During the planning stages of a kitchen renovation it’s easy to get overwhelmed with decisions and details. Choosing the backsplash that that you will have to look at everyday for the foreseeable future can be a daunting task. That being said, there is one thing you should consider above all else when it comes to kitchen design: function. One of the most common mistakes we see homeowners making throughout the renovation process is focusing on aesthetic and trends over practicality.
Don’t get us wrong, we truly value beauty in design, however a well designed kitchen will not only make your life simpler, but it can also significantly increase the resale price of your home. In order to make sure you are getting the most out of your new kitchen we have outlined some simple, but game-changing practical advice that will help you keep function a focal point in your design.
Hire a dedicated kitchen designer, not just a general contractor
There are a lot of decisions that affect the functionality and flow of a kitchen. When thinking about your space as a whole, it’s a good idea to start by determining your priorities, this will help identify what type of kitchen layout will best suit your needs. If entertaining is of high value to you, an open concept layout and comfortable seating might be placed higher on your priority list than say, having a functional workspace for doing homework. That is why it is important to work with a dedicated kitchen designer from the get-go. They will take their time during the planning stage to understand your vision and make sure all the elements work together when the project is complete. They will also be the most knowledgeable about current trends in kitchen design, as well as the practical details, like how far away from the wall your sink should be so you’re not constantly bumping your elbow when scrubbing pots.
Plan your kitchen to fit your appliances, not the other way around
Once you’ve established the main priorities for your kitchen, choosing appliances is the next major step in the planning process. Will you be purchasing all new appliances or keeping your old ones? Do you want integrated appliances? Do you do a lot of baking? If so, maybe you want an oven that is eye level so you don’t have to constantly bend down so far to check on your cookies.
Most would agree that it’s much easier to design and build cabinets around an established appliance size than it is to try and squeeze a new appliance into a predetermined space. Even if you’re not planning to upgrade your appliances for another few years, let your designer know what you are looking to do down the line so they can work it into their plan. This way, you won’t end up with a fancy new oven that sticks out four inches past the surface of your cabinets when you finally do upgrade.
Think of lighting as a tool, not just a finishing touch
Lighting is everything. Adequate lighting for each aspect of your kitchen is essential and can make or break your design if not done properly. While there are many elements to consider when choosing lighting, one major thing to keep front of mind is, again, practicality. Work with your designer to determine the right lighting temperature for your kitchen. Keep in mind how it will affect your mood, productivity, as well as the overall aesthetics. A kitchen that has ample natural light might require warm coloured accent lights in dim corners to compliment the daylight that is coming in from outside. But, come sunset, the space might need strategically placed brighter lights with a different tone. These lights should work well into the evening so you can keep working without straining your eyes.
We hope these simple tips have helped you as you begin your kitchen renovation journey! Here at Irpinia, we have a highly skilled team of designers that can answer any questions you may have, so call us or come by one of our showrooms for more information!