5 Best Kitchen Remodeling Decisions
Updated: Sep 9, 2019
Remodeling a kitchen can be tough. There are plenty of trendy ideas out there, but not everything keeps it's umph after a few years. How do you know you're making all of the right decisions to ensure that your kitchen's new design stands the test of time? Here we take a look at 5 of the best kitchen remodeling decisions you can make.
1: Determine Your Budget & Stick to It
The simplest, yet often times the most forgotten, decision you can make during a remodel is deciding how much you're willing to spend and sticking to it. Develop a realistic budget. Include expense areas for labor, materials, eating out, permits, etc. Allow yourself room for at least 10% room for unexpected expenses (very important!). Remodeling a room in your home can be an expensive endeavor, but if you plan accordingly you can save yourself a lot of unnecessary headache.
Most of your budgeting should allow for the overall construction of the room. What's the scope of your project, what materials have you selected, what work are you prepared to do yourself versus hiring a professional? Prioritize your wants versus your needs: must-have, can compromise, can wait.
Kitchens are typically the room with the most expensive appliances in your home. Consult with your designer before purchasing. Ask for suggestions on the best value and fit for your space and your cooking styles. Visit an appliance showroom and look at models, check out Consumer Reports for quality reviews, and check online to find the best prices.
2. Have a Vision
One of the best ways to get great results from your remodel is to start with the end in mind. Having an end vision can serve as a framework and can help make decision-making easier as choices pop up.
Start by searching for some design inspiration. With so many resources available (Pinterest, HGTV, Houzz, etc.), it should be fairly easy to find some kitchen designs that speak to you and can serve as the inspiration behind your remodel. Be sure to put your own spin on the designs too, though; this is your kitchen so it needs to fit your every day uses. Make sure to plan for enough space for how you operate and navigate your kitchen.
Selecting a specific style or theme can play a great role in your overall vision. Are you leaning towards a clean contemporary look with modern and minimalist components, or a distinguished traditional look that's elegant and timeless, or perhaps a cozy farmhouse look that's intimate and brimming with personal details? Whatever direction you decide on, your vision should be a reflection of yourself.
3: Use White as Your Dominant Color
Throughout time white has always been the most dominant marketable color. You'll always find it atop the National Kitchen and Bath Association's annual survey of most popular kitchen colors. It's a timeless classic that never gets old. As a bright color, it can work wonders to brighten your kitchen by reflecting light, making even the smallest kitchen feel grand.
Since it's a standard color for any manufacturer, you can find white cabinets, tile, counter-tops, faucets, sinks, and appliances at any price point. Having a white backdrop also allows for your creative side to bubble. You can be as conservative or expressive as you want. If you do decide to add in some color later on, having a white back-splash can also make it much easier for the transition.
4: Hardwood Flooring is a Must-Have
In today's day-and-age, more than half of home buyers who purchased a home without hardwood floors say they would have made the extra splurge for them if the option had presented itself. Among buyers of any age, upwards of 80% say hardwood floors are "somewhat" or "very important" in their decision making process. They've been our fetish for years, and it doesn't look like our minds will be changed any time soon.
Hardwood floors flow beautifully from the kitchen into adjoining rooms. They're perfect for open floor plans (one of the most popular layouts to-date). Since it's such a popular home feature, it comes in a large variety of color and wood grain patterns to choose from. Hardwoods such as oak, ash, and maple will shrug off your kitchen's high-traffic punishment for years. Solid hardwood flooring can be refinished 10-12 times during it's typical 100-year lifespan, making it a great incentive for resale value.
In the past few years, however, engineered flooring has taken a massive step forward in popularity. From 2017-2019, engineered wood, laminate, and vinyl floors have all increased as the go-to flooring option. As man-made flooring options improve, becoming more beautiful and more durable, they're quickly increasing on renovators' list of favorites. In general, though, the natural beauty and longevity of hardwood flooring can never be truly outmatched.
5: Bring Back the Shaker Cabinets
Shaker cabinets have been the hallmark of American style and, like hardwood flooring, they have a knack for looking good in any setting. Because of their simple frame-and-panel design, they help to reduce the amount of busyness in a kitchen, making it a soothing, friendly place to be. Some homeowners tend to think that shaker cabinets are too plain or can have an out-dated look. This is hardly the case, though, as they always tend make their way on to the list of timeless must-have home items.
Shaker cabinets are characterized by a five-piece door with a recessed center panel. Some shaker cabinets are very clean and simple, while others have decorative edge detailing. The drawer fronts can also differ. Slab drawer fronts are often selected for modern designs, while five-piece drawer fronts are popular for transitional designs.
A kitchen with a timeless look will typically have the cabinets be part of the backdrop. It shouldn't be overpowered; you should strive for plain, simple, clean lines. Often times, homeowners will try to get too creative or they'll start adding in modern flair to their hardware. Sometimes this can work very well, but it can also have major downfalls if it's too distracting.
We'd love to hear from you! What are other important kitchen remodeling decisions to consider?