If 2020 is the year when you’ve decided or finally have the funds to upgrade your kitchen, you want to ensure that your hard-earned dollars are used in the best way possible.
Kitchens are vital parts of the home, and any remodel should blend style and function nicely, so that you have a space you and your family can use effectively and enjoy being in for many years to come. Follow a few steps to get the balance right as you plan to re-do your kitchen.
Determine a Look that Works with the Rest of Your Home
As you begin to research and think about home improvement ideas, look for kitchen themes, color schemes, styles, etc. that will work with the rest of your home. Whether your kitchen is an open-plan one or not, you want the cooking zone to feel tied to other parts of the property and for it all to blend seamlessly together, from one room to the next.
Also, it’s wise to choose an overall theme or style for your kitchen so that as you start selecting cabinets, work surfaces, lighting, appliances, and various finishes, you’ll buy things that match nicely. For instance, you might be keen to create a contemporary feel, or a glamorous one, or work in the Hamptons style, or set yourself up with a country kitchen.
When it comes to the overall look you’re going for, though, keep function in mind as well as style. Don’t be too impulsive and choose something trendy right now that will look dated in a few years. Kitchen remodels are expensive, so think long-term and come up with a design that will wear well over time.
Plan the Layout Carefully
Consider both style and function when you’re planning the layout of your new kitchen. For instance, from a visual perspective, you won’t want a big fridge stuck awkwardly in the way anywhere, or to have an island bench that looks disproportionately large or small for the room.
Function-wise, consider how you use your kitchen. Most people want to have their fridge, oven, sink, and dishwasher all within easy reach of one another. However, if you don’t like the look of all these appliances standing out as features in the room, note that you can have fridges and dishwashers built-in behind matching cabinets. This option makes the kitchen look more streamlined, while you still have access to everything you need.
Also, think about the height of benchtops and cupboards. These need to be accessible and ergonomic for you to work at and reach. You generally want work surfaces to be a little below your elbow, while sinks can reach higher to avoid splashing when washing up and to stop you from slouching. Position ovens and microwaves at a level where you can easily look inside and safely move pans to and fro without having to reach up on tiptoes or bend down too far.
Don’t Skimp on Materials
When you remodel your kitchen, keep in mind that the finishings and materials you choose throughout will affect both style and function. The look of fittings and fixtures will have a significant impact on how the space comes across and whether or not it achieves the theme you were going for.
Smart materials also help you with functionality. Invest as much money as you can afford into quality options that will continue working well in the long run and won’t look dated too quickly. Also, try to pick finishes that are easy to clean and maintain. Plus, it pays to utilize drawers with quiet close mechanisms, easy-to-access slide-out shelves, and fingerprint-resistant handles where possible as these look great and make a kitchen feel more functional and comfortable.
Focus on Lighting
Lighting is an essential component. You need enough light in the space to see what you’re doing as you cook, entertain, and perform other tasks, yet pretty lights can also tie a room together and make a kitchen feel warm and inviting. As you design the space, think about ways to incorporate enough lighting to give you both form and function.
Recessed ceiling lighting plus pendants positioned over the workbench are popular choices. You might also like to add small spotlights or install strip lighting under wall cabinets for further impact.
A kitchen remodel is a big and expensive project to take on, so you want to get it right. However, if you consider all the factors above and blend both style and function along the way, you should end up with a fine cooking and eating zone that you enjoy using and showing off.