Wish Lists Meet Reality

Small Kitchen Before (unfortunately, not the best quality before photo, but you can see the old layout)

When you begin dreaming of a new kitchen, a good way to start is with a wish list. But to keep yourself from being disappointed, temper your wishes with a clear evaluation of the reality of your situation. This particularly relates to remodeling – the trickiest kind of kitchen design, which greatly benefits from the talents of an experienced designer.

Remodeling can face design restrictions due to the available budget or the existing structure of your home. In some instances it’s possible to make structural changes, such as knocking down a wall to join an existing dining room with the kitchen. Structural changes could be more extensive, such as moving windows, doors, plumbing, or event construction of an addition to the home. But, many homeowners need to stay within the current “footprint” of the existing kitchen.

The priority must be on making the room function well, or you won’t be happy with the room no matter what it looks like. Rather than listing items to add to your kitchen, or focusing on cabinetry style, begin with a wish list of what tasks you want to accomplish in your kitchen. For example: daily meals, occasional baking, family meals, homework area, etc. How many people need to use the kitchen at one time? Will meals be served in the kitchen? Will it be a couple of people catching a quick meal? Does the eating area need to fit a large family, or is there a separate dining room available? If you like to buy in bulk, that needs to be taken into consideration.

You should select a designer who will take time to listen to you about how you want your new kitchen to function. Then, be willing to listen with an open mind as the designer suggests realistic options of room layout and cabinetry solutions to accomplish the necessary tasks. What functional problems are you having with the existing kitchen? Is it actually functioning well, and you really just want a style update?

In this kitchen remodel, the door was moved over to make space for the dishwasher next to the sink.

An experienced kitchen designer will guide you through realistic options to make the available space best serve your needs, based on the reality of your budget and your home’s particular structure. Especially if you must stay within the existing “footprint” of the room, and you are considering adding elements to the space, the kitchen designer will be able to inform you of building code requirements that dictate placement of cabinets and appliances. For example, there must be at least 36 inches walking area width between wall cabinets and an island. That could affect the size of an island you can include, or make an island impossible to fit. Remember, the code requirements exist to avoid problems and hazards. You may discover that the existing layout really is the best use of the space. But improvements can still be made in other ways.

Once the project parameters are established, then the designer will suggest options that are appropriate to your space. If adequate space is available, a multi-functional island could be a good choice. If there isn’t room in the floor plan for a large island, perhaps a small island can be created that will still provide you with a valuable working and storage area. You may have to accept limits on what you can fit into the new kitchen, but an experienced designer can often find creative solutions to accommodate your needs. For example, if you must stay within the “footprint” of the existing cabinetry, it becomes especially important to find special storage cabinetry that will make better use of the space. (See our previous article on specialty storage cabinets. I particularly like the pantry cabinet options.)

Once the function of the room is established, then you can begin thinking about style, color, wood species, etc. Having first established your structure, the designer can now help you work within your budget to select cabinetry and countertops. Perhaps you can use more affordable stock cabinets for most of the kitchen, and use a custom cabinet for only one special purpose. For either cost or function, maybe you should consider laminate rather than a synthetic or stone countertop. Kitchen Views offers a wide range of quality products across many price ranges.

Getting expert guidance on room function and product options will give you the best outcome. Benefit from professional insight for the structure of the room and complete the kitchen with your style choices. Remember, Kitchen Views is where the designers are pros and the views are yours.

Kitchen Views

Web: www.kitchenviews.com

1 Response to “Wish Lists Meet Reality”

  1. 1 realloghomes October 24, 2011 at 11:11 am

    I really enjoyed the before and after photos! I just wrote a posting about designing a home with entertaining in mind ( http://reallogstyle.com/2011/10/24/a-floor-plan-for-family-gatherings/ ), and that means planning an open and functional kitchen. I think a lot of these points and ideas are just as applicable for designing a kitchen from scratch as they are for remodeling. Thanks for the kitchen design info.

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