We flip houses, so we’ve seen a lot of kitchens: they are the heart of a home. It’s important to get it right.
1. Nailing “The Kitchen Triangle”
The sink, stove and refrigerator see the most action in the kitchen, therefore, it makes sense that they be in close proximity to each other… but not too close.
If The Kitchen Is The Heart Of The Home, The Sink Is The Heart Of The Kitchen
Ideally, the three will form a triangle, the chef can easily move between to create their masterpiece.
2. Functional Storage: A Must
Let’s talk about storage. Who here has a junk drawer in their kitchen? What about an overflowing silverware / utensil drawer?
Our suggestion is to invest in quality cabinets up front; large lower drawers as opposed to excessive larger lower cabinets. Upgrade to wider utility drawers and organization features. If its an either/or situation, put your money towards quality cabinets over granite or quartz and high end appliances. Save up and upgrade those items later.
Check out this idea for storing larger appliances:
Or this one from Houzz for cooking utensils:
Additionally, if you can, choose cabinets that exhaust your vertical storage. Taller is better.
3. Maximize Counter Space
Lack of counter space is one of the biggest complaints in kitchen design. It is prudent to maximize it where possible. Where will you put your seasonal decor? What about your pretty stand mixer? Consider adding a breakfast bar or island.
4. Consider An Island
An island addition can solve the problem of both storage and extra counter space. However, let us advise you not to do this at the expense of functionality. Fresh Home states:
“An island should be at least 4 feet long and 2 feet deep, but it also must have room for people to move and work around it. Specialists say that unless your kitchen is at least 8 feet deep and 12 feet long, you shouldn’t even consider an island.” (source: here)
Accept your kitchen for what it is.
5. Keep Trends In Check
We love staying on trend, it’s a perk of the biz. However, a kitchen remodel is a large investment; one that you don’t want to have to re-live in 5 years. The safest decision a homeowner can make is to choose the most classic look possible for the most expensive purchase of your kitchen: the cabinets. One exception to this is if you are upcycling cabinets or saving money by painting your existing ones. In those cases – make your mark, inspiring people! Please share below… I want some inspiration!
We did this in our kitchen:
Now, it’s even better, because we have a backsplash!
6. Splurge On The Details
You must have a backsplash. I can not emphasize this enough. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it must have something. If I am being honest, I will tell you that we don’t always follow this rule, because budgets are cruel. However, if you can manage a DIY project or save up, it will make a big impact in the look of your kitchen. Again, this can be done later.
7. Adequate Lighting
Since I refuse to sacrifice style for functionality, two words for you: can lights. They will allow you to have the best of both worlds. Uriah forever complains about my lighting selections. Those all-so-trendy edison bulbs don’t always cut it in the brightness department. Can lights solve that problem, allowing you to choose unique light fixtures that will transform your space with out inhibiting your ability to see. That said, if the budget is tight – upgrade that later!
It’s important. Maybe not visually, but there is nothing more unattractive in a kitchen than the smell of the salmon you cooked last night lingering in the morning while you’re eating breakfast.
How about a custom vent hood?
This is a great DIY vent hood project
9. The Trashcan Isn’t Pretty
No one wants to stare at your trashcan. If you are installing new cabinets and your space allows, make it built-in: just do it. You will be happy you did. Even better, make sure to allow enough space for two bins: one for recycling, the other for trash. There are plenty of after market options at Lowes or Home Depot.
10. DIY Overload
We are all for saving a buck, however, sometimes it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Be realistic about your abilities, value your own time, and consider hiring out the work.