A kitchen remodel is a great way to refresh and revitalize your home. For many families, the kitchen is the most important room in the home and one of the most used spaces. If your kitchen feels dingy or isn’t suitable for yourself or your family, a renovation may be the perfect idea.
However, kitchen remodels can present a number of challenges for homeowners. They can be expensive, time-consuming, and inconvenient. It’s essential to think carefully about your renovation plans before you take action. Strategically preparing for your remodel will save you a great deal of stress.
Here are eight rules for a successful kitchen renovation:
Plan Everything in Advance
To make your renovation as stress-free as possible, plan every single aspect of the remodel in advance. Unexpected issues may still arise, but prepping ahead of time will greatly reduce the risk of problems. You’re much more likely to stick to your projected budget and timeline when your project is well-planned.
Drawings and diagrams will be your best friend when planning your kitchen renovation. You should have a clear idea of exactly what the end result will look like and what changes are needed to achieve that. Start consulting with contractors so that you’re certain your vision is achievable. Your contractor can also offer recommendations for sourcing the materials.
There are plenty of practical matters to keep in mind when planning. For example, consider how wide the doorway is to ensure new appliances will fit through the door. How tall are you and your family members and should the countertops should be higher or lower? You should also identify the most highly trafficked areas of the kitchen to make sure there’s an intuitive and navigable path through the space.
You should absolutely pursue the aesthetic vision you have in mind. However, function is always more important than style.
Over the course of a few weeks or months, analyze your movements and actions in the kitchen. Where do you spend the most time? What cabinets or drawers do you open the most frequently? By carefully considering your kitchen’s functionality, you can keep the elements of your current kitchen that work for you and replace the ones that feel inconvenient or inefficient.
Consider Clearance Space
Clearance space is one of the most important practical considerations when undergoing a kitchen remodel, but it’s also frequently overlooked. Every single door and drawer in the room should be able to open easily. Even seemingly minor clearance issues can turn into major sources of frustration. If your fridge blocks a cabinet door from fully opening, storing anything in that cabinet will be an inconvenience.
Countertop clearance is another key consideration. For instance, there should be at least 1 foot of counter space on either side of your stove so that you have an area to prepare food or store utensils. You should also consider the amount of space between your sink and dishwasher. Ideally, there should be no more than 3 feet between the two fixtures.
Increase Storage Space
Almost all homeowners share the desire for more storage space. While open and minimalist kitchens can be a beautiful aesthetic, storage space is essential. Your renovation is the perfect opportunity to increase storage space so that your kitchen feels more manageable and organized.
If you’re replacing your cabinets, consider investing in cabinets that reach the ceiling. The top shelves may be difficult to reach, but you can use them as storage space for holiday dinnerware or other rarely used items. Alternatively, you could mount shelves or hooks on unused wall space. This can help your kitchen feel more open while maximizing your opportunities for storage. These small shelves or hooks can also hold spices, aprons, or cleaning supplies.
Choose Lighting Thoughtfully
Lighting can make a dramatic difference in any room of your house. Take advantage of natural lighting from windows and skylights as much as possible.
In the kitchen, it’s also great to have multiple sources of light for different purposes. Overhead or recessed lights brighten up the entire room when you’re having a meal with your family or entertaining guests, but smaller and softer lights may be better when you’re alone eating breakfast. If the cabinets in your kitchen block any sources of light, consider installing under-cabinet lighting to illuminate the countertops. Pendant lights can be a great addition to your island or dining table, too.
Make It Timeless
Trends will always come and go. If you undergo a complete remodel to perfectly match today’s style, your kitchen might feel dated within just a few years. In most cases, it’s better to stick with classic and timeless designs while adding smaller touches to the current styles. For example, paint colors, wall decor, lighting fixtures, and small utensils are all fairly easy to switch out as trends change.
You should also consider your future in the home. If you plan to sell the house in a few years, remember that many prospective buyers make snap judgments based on the kitchen. However, if you plan to remain in the home for decades, you don’t have to worry so much about impressing anyone besides yourself.
Communicate With the Remodelers
While the renovation project is underway, communication is key. Clear and frequent communication guarantees that you and your contractors are always on the same page, which will help to put your mind at ease. Developing a professional working relationship with the contractors also ensures that they’ll treat your home with respect.
Make sure the project manager or team leader has your phone number and email address. Consider hanging up a whiteboard or chalkboard on the site where you can both leave messages for one another. If you have any house rules, communicate them respectfully to the team. Offer praise and gratitude to your team for their hard work, but try to stay out of their way when they’re working so they can concentrate.
Plan Your Meals During the Renovation
Your kitchen will be mostly or entirely unusable during the remodel, so you’ll have to strategically plan your meals while the project is underway. If possible, set up a temporary kitchen with a folding table, microwave, and air fryer or slow cooker. The slow cooker is an especially helpful appliance during a renovation as you can make large quantities of food without dirtying many dishes.
If your freezer will stay plugged in for the duration of the remodel, you could also cook a variety of freezer-friendly meals before the project begins. Then, all you have to do is put them in the microwave or slow cooker.
A kitchen renovation can be an exciting but overwhelming project. For a successful remodel, you should identify your vision, plan in advance, and always focus on function and practicality. Although the renovation may be stressful, you’ll be thrilled when you get to enjoy your brand-new space.