Whether you just moved into an older home or are looking to sell and want to increase your market value, a kitchen remodel can be a wonderful thing. It opens up a world of opportunities for homeowners to achieve the perfect layout and style and update appliances, lighting, etc.
However, a room remodel can be a daunting process, especially since this is your chance to finally make it right and adapt it towards you and your family’s lifestyles. But once you decide to remodel a kitchen, where do you begin? From choosing the best flooring types to creating an efficient work triangle between appliances, here are the top kitchen remodeling dos and don’ts to take into consideration and keep in mind.
Your kitchen sees tons of traffic and accidental spills, so be sure to choose the best flooring for your kitchen that is made to last. Besides selecting beautiful flooring, it’s critical to be mindful of how easy it is to maintain. It may also be beneficial to consider a water-resistant or even waterproof flooring type. Laminate, vinyl sheet and hardwood make excellent choices for your kitchen floors.
Instead of keeping trash out in the open, install a pull-out wastebasket hidden within a cabinet. For existing cabinets, you can find and install a sliding track in a lower part of a pantry or lower cabinet space. Not only does this nifty system keep trash out of sight, but it can conceal any odors and smells, too. You can also find double-bin wastebasket systems that offer organization for both garbage and recycling.
As a work area, kitchens need plenty of lighting. Consider recessed lighting and allow as much natural lighting through windows as possible. Lastly, add some mood lighting, such as under cabinet lighting or decorative pendants above the kitchen island and sink areas. Put kitchen lights on a dimmer switch to provide a more romantic, ambient atmosphere.
Ensure your workspace is well-lit. Install recessed lighting approximately four feet apart, aligning them along the countertops to allow you to see what you’re preparing.
If your kitchen space allows for it, add an island. Since the kitchen is the heart of the home, an island can be quite versatile. It can offer a space to pull up bar stools for a quick breakfast or a spot for guests to gather around and chat as the chef prepares meals. Kitchen islands also offer ample storage beneath and a spacious countertop to spread out as you bake cookies and more.
One of the most important aspects of a kitchen design is to ensure an efficient workflow. And as a general rule of thumb, kitchens need a work triangle layout with proper space distance between the stove, sink and refrigerator. When observing the kitchen floor plan, draw lines between each. It should resemble a triangle with near equal sides. However, if this is not the case or the triangle has a shorter side, consider giving those appliances more distance to create a better flow.
In the same vein as the work triangle, you want to ensure a pathway with enough width between cabinets and walls. As a general rule, paths should be at least 36 inches wide. However, for paths within the cooking zones, it should reach 42 to 48 inches wide. Keep this in mind when planning for a kitchen island or peninsula, too.
If you choose to makeover your entire kitchen, explore your appliance options right away. This way, it will be much easier to choose cabinets and countertops to fit around them. Since the appliances are the essential kitchen tools, this also allows you to explore refrigerator styles–like French doors–and to decide between specific appliance details like whether you want a cooktop stove or a built-in microwave. Determining your appliance finishes can also help you nail down the overall style.
Give the fridge enough distance from walls to be able to open the doors. When remodeling a kitchen, many homeowners forget to consider areas like the floor trim and fail to accommodate their refrigerator’s unique door shape. Sometimes, fridges are also installed too close to the side walls, preventing you from opening the doors wide to pull out the shelves. For curved doors especially, you might not be able to open each one all the way.
Never place the oven too close to a wall or another appliance. The oven can reach hot temperatures, which can be a safety hazard when placed too close to a wall. Should you keep it close to the refrigerator, it may cause the fridge to expend more energy as it combats trying to keep everything cool. Instead, give at least one cabinet-size width on each side to accommodate and provide workspace.
When installing a slide-out trash receptacle, consider keeping it in a cabinet close to the sink. This can be even below the sink. Otherwise, you may find yourself constantly digging out food particles from the sink drain. If you have the ability, install a garbage disposal in the sink, too.
Take advantage of every square inch of space within a kitchen. To maximize the floor plan, use toe-kick areas beneath cabinets to create additional storage for those kitchen gadgets and tools you use once in a blue moon. Even a narrow counter space can offer room for a slide-out spice cabinet or knife drawer, keeping your counter space open and free of clutter. At the end of a kitchen island, install shelves for favorite cookbooks.