Contributed by Bianca Bicheno
For people who love cooking and bonding over food, the kitchen is probably the space they consider as the heart of their home. In the kitchen, we spend memorable moments like decorating birthday cakes or simply spilling secrets while cooking the clan’s favorite dish. So, it is only natural to want to have a kitchen that looks aesthetically pleasing and yet highly functional and practical.
When it comes to determining the design of your kitchen, you have to consider several essential elements to ensure that you end up with a layout that works best for you. It is true that a kitchen renovation can be one of the most overwhelming projects you can undertake. So, we’ve listed some tips that will make the process a bit easier for you.
Before Anything Else, Plan your Budget
Before you even start buying marble benchtops and planning the design of your kitchen, you have to get a clear idea of how much your budget would be. Keep in mind that every design decision you make still depends on how much you are willing to spend. One of the common errors that homeowners make when renovating their kitchen is having a flexible budget. Such practice typically leads to uncontrollable costs and unnecessary spending.
So, the first thing you should do is conduct some research and write down the possible expenses you may incur. Try to be as accurate as possible when creating an estimate of your budget. After that, have a little cushion around your budget for unexpected expenses. Most of the time, homeowners spend above their allotted budget for their kitchen renovation.
The Style that Speaks to you
The next thing you have to decide on is the style of your kitchen. Whether you choose a modern-looking kitchen or a traditional one, it is important to choose a style that truly speaks to you. If you are comfortable to do so, try to think out of the box. You can have a Colonial-style home and still opt for a contemporary look for your kitchen. Whatever your decision may be, make sure that you choose something that reflects your lifestyle and personality.
Have an Efficient Kitchen Layout
The layout of your kitchen is one of the most important aspects of this room’s design. When you carefully plan the layout, you can have a functional, practical and inviting kitchen area. It is advisable that you do not do this on your own. Hire a professional to plan the layout so you can avoid making mistakes. Every item should be strategically placed according to the traffic and activity you can expect in your kitchen. It would also be better if you ask a friend or a loved one for their opinion or suggestion.
Consider your Long-Term Needs
When designing your kitchen, you also have to consider how your needs and lifestyle may change over the years. Perhaps you’re planning to have kids or you’re considering having your elderly loved ones live with you. On the other hand, you may have plans of putting your property on the market. There are many long-term questions you have to ask yourself when designing your kitchen.
Kitchen Countertops for your Needs
If you have the budget to do so, choose the best material for your kitchen countertops. Marble benchtops are timeless and beautiful. With this material, you can ensure a higher resell value for your home. Other durable and stunning benchtop materials include quartz and granite.
Taking Down Walls
If you want to make a dramatic change in your kitchen, you might want to consider taking down an interior wall. Doing so will allow you to create a bigger space for your kitchen and even improve its flow. However, you have to consider that this option can be expensive. Taking down an interior wall involves pipe relocation, structural changes and ductwork that may significantly raise your budget. You may want to keep your walls intact if you want to save money.
Gas or Electric – Choose Which is Suitable for you
The efficient cooking fuel option is a dual fuel oven. You can enjoy several advantages when you have a gas cook top and an electric oven. You can use your gas cook top for faster heating and better temperature control. If you cook with pans that do not have a flat bottom, gas cooktops are also the ideal option.
Electric ovens can reach higher temperatures than gas ovens. So, the former has cleaning self-cleaning features that you cannot expect from the latter. Aside from that, it can be quite difficult to control the temperature of gas ovens. However, some people say that gas ovens are ideal for baking bread because the gas combustion keeps the dough moist.
Natural Light with Bigger Windows
You may want to consider having skylights or bigger windows for your kitchen. You will be surprised how big the difference is when you welcome more natural light into your kitchen. You wouldn’t regret sacrificing some cabinet space for a bright kitchen.
However, there are some things you have to remember when adding windows. A new stone opening can be more expensive than having one that is framed in vinyl or wood siding. There may be issues with the finishing and color-matching if you have a stucco exterior. If you want to add skylights, you have to consider your existing roof’s age. If you have an older roof, you must replace the parts where you plan to mount the skylights.
Choosing your Kitchen Cabinets
You have to review the kitchen cabinets in person before deciding which to buy. There may be some discrepancies between the actual product and the one you see on a physical or online brochure. You also have to remember that the price range of kitchen cabinets depends on the quality of the product’s materials. You will find that high-end cabinet are made of durable and solid plywood boxes with wooden frames and doors. You can initially save money by buying cabinets with lower quality. However, it is more cost-effective to buy durable cabinets that will last for a long time.