A kitchen remodel involves more extensive changes than a renovation. It typically involves a gut or redo of the entire room and includes new flooring, cabinets, lighting, and electrical fixtures.
Create smart storage by installing lower cabinets at waist-height. That way you (and future homeowners) can access your most-used items without twisting like a pretzel.
Cabinets are the base of any kitchen and provide both storage space and structural support. They may be face-frame or frameless in construction. Cabinets can be stacked vertically or wrap around appliances like refrigerators. They can also be tall or short and come in a variety of styles.
When choosing cabinets, consider how they will be used and what their storage needs are. You can even find specialty units that minimize space wastage and make your cabinets easier to access.
If possible, opt for cabinets with a lifetime warranty. This indicates that the manufacturer has confidence in their quality and are willing to stand behind them. Cabinets that don’t offer warranties are typically lower quality and will begin to break down after a few years of use.
To maximize your storage space, organize cabinets by categories. For example, store frequently used mugs and drinking glasses on the front of the cabinet while keeping other types on higher shelves. This way, you can reach your favorites when you’re thirsty without having to dig through less-used items. You can also add organizers like drawer dividers to keep items from rattling around. These will keep everything neat and tidy while also reducing the amount of dust that accumulates.
Countertops are the most visible part of your kitchen, so it’s important to choose a surface that suits your style and matches other materials in the room. It’s also a good idea to think about how you will use the countertops and consider any storage needs.
If you cook a lot, look for non-porous surfaces that will resist food stains and bacteria. Porcelain or quartz countertops are a great option, available in a range of creamy, gleaming colors that complement your kitchen design. Soapstone is another natural choice that ages well, though it may require regular oiling to keep it looking its best.
Natural stone like granite is durable and adds a touch of elegance to any kitchen. Wood can also work, especially when it’s a hard species that’s resistant to cuts and scratches. It’s also possible to find ecofriendly options, such as reclaimed wood or recycled glass.
Keep in mind that kitchen countertops must be strong enough to hold heavy pots and pans, so they should have a good amount of thickness. You might want to consider adding an edge treatment, such as a rounded or ogee edge, to enhance the appearance and durability of your countertop.
Flooring can be an expensive item to replace. To make the most of your money and time, it is essential to find an option that will hold up against the daily wear and tear that the kitchen takes. Wood floors are a beautiful choice and can look great in a kitchen, but they need to be well-protected from moisture, food spills, and other daily damage. Using pads under stool legs and dining table legs, as well as area rugs, can help protect the hardwood floors from scratches and other damage.
Vinyl is an economical and durable option that can be painted to match your kitchen color scheme. It also offers a smooth surface that is easy to clean and does not absorb water, making it suitable for the busy family kitchen.
Natural wood is a popular kitchen flooring option that can add warmth and natural beauty to the space. Choosing wood that matches the cabinetry can create a seamless look and feel to the room. Hardwood can be sanded and refinished if it starts to show signs of wear, but it is important to consider the daily use that will be put on the floor when selecting this material.
If you want your kitchen to be both functional and a gathering space for family and friends, a well-considered lighting scheme is essential. A layered system of Ambient, Task and Accent lighting will create a beautiful look that also works well when you’re cooking or eating in the kitchen.
A good place to start is with the kitchen ceiling lights. The height of the ceiling may automatically rule out options like large pendant lights and chandeliers, but you can still make a statement with more modern designs like industrial flush mounts or stainless steel sconces.
Undercabinet lighting is another great way to brighten up darker areas of your kitchen, particularly when you’re reworking cabinets. Surface mount pucks, modular linear fixtures (that can be daisy chained together) and recessed downlights are all popular options, each with their own pros and cons.
Finally, the finishing touch to your lighting scheme is a range of accent lights that backlight backsplashes, highlight shelving and create eye-catching focal points. You can even use LED strips to give a soft low light under cabinetry or as a subtle way to guide guests to a spot at your kitchen island. Ideally, these smaller lights should be controlled separately to create different moods at the flick of a switch.
Appliances are a big part of the kitchen experience, from a toaster to an oven. But they also take up a lot of visual space, often with stark metallic or sheen plastic faces that actively draw a viewer’s eye and can compete with the beauty of the rest of your kitchen.
Appliance storage solutions can make all the difference in how much counter space is free for food prep and cooking. Begin by gathering your appliances and sorting them by frequency of use. This is a great exercise to help you declutter and determine what you really use and what you don’t. If you have an extra freezer or pantry, consider moving less-used appliances to those spaces to free up more usable counter and lower cabinet real estate.
For frequently used appliances, consider installing a designated station for them to reside in, such as a coffee or breakfast bar area. This will allow you to easily grab them when needed and put them away when they’re not. For the occasional-use appliances like a waffle maker, ice cream maker or slow cooker, consider higher cabinets to keep them out of the way but quickly accessible when needed.
The island is one of the most important parts of any kitchen. It’s a central cooking workspace, the focal point of social gatherings, and an opportunity to add personality to your design.
Choosing an island countertop material and color can be a fun way to add a pop of color to the room. It’s also an ideal spot to include a waterfall edge, which offers a striking visual element and conceals the sink and appliances underneath.
Kitchen islands can be stocked with closed storage options like cabinets and drawers or open storage like shelves and see-through cabinetry. Identify what you’ll be storing on the island so that you can select the option that best suits your needs. For example, if you plan to use the island as a makeshift pantry, stock it with containers of dry goods that you’d normally store in your pantry.
Incorporate an oven, microwave, or dishwasher on your island to save time when prepping and serving food. You can even add boiling water taps to your island for quick and convenient cooking. If you have the space, tuck in a few bar stools to add seating and a dining area to your kitchen.
Storage is a major component of any kitchen. A clutter-free space for cooking, working and entertaining requires intelligent planning and efficient storage ideas.
Consider your family’s lifestyle from the start of your kitchen remodel project to determine storage needs. A newlywed couple planning to have kids might need extra fridge space, while empty nesters who love to host parties might require more drawers for platters and other special occasion items.
Invest in the right cabinets and innovate with innovative kitchen storage solutions to ensure everything has a place and can be easily found when needed. Rather than stacking items on your counters that can be knocked off or in between cabinets where they’ll get lost, try installing slide-out shelves that can tuck away until you need them.
Layering the heights of surfaces in your kitchen is another smart storage trick. A simple pedestal elevates a pretty candle from the sink-side counter while creating additional storage for soaps and scrubbers. For even more vertical storage, add in expandable dividers that can fit within a drawer to customize the number of compartments and help keep drawers organized. With a little imagination and precision planning, smart kitchen storage ideas can transform your space to be both functional and beautiful.