I am on the tail end of doing a major kitchen remodel in my own home, there were some things that went well and some that did not. This project was long overdue and I thought I had found the right designer to help plan it. As it turned out, I picked the right contractor, but selected a kitchen designer that did not deliver on her promises. This cost me money and extended the project completion date. The bright side of the remodel was the contractor, however, when the designer dropped the ball, he stepped up and showed me that we could do an even better job finishing it together. In 25 years of doing major remodels he had never used a designer, but had developed a designer’s approach to the construction process. He worked directly with me to make the project come together the way I envisioned it. As you approach your own remodel you might want to consider how well you can imagine what you like and want in your kitchen? If this is something you feel confident about, it may be cheaper, and in the long run easier, if you work directly with your contractor. Of course, every contractor works differently, so it is best to work that out in advance and determine your own willingness and time to create a kitchen that reflects your style.
I started my search by looking at kitchens on houzz.com, and making notes when I showed homes whose kitchens I loved. The open concept floor plan has been popular for several years now and I liked the idea of creating one larger space from three smaller ones. Pictures helped me see how my space could look and influenced my choices in three main area: white cabinets, island(s) and quartz counters. I know from experience that buyers like light and airy kitchens, eat in islands and counters that look and feel rich. To achieve the feel of rich counters, I chose quartz over granite because it looks natural, has many color choices and doesn’t have to be sealed. I expanded the work space by adding two islands and a bar sink. And, the cabinets should be custom, if at all possible. Keep in mind that if you are updating with the expectation of selling in the near future, these three items may sway buyers to purchase your home over others.
My home is a cape, farmhouse and to open it up, I removed three walls. I eliminated the formal dining room and the small outdated sitting room and opened both into the kitchen and also created a bigger opening from the kitchen to the family room. I now have a larger cooking area, more cabinet space and several gathering areas. And I have added appliances such as a dishwasher drawer and beverage fridge which help with entertaining larger groups.
Finishes in a kitchen can be very personal. I like the simple, look with big windows and lots of counter and island space as the center piece of my kitchen. Choosing different counter colors or patterns for contrast, a full tile back splash and pendant and canned lights for light. Stainless steel appliances have been the norm and will likely remain so. There are an endless number of ways to put your signature on a project, so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.
Selecting what you like may take some time, so plan on making multiple trips to vendors to pick up samples of flooring, tile and quartz and then laying them out together in a corner of your space. Remember that the lighting in your home will be different from the showroom so be sure not to forget this step. The key is to select items that work together to create a picture that you love to look at. This is important to remember because you will be looking at your selections for a long time once they are installed. So, be picky because once installed, it costs money to rip things out. Be sure you love what you pick. Don’t be afraid to act as your own designer. The quality of the products that you install will have a lasting effect on how your kitchen functions.