“Make me a list,” said my husband.
“A list?!” I asked. “Make a list for YOU?!”
“Yep,” he said. “Make me a list of the necessary things that you want done around this house before the babies get here. And we’ll knock it out. But that way, there are no surprises or last-minute panic situations.”
The above conversation ensued after a lengthy discussion about calling the painter and having him come paint the entire interior of the house…instead of just the baby’s room. That thought led to the ideas of several other projects, and I think I may have hit the “done” point with the hubby.
So, a list is in progress. And while there are several practical things that really do need to be taken care of before the arrival of the twins, there are also those fun little dreams that I’ll have to put off until later. Like my kitchen remodel.
I DO love dreaming about redoing our kitchen. I have no idea when that will ever actually happen, but it sure is fun to dream about it! So when Zoe Clark contacted me with a post highlighting things to consider in the midst of a kitchen redesign, well. How could I resist?!
The kitchen may not be a part of the home you and your loved ones spend most time in (unless someone in the house is a would-be sous chef), but its layout and functionality still count for increased property value and happy family life. As a general rule, the kitchen should be updated at least every 10 years, but securing the funds to cover project costs is only the first step toward remodel success. Before you launch the redesign, you need to take into account your kitchen’s potential and limitations, and have a clear idea as to the works duration and best direction to take in the process. Kitchen remodel funds are all up to you to provide, but the work gets a bit easier once you know which questions to ask yourself before you grab a power drill and sledgehammer and Hulk out on your outdated kitchen.
1. Who will be using the space?
When planning the kitchen remodel, focus on your household’s needs rather than your personal preferences. We would all like to have kitchens like Jamie Oliver and Rudolph van Veen, but do we really need all those pricey chef-grade appliances and extras? No, we do not: in 9 out of 10 cases, we need just the essentials, such as solid cooker, sink, fridge, and countertops. If you often cook with a partner or allow kitchen access for kids and pets, the list of kitchen updates will get longer, so take into account the big picture before you go on to throw in kitchen isles, marble tops, and other fancy things you picked up from food and cooking programs.
2. How much kitchen can you afford?
Once you have defined essential kitchen updates, consult the piggy bank for a reality check. If you are not a savings-savvy homeowner, total cash available for the remodel will not cover all the upgrades you have listed as necessary. This means prioritizing, and prioritizing is always tricky business. According to experienced Sydney plumbers, it is a better idea to fix or replace old drains and pipes than cash out for a brand new induction range or energy star fridge. Faulty water features and internal wiring will only aggravate over time, and no amount of fine polish can compensate for kitchen functionality.
3. Should you change kitchen location or floor plan?
In most modern homes, the kitchen is either merged with the dining room or situated right next to it. If your cooking area is separated from the dining room by a hallway, relocating it closer to the dining area can increase your property’s functionality and value. Kitchen layout modification is another lucrative remodel idea: open-floor kitchens that flow into the dining room are all the rage in interior design these days. Nevertheless, note that kitchen relocation or reorganization may require structural changes such as plumbing and installation modifications, which can be quite costly, so do not launch extensive kitchen modifications unless you really need and can afford them.
4. Which updates provide best value for money?
Splurge-worthy kitchen updates include energy saving stainless steel appliances, storage space expansion, custom-built cabinetry, lighting upgrades, high-end countertops and flooring, wiring and plumbing overhauls, and elements crafted from sustainable or natural materials. Also, an important part of any kitchen is a well-functioning range hood.
5. Which elements are a waste of cash?
Kitchen hardware that looks cool but does little else is a waste of homeowner’s money. Marble countertops and backsplash are chic, but less pricey granite or quartz are equally functional; high-class tiles may be hip, but they are no more durable than classic porcelain or laminate; modernist sinks, faucets, and other aesthetic details have a short lifespan, so investing in money-saving add-ons such as low-flow faucets, aerators, and LED lights is a financially wiser idea than rocking out short-lived extras, however classy or cleverly advertised they may be.
All set? Good luck with the kitchen remodel: you now know how to make the investment count!
This article was written by Zoe Clark. Zoe is an environmentalist, home decorator and DIY enthusiast. When not obsessing about designing perfect homes, she is spending time with her family.
Fabulous and very practical tips, thank you, Zoe! Think I could sneak a kitchen redo onto my hubby’s list?! Nonchalantly, of course…
Nah, I don’t think so, either.
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