Are you interested in renovating your kitchen, but not sure where you should start? It’s an understandable predicament. Most people start with the kitchen when looking to renovate their home. Research shows that most families spend a huge amount of time in the kitchen, and with all of the appliances, gadgets, and necessary functional space, it’s a necessity when it comes to renovation projects. Unfortunately, having so many different areas to focus on all at once can be overwhelming, not to mention expensive.
So where do most people start when it comes to kitchen renovations? It varies from project to project and house to house. There is no exact guide for where to start, so it’s up to you to decide what needs the most attention or what is most important to you. Some of the most common kitchen renovation projects are:
- Replacing appliances
- Replacing cabinets
- Installing new flooring
- Replacing countertops
- Changing the décor
All of these projects will dramatically improve the look and usefulness of your kitchen. Many of these projects can be fairly expensive, but will absolutely pay off in the long run. If budget is an issue you can always look into thrifting for used pieces, or upcycling if you’re crafty.
Most people use their kitchens several times a day, so it’s totally worth it to spend some time and energy making it a more functional space, or even if that just means a more aesthetically appealing space. Let’s take a look at what each of these renovations entails:
As far as useful storage space goes in the kitchen, cabinets are one of the most important areas. While almost all kitchens have some sort of cabinetry installed, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it always looks nice, or is the most functional set of cabinets. Modern cabinets have an incredibly wide range of useful tricks for added storage, organization, and ease of use.
Most older cabinets just have shelves to aid with organization, but are often deep and require you to dig around inside to find what you need, which we all know can be a pain. Lower cabinets can be especially irritating because in order to see what’s in the way back you have to get way down low. More modern cabinet systems make extensive use of sliding rails so most low shelves can be pulled out most of the way, if not completely, for easy viewing and selection of whatever it is you need. Many companies will work with you to create specially organized drawers that you can divide up any way you like. For people who need everything organized like me, this is incredibly useful.
Probably the most exciting part of installing new cabinets is getting to customize the look of your new kitchen. In most cases, cabinets take up the vast majority of wall space in the kitchen, so you can completely redefine your space with a new set of cabinets. You can go from the drab, spartan cabinets that were there when you moved in, to magnificent custom cabinets in any color or design style you could possibly imagine.
The only drawback when it comes to replacing cabinets can be the high price tag. Generally cabinets have to be made custom to fit your home, which can drive the price up a bit. That being said, getting custom woodworking projects, like cabinets, allows you to get them made precisely to your specifications. So, while cabinets can be pricey, it’s usually well worth it to be able to have creative control over the design and create your own custom organization solutions.
Appliances are what make the modern kitchen work. It would be very difficult to function without a refrigerator, freezer, oven, microwave, and dishwasher. In addition to those main players, there are a whole handful of secondary players as well. When it comes time for kitchen renovation, it’s generally a good idea to replace all of your appliances. Many people, if they can afford it, opt to get a whole set at the same time, so everything matches aesthetically.
One nice thing about replacing appliances is the fact that you can replace them one at a time over a period of months. It’s not necessary to buy all of your new appliances at the same time and rack up a huge price tag all at once. It’s pretty common to buy them gradually over the course of a year or so.
Having a modern set of appliances can increase the functionality of your kitchen in a big way. Many appliances now come with an Energy Star rating, meaning they can save you money on utilities by using less energy overall. In addition to saving you money, new appliances can also save you lots of time when it comes to cooking and cleaning in the kitchen. If you’re anything like me and still have a wood-paneled microwave from the 80’s, it might be time to move into the future and upgrade to some more recent appliances.
Replacing your kitchen’s countertops often goes hand in hand with having new cabinets installed. It’s usually easier to do these at the same time, since they are almost always two halves of a whole. You want to make sure your new countertop matches with your new cabinets and vice versa, and your lower cabinets are most likely what is going to support your new countertop.
Most homeowners these days opt to go with granite or engineered quartz for their replacement countertops. Stone countertops are very popular these days, due to the many benefits they provide. Firstly, they last forever, and I’m not really exaggerating when I say forever. They’re incredibly hard, which means you don’t have to worry too much about scratching, melting, or denting them. With proper sealing, they are very easy to sanitize and keep germ-free. In addition to all those benefits, they come in a spectacular array of colors and patterns, so they’re easy to match with the décor of your home.
If you are thinking about installing granite countertops on new or existing cabinets in your kitchen, make sure to either tell your carpenter (for new cabinets), or check with the granite installation crew to verify that your counter can support the immense weight of a granite or quartz slab. It’s important to choose a reputable granite supplier and installer to take care of your new countertops. You want to make sure the job gets done right, because there’s no going back once it is installed.
Installing New Floors
When renovating the kitchen, many people choose to get their flooring replaced as part of the process. If you’re spending the money, time, and effort to have your appliances, cabinets, and countertops replaced, you probably don’t want that dingy laminate floor that was there when you moved in taking away from the look of your new kitchen.
The most popular floor options for kitchens today are hardwood, stone tile, or laminate. Personally, I recommend hardwood, as it lasts longer and looks nicer (to me) than other flooring options. Laminate tends to get grimy after a while, and lose its luster, and stone tiles can be very expensive. That being said, it all depends what kind of look you are going for with your kitchen remodel.
No matter what you’re trying to accomplish with your remodel, it will probably benefit from an upgrade of your current flooring.
Changing the Décor
This one is entirely up to you! There are many resources out there for kitchen remodels that will show off a myriad of styles you can attempt to recreate, or just use as the inspiration for something entirely different. The possibilities are truly endless if you’re doing a top to bottom remodel. Since your countertops and cabinets will most likely be custom, you are completely in control of what the final look will be.
Renovating your kitchen can be a very rewarding process, and give your home a more personalized feel. Unfortunately, it can carry a pretty hefty price tag with it. Many homeowners choose to do these upgrades in waves so they aren’t paying the whole amount all at the same time. These basic guidelines will hopefully give you some direction when it comes to starting your own remodel.