Before you dive deep into any kitchen update, ask yourself these questions:
What is bothering me about my kitchen?
Do the cabinets need to be replaced or am I just sick of the color?
Are my appliances working for me or do they ruin every meal?
Now that we’ve had time to live in our kitchen, is the floor layout working for me and the family?
What’s working/not working in this space?
Are we up for living without a kitchen for 3 – 4 months while undergoing a large renovation?
I’ve talked about this before and I’ll say it again, finding clarity about what you want to change will help you decide if this is a light refresh or a complete gut out remodel. Getting clear on your pain points will direct the overall budget and help you stay focused with what is important for you and other family members living under the same roof.
Below are some questions and options to help you in deciding what’s best for your home (and family)!
Do I need to replace my cabinets?
There are three different options when considering changing the look of your kitchen cabinets.
Refresh with paint. This may be the best solution if you like your layout and the condition of your cabinets. It does require some work, including sanding, cleaning, and priming before painting, so hiring a pro in the cabinet making industry may be worth it. You can get creative and paint the bottom cabinets a dark color and the upper cabinets a lighter color. You can also paint the island a contrasting color from the wall cabinets for a new look.
Reface the fronts. If the frame of your cabinets are in good shape, but the fronts are outdated or just need a new look, you can replace the door and drawer fronts. Make sure to measure all your cabinets so that you stick with the same sizing on all fronts (pun intended).
Replace. It could be the layout just isn’t working and the cabinets are in rough shape. This is the highest in cost, but the most transformative for a new look.
I don’t see as many upper wall cabinets in new kitchens these days, but I need the storage!
There are beautiful ways to lighten upper wall cabinets so that it doesn’t bring down the rest of the kitchen. These options can make your kitchen feel elevated and intentional with something that stands out from the rest.
I like tile, but what other options do I have for a backsplash?
I love a good and simple tile pattern myself, but I am really excited to see more countersplashes. Countersplashes are basically what they sound like – the same style of countertop is used on the wall with almost a seamless continuation from the countertop. To save on cost, you can opt to have a 4” – 10” countersplash rather than going all the way up to the ceiling.
Do I need a large range?
The short answer is, no! Unless you consider yourself a chef at home and or need to fill 60” of wall space. Many homes are opting for 24” – 30” ranges with four burners. Most of us only cook with 2 burners on at the same time… maybe. There are so many amazing new ranges with vibrant colors and styles now, so maybe it’s time to think outside of the standard stainless steel box and go with something more interesting! If this one area you want to invest in, it has the power to elevate your kitchen dramatically.
Should I carry the flooring from my living room/dining room into my kitchen?
It really all depends on the design, but for the most part, you can do whatever you want! Here are some rules of thumb to go by:
If your layout is an open concept with no walls between the kitchen and other living areas, continuing the same floor can make the whole home feel cohesive and expansive.
Most older homes have the dining, living room, and kitchen within the same area, but are separated into smaller rooms. You can have fun with different tile or luxury vinyl patterns in the kitchen to distinguish it from the rest of the living areas. Small kitchen? Large scale patterns can make the room feel bigger.
If you’ve decided that your kitchen needs more than just a refresh, it’s time to consult with a kitchen designer (Not google. Yes, there are designers that specialize in kitchen design due to the technical and skillful complexity of the job). Kitchen designers can save you thousands by guiding you with problem solving solutions, choosing the right materials, and keeping you on task and on budget. They’ve designed many kitchens and have run into A LOT of challenges along the way, so they bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. For example, I would never dream of fixing my own car (some would try this and figure this out on their own and I seriously applaud you!), so my mechanic is there to make sure my car keeps me safe.
I hope you found this helpful and keeps you dreaming of kitchens and what they can provide in all of their glory!
If you’re ready for a kitchen remodel, I would love to chat and see if we would be a good fit for your project. Click below to inquire! We’ll start with a discovery call first, to see if we’re a match 🙂
Calnin Design Studio is a full-service interior design firm serving Wisconsin and beyond. Katie and her team specialize in designing laid back luxury homes for clients seeking an intentional and slow living lifestyle.
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