You are about to take on a substantial renovation project. The kitchen is the most important and valuable room in your home. Shelly McClure, Professional Kitchen Designer and founder of ReDoMyKitchen.com, shares some essential tips to consider before you begin.
1. Think through your kitchen’s layout. Does it function as well as it could, or are you just used to the way it is now? Can you relocate appliances or plumbing? The last thing you want is a brand new kitchen with the same old problems.
2. Take inventory. Make a detailed account of your pots, pans, utensils, dishes, food, etc. and consider how and where they will be stored. Where will you be preparing food? Where will you clean up? These are basic design essentials to keep in mind when planning your layout.
3. Hire a kitchen designer. This is a big job that can be overwhelming. You’ll save money in the long run by eliminating costly mistakes.
4. Maximize storage. Replace existing lower cabinets with deep drawers and pull-out shelves to make the most of your storage space. They hold more and provide easier access. No more getting down on your knees and digging that chafing dish out from the back behind the juicer.
5. Don’t take design ideas or solutions from your contractor. You wouldn’t take medical advice from your attorney. While your contractor is a professional, he is not a designer.
6. Granite is not the end-all-be-all in countertops. There are some beautiful, durable options in limestones, solid surfaces, and especially some cool recycled materials.
7. De-clutter countertops. A clutter-free countertop makes the room feel larger and gives you more workspace. Hide the microwave, toaster and espresso machine in an “appliance garage” to free up counter space.
8. Install under cabinet lights. They provide direct light where you most need it…on the countertop and work area.
9. Add a shallow shelf to your backsplash. It’s a great place to put the salt and pepper, olive oil, cookbooks, etc. and it will free up space on your countertop.
10. Quality is important. Buy the highest quality materials you can afford. Cheap is cheap. Your mother was right – you get what you pay for.