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4 Questions to Answer Before Remodeling Your Kitchen

It can be daunting to plan something as big as a kitchen remodel, even if you’re getting help from a designer or builder. Today we’re giving you 4 questions to think about before you start your project. Your answers will help inform your decisions from the big (do I need to tear that wall down?) to the small (is my sink going to be to the left or to the right of the dishwasher?) and they will also help you stay on track with your budget as you’re able to determine your must-have features versus your nice-to-have features.

1. Who uses the kitchen?

Figuring out the type of person who uses your kitchen space goes a long way towards deciding layout, design, and materials. For those of us who do a lot of cooking, ample storage and countertop space is essential. And if you’re a cook who likes to get their hands (and countertops and cabinets and flooring!) dirty, remember to choose materials that will stand up to everything you throw at them. For most of us that means countertops made of granite or quartz, which are difficult to scratch and stain. They’ll keep looking great through years of spaghetti sauce and coffee spills.  On the other hand, if you’re a careful cook who just loves the timeless elegance of polished marble, stone like Calacatta or Carrara might be perfect for you. For those of us living with mobility difficulties, small children, or aging parents, consider elements of Universal Design when making your renovation choices to make sure that your kitchen is safe and easy to maneuver around in for every member of your family.

2. What activities other than cooking take place in the kitchen?

Cooking is of course the main one, but you might be surprised when you consider all of the other activities that happen in the kitchen: it’s the heart of the home, after all! Homework, family game night, late night wine over good conversation– don’t forget just how much we utilize our kitchen spaces. Keep all of these things in mind when you’re planning your remodel and deciding on which extra features you need. A large kitchen island to accommodate guests? A nook with a charging station where you can keep your laptop in order to pay bills and plan menus?

3. What do you find frustrating about your current kitchen?

This is the big question, and your answer will drive the direction of your remodel. Maybe you’re perpetually struggling to find particular appliances or spices because your cabinets are bursting full and your countertops are always cluttered. Maybe you do a lot of culinary exploration with your spouse and you find that you’re always bumping elbows or waiting for the sole kitchen sink to open up. Think about what frustrates you every single time you use this space, and center your renovation around solving those problems. Many of our clients are simply unhappy with the way their kitchen looks and want fresh countertops with beautiful cabinets that bring joy to each meal they make.

4. What do you love about your current kitchen?

It can be a little difficult to reign in your impulse to change everything you can while you have the momentum for a large renovation. This is especially the case when you’re working with a kitchen that’s been a source of frustration for years. But make sure that you make note of what you do love about your space. Do you love your current kitchen layout? Maybe you have the perfect amount of sunlight, or you love your open floor plan so that you can interact with your guests while you cook. Don’t let a designer or contractor’s vision of what is “right” change the aspects that you want to keep.

By Zuzanna Hale

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