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Great Ideas when starting your Kitchen Re-Design

Even though you may seek the professional advice of a designer at some point during the process, you are the ultimate end-user and the reason for the re-design, so this renovation starts with your preferences and ends with your satisfaction.  Because kitchens are so reliant on function, you are creating more than a pretty room--you are creating a beautiful and highly functional room as well.  In order to not get overwhelmed in the beginning stages, here are some tips for getting the process started and setting yourself up for a successful end result.

1.  Be honest about what you hate about your current space.
There are the obvious offences, like unmatched appliances, dated cabinetry, etc., but look at it from a function standpoint.  As a designer I'm always conscious of how a kitchen relates the rest of the house.  Consider all of the daily activities that go on in your kitchen, and if there are features in the current space that make these things difficult.  Maybe its an awkward peninsula that visually and physically interrupts the flow from one room to the other, or maybe the kitchen is too cut off from the rest of the house.  Think about the basic layout and consider how many steps it takes to prepare a meal.  Maybe you've been living with a poor layout for so long that you've become used to it, so trace your steps for a day and pay attention to what bothers you.  A great goal is to tighten up the distance between work centers--no more than 9' and no less than 4' is comfortable, and makes a cook's job more efficient.

2.  Make an outrageous wish list
Even if your budget only allows for a "facelift" and not a complete overhaul, keep a file of what you'd love to have if the sky was the limit.  Your wish list will reveal recurring preferences and tastes, and as you accumulate photos, notes and product information, you'll have something to refer to to get the look you're after--even if it ends up being "the look for less".  Besides, if you end up hiring a designer, there's no telling what tricks they have up their sleeve for capturing exactly what you're after and creating the space of your dreams.

3.  Don't let others dictate your tastes
Everyone has an opinion these days, and with so many options to choose from, it can become overwhelming to try and take it all in.  Be confident from the beginning in what your likes and dislikes are.  A great example of this is when it comes to countertop choices.  Marble is all the rage right now, and there are varying opinions on how practical it is over time since it is a "softer" stone.  Some will say to stay away from this type of surface for durability's sake, but a great kitchen designer once told me to "buy what you love and be aware of its limitations".  This is fantastic advice--knowing what you're getting into and understanding that it may need a bit more care and attention gives you permission to choose something that suits your taste.

4.  Determine how you want your kitchen to feel
 After considering function and form, seriously consider how you want your kitchen to feel when everything is complete.  Although "feeling" is often harder to describe or nail down, it will play an important role in your satisfaction with the final outcome.  Clients often ask for a kitchen that "feels like its always been there", or a space that feels like a gathering place--one where everyone will always end up hanging out.

Love these last two images--this space is so soothing, but has a quiet energy to it.....for me, it "feels" perfectly perfect.......

1 comment:

Brianne said...

I am soooo glad I found your blog! I LOVE it! I was wondering if you happen to know where the pendants from the 3rd picture down are from? They are beautiful!