Kitchen remodeling goes beyond nice new cabinets and beautiful countertops. Remodeling your kitchen is a significant investment so, before you get started, here’s our top 5 tips to take into consideration in the design of your new space.
1. Create an Open Concept Kitchen
Your kitchen should feel like part of the home, with ease of movement from it to the other spaces on your main level. One of the most frequent home remodeling requests we get from homeowners is to help them ‘open up’ their kitchen. Over the years, we’ve changed how we utilize the space in our homes, so creating a more open concept is not a design “trend”, it’s a way of living that’s here to stay. There’s a lot to be said for a more open concept, but more important than this is the ‘flow’ of a home.
In the example below, the kitchen was expanded into the formal dining room (not shown) creating a gorgeous large kitchen as well as opening up the main level floor plan. The entire space now feels cohesive and flows from one room to another.
2. Add a Large Island
Seating area, prep space, cabinetry storage, integrated cooktop or sink – take your pick. A large island opens up a ton of possibilities when it comes to functional day-to-day usage. Two things have driven the need and popularity of a large island: most of us don’t eat or entertain in a formal dining room any more and it’s a fact of life that everyone naturally gravitates towards the kitchen when they’re in your home. Make the most of it and create as large an island as your space will allow.
A word of warning: larger islands require larger countertops so this is a line item that could make a significant dent in your kitchen remodeling budget. Islands with waterfall countertops continue to be a much sought-after look, but you don’t have to go with an expensive waterfall finish for a beautiful island.
In this home remodel, the island in the ‘Before’ photo was small and not very functional for a family with young children. The ‘After’ photo shows the remodeled kitchen with a large island providing lots of extra prep space and seating for everyone!
3. Get Rid of the Built-in Closet Pantry
The staple of many homes built in the last 30 years, a built-in closet type pantry was frequently added to the kitchen. Although useful, this type of pantry can take up a lot of valuable square footage in your kitchen and, like the disappearing socks in your washing machine, things sometimes end up in there that don’t see the light of day for ten years. Most kitchen remodels and kitchen design these days take a slightly different approach to the pantry and use cabinetry pantries with lots of pull-out shelves that still provide great storage, but also make it easier to find things and see what’s in there. If square footage isn’t an issue for you, then a separate step-in pantry is still a great use of space that provides tons of extra storage – even if your pantry organization skills aren’t Pinterest worthy!
In the kitchen remodel below, we removed the closet pantry on the left of the ‘Before’ photo and reconfigured the kitchen to better utilize that area as well as creating a more open concept kitchen by removing the wall separating it from the dining room on the right (see ‘After’ photo).
4. Maximize Lighting
Lighting really can make or break a kitchen remodel. We highly recommend spending time to work through the details of the lighting plan for your kitchen remodel and adding recessed lighting as well as pendants or other fixtures to really brighten things up. Under cabinet lighting is a great way to create ambience as well as functionality by providing additional light for food preparation or other tasks. Having your kitchen lights on dimmable switches is a great way to control the mood of the room.
Natural lighting is as important as electrical fixtures. This is another time when going with a more open concept has an added benefit: the opportunity for more natural light to flood into your home. Removing walls and partitions is a great way to add more natural light to your kitchen.
Lastly, a simple fix to better lighting: paint! Wood cabinets in your kitchen will make it feel darker, so lighten things up by contrasting with whites and neutrals in your kitchen. Not sure where to start? Read How to Paint Like a Professional for more hints and tips.
In the kitchen remodel below, in addition to removing the shelving partition and adding more recessed and pendant lighting, we used white matte paint on the kitchen walls but refinished the solarium in the structure in the same color in semi-gloss. This keeps the look consistent and allows the rooms to flow from one another and, most importantly, it looks and feels so much brighter!
5. Remove the Kitchen Desk
There’s nothing wrong with an integrated desk in the kitchen, but only if you use it. This is another design feature we’re often asked to remove in the kitchen remodels we work on because homeowners end up using them as a dumping ground for mail, homework and the coupons you never remember to take to the store with you. It’s still important to have a ‘drop zone’ in your kitchen so you have somewhere to put car keys, phone chargers, etc., but there is a different approach you can take by incorporating a charging drawer that neatly hids items when not in use.
In the kitchen remodel below, our client had a separate office on the main level and the kitchen desk was wasted space. We removed it and repurposed the space with the addition of a handy and stylish wine/beverage fridge instead.
At Synergy Design & Construction, we provide a full design-build kitchen remodeling service. That means we partner with you to design your perfect kitchen that takes into consideration how you use your space. We work with you all the way through construction and professionally project manage your home remodel along the way so you have a turn-key home renovation experience. One point of accountability, one team. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy a hassle-free remodel! If you are looking for a design thoughtful kitchen remodel, first floor or whole home remodel, we’re happy to discuss your needs.