Plan your budget in advance. Allocate funds based on specific needs. Will you be replacing the counter? Stone, or laminate? New cupboards, or just appliances? Don’t forget backsplash, hardware, even drawer fittings. And of course plumbing and electrical if you’re moving anything. Then allow at least 15 percent to go over!
2. Make a list of your needs
Determine how you want the space to function. Each area of the kitchen has a different need, some areas are for food prep, some for storage, others for gathering. Keep “zones” separate as much as possible so you’re not in each others way when several people are in the kitchen.
Ask yourself how much storage you need. Do you like open cabinets or closed? Do you need more seating or more counter space? Bigger or smaller appliances?
TIP: fridge heights are not standard so make sure you have room for your fancy new fridge before you buy it. Bring measurements to the store with you if you have a cabinet above your fridge.
3. Plan on paper
Once you’ve figured out how the space needs to function, make a plan of where the appliances, cabinets and sinks will go. Don’t forget to allow clearance for door openings and drawers. Print off graph paper to draw everything out on and make sure appliances are in the right places (sink next to the dishwasher for example). Electrical outlets should also be placed in keys areas (an electrician will know what the code dictates) and also in the island or peninsula.
4. Don’t forget about lighting
There are two types of lighting, ambient (or overall lighting) and task-specific lighting. Consider under-counter lighting for food preparation as well as dimmer switches on your overhead lights if you host parties in the kitchen (and who doesn’t). Pendants are always nice over an island or peninsula as well.
5. Have fun decorating
Find images you love in magazines and online and collect them in inspiration file (Pinterest is great for this). Sit down with a friend and figure out what the common elements are. Are you always drawn to marble counters? Two toned kitchens? You will begin to see a pattern over time to the look you are drawn to. All you have to do next is shamelessly copy it, or bring it to the kitchen designer or manufacturer to get their help in translating it.
Decorating is the most fun, but if you haven’t figure out the space plan yet, there’s no point in starting!
What does your dream kitchen look like?