to expand its overall footprint.
Invest in Quality Appliances
When considering your budget for your kitchen remodel, don't cut corners when it comes to the appliances you choose. Nothing is more irritating than an oven that suddenly quits right before a big dinner party, or a refrigerator that isn't keeping your food at the right temperature so that it spoils or even freezes. Name brand, high-quality appliances will typically last longer than off-brand models, and might also have a more inclusive or more extended warranty, so that you avoid replacement and repair costs if they do suddenly fail to work.
Upgraded, "smart" appliances can also be an excellent investment as part of your new kitchen remodel cost. Smart ovens sense the temperature of food as it's cooking, and will then adjust their setting or even shut themselves off as needed. Refrigerators with zone cooling allow you to set different temperatures for meats, vegetables, wine, and the like, so everything is cooled as needed and less likely to become spoiled or otherwise ruined.
Energy-efficient appliances are also an excellent choice for a kitchen remodel. Dishwashers with various setting options will save both water and power, while convection ovens cook food faster than standard ovens, so you wind up using less energy for your cooking overall. Smaller appliances can even be a good choice for many singles, couples, retirees, or those who don't tend to cook elaborate meals for the family. Choosing smaller appliances can mean having a smaller space for the kitchen itself, or allowing for more room to prep and store food, and smaller devices may use less energy overall, saving you money on your utility bills.