Kitchen remodel -

I have never remodeled before and now have the opportunity to create a brand new kitchen! Super exciting but also totally overwhelming. My question is specific- if you remodeled your kitchen and had to do it over again what would you do or not do?  I don’t have a great ability to visualize things which makes it tough. Any advice appreciated! 

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RE: Kitchen remodel - ()

We used IKEA cabinet frames with Semihandmade brand fronts and love it. IKEA has a tool where you can input your room dimensions and design in their program. Their cabinets are really sturdy and you can easily install yourself and using semihandmade gives lots of options for a more high end finish. 

Also highly recommended induction stovetop. So much more efficient and clean than gas. 

RE: Kitchen remodel - ()

Oh my gosh so many thoughts! It was such a fun experience to redo our kitchen, but I learned a lot along the way. Here are a few of the top things.

1. Make sure that the builder has a clear understanding of the vision BEFORE demo. We left town for a couple weeks during demo and came back to a closet in an awkward place with a new electrical panel in it (made no sense as the stacked washer dryer would cover the electrical panel, making it inaccessible). We had wanted what looked like a seamless wall of cabinets, including one for the washer dryer. 

2. Get nice cabinets. We got Ikea boxes with Semihandmade doors. The doors look fine, but the boxes inside look pretty bad. I wish we had just spent a little extra to get nice ones.

3. Hire people who know what they're doing. Possibly ask to see examples of their work before deciding. We didn't get to the hood over the stove or the backsplash tile til later, and we hired a handy man to install them. I didn't have bullnose tile, but he said it would be fine to use grout on the edges...definitely looks janky. He also used grout between the tile and the counter which quickly started crumbling. I think it should have been a more flexible material. And for some reason he put small bits of moulding all around the top of the hood and tile (it goes up to the ceiling). It looks really weird and doesn't match the rest of the house. tldr - just hire someone who knows what they're doing.

4. This is super specific, but go for deep bench seating if you build it. We put in a little kitchen nook with storage benches. The benches are 18" deep, which is fine on its own...but not deep enough when you add pillows behind your back! 

5. Gas ovens aren't the best. Didn't know that til we got one! Gas stoves are awesome. Electric ovens are better.

Ok some things I love:

1. Cabinet with doors that slide back. It holds our toaster oven, blender, and a tea/coffee station. I love that it keeps things organized and out of view when we're not using them.

2. Narrow cabinet for pans and cutting boards. Very handy.

3. A couple stand out design features -- blue heath tile (from their discount shed -- highly recommend!) and dark green base cabinets. Most of the kitchen is quite neutral, but I like having a couple things that pop.

Hope some of these are helpful! Good luck and enjoy!

RE: Kitchen remodel - ()

I've done it.  If I did it again, I WOULD search for just the right contractor; do your due diligence and find someone who is a good communicator, organizes and schedules their time well, is honest, skilled, and licensed.  I WOULD splurge for useful details like pull-out drawers in cabinets, lazy susans, and soft-close drawers.  I WOULD choose solid stone countertops, and find space for a second, smaller sink!  I would NOT go for expensive, custom cabinets if the same style is available cheaper from a big-box store.  I would NOT pay for the custom beveled edge on the graniter countertops - no one really notices that in the long run.  Choose form and function over purely aesthetic upgrades.  Have fun!

RE: Kitchen remodel - ()

We remodeled our kitchen a few years ago. I think the biggest things to think about are whether you're fundamentally redoing it (e.g. are you moving appliances & windows around, is the footprint changing?) or are you just upgrading things (leaving most things where they are but switching appliances out for new ones, changing cupboards & countertops, etc.). We did the former, which is obviously a much bigger project.

Then we had to figure out how we were going to use the kitchen. We decided that since we had a dining room we liked, we'd continue to use that to eat our meals, rather than trying to build in a breakfast nook type of thing. We wanted a big island, however, where we could have someone sit while someone else cooked. 

We also wanted a very clean look so no upper cabinets and decided to go with custom cabinets (one of the biggest costs) rather than Ikea, etc. 

The things I wish we'd thought more about was better food storage (e.g. building out better shelving etc) and then better storage for certain appliances. I loved that we 'hid' the microwave in the island and that we put in outlets in the island. Next time I'd add a 'hidden' storage place (with power) for other appliances like a toaster oven and food processor. 

Also consider lighting - having a couple of different types is nice so you can set different moods, have brighter for cooking/cleaning, etc. We put in both recessed lighting and pendants over the island.

And finally consider materials - we wanted marble, stainless steel, etc. You'll have to balance what you like with practicality. We were willing to live with scratches and stains on marble because we love how it looks but some people want something more foolproof like quartz. 

Hope this helps.

RE: Kitchen remodel - ()

Vinyl floors suck. I recommend Marmoleum or linoleum. Wood is ok, too, especially if you want painted cabinets.But wood floors with clear-finished wood cabinets is too much wood grain! I wish I had more storage space. That empty space that you see above cabinets could be more storage space. Don't waste it! I really wish my kitchen window looked out on the backyard so i could keep an eye on the shenanigans out there more easily. 

RE: Kitchen remodel - ()

I made a list of all of our items that I wanted stored in cabinets so I could plan the cabinets (I did the design using theRTAstore.com) to ensure that items would have a designated place. One year in and I'm still really happy with the design. 

Use your current kitchen if possible to use blue tape to mark out where you'll put appliances (if you're moving them) and then pretend to use the kitchen. Emptying the dishwasher, chopping veggies and then dumping them in a pot on the stove, etc.

I also found this website very helpful in understanding some design guidelines and principles: http://starcraftcustombuilders.com/kitchen.design.rules.htm

RE: Kitchen remodel - ()

That is exciting!

It all depends on your budget, but the best advice is to go to showrooms, even if you don't hire those designers....

Ikea is perfect, nobody pressures you to buy anything, you can open and close drawers, visualized what you need, for exa how many drawer for utensils, how to storage pots and pans, where would you store your food. Look at your needs and wishes. read the reviews of appliances. I bought a pretty refrigerator, great quality and it turns out the ice maker make really small ice cubes, now I can't do anything about it but make my own large cubes....

There are many details and if you can afford a designer great, but spend some time studying different kitchens and styles.

I could recommend pkremodeling on Instagram. Pkremodeling.com     Piotr is a great contractor with wonderful ideas....

Have fun with the process because it could become really overwhelming.

RE: Kitchen remodel - ()

1. Clean island, no sink or cook-top. A cook-top on an island is a disaster, hot bits splash around making it not safe to have others or kids when you are cooking on it. Sinks only work on an island if you are obsessively tidy. I always have pans waiting to be washed or sitting on a drying rack, and neither works if your main sink is on the island.

2. Dishwasher directly to the right of the sink (assuming you are right handed).

3. I would have switched out a few places that have the standard cabinets (below and above) and focuse on the full length pull out. These are so much more useful. Several of my lower cabinets are semi-useless for food storage while all my pull outs are fully utilized.

4. Pantry - same idea, I think much more useful to store appliances and food times in a pantry rather than dig around in standard cabinets. There are some interesting ideas for pantries if you don't have room for a standard one, some very shallow ones etc, they don't have to be walk in. 

5. Fridge - counter space - sink - dishwasher - oven/cook top. I like counter space to the right of my fridge as I take stuff out, then I want the sink next to that as I wash veggies, next to it or if a corner then right on the other side is the cook-top. The rest of the locations aren't as important and can be fit in. 

6. Electrical outlets, double whatever you think you need. Keep in mind your coffee spot if that's important to you.

7. this may not be for you, but I am sick of my house smelling like what I cook due to our open floor plan. If I could do it over again, I would put in a small "spice" or "wok" kitchen where I could do the cooking in a small ventilated enclosed room. Even if it meant the main kitchen was smaller.

8. quality - my friend put in an ikea kitchen almost 15 years ago and is still very happy with it and I have to say it has held up just as well as an expensive kitchen. She hasn't had a single problem with it. But she paid someone to install it, she didn't do assemble it herself. I think that would be key so that everything is put together cleanly.

9. there are places that make custom ikea cabinet doors - so you buy the ikea frames and then if you want a higher end door, you order them. .

10. don't like the water-fall counter top. People like to stand around an island, which means slightly leaning on the counter top. It's very uncomfortable without the edge of the counter sticking out. I know from experience and wouldn't do it again.

RE: Kitchen remodel - ()

Of course, much depends on your budget, how much space you have, whether you have the option to increase/modify the space, etc.  Be sure to consider how you will use the kitchen.  Does one person typically do all the cooking, or do you need space for more than one cook? Do you have a dining room that's comfortable for regular meals, or do you NEED  a good space in the kitchen for the whole family to eat, &/or entertain?  (planning on more kids? Need room for a high chair for a few years?...) 

But I can share what we STILL love about our kitchen remodel ~16 years ago. (In our family, there is usually just one cock at a time, but occasionally a helper). Our space wasn't wide enough to install an island, and we didn't have the option to bump out. It's a galley-shape (open on both ends), but not super narrow.

-Thick, high quality Cork Tile floors. LOVE that it's quiet; won't shatter things when they fall; easy on the feet when I spend a lot of time cooking, etc.  There are a few little nicks in it from falling knives (oops!), but it's barely noticeable, & doesn't affect function at all.

-A counter & second sink near the fridge. Be sure your "small" sink isn't too small.  If you can't put a big pot in to fill it, or a bowl for washing the lettuce, or a strainer to drain the pasta (or however you envision using it), it's not worth the space/expense.  I wanted a surface there to put things on, and not have to carry dripping veggies across the kitchen to wash them.  The sink also has a filtered water faucet, and is right next to the coffee maker.  If your fridge isn't a side-by-side, be sure the doors open on the side that is easier for the counter layout.

-Fridge, smaller sink, and stove along one wall, with large prep counter in the middle.  Cabinets on that side hold most of the things that get used for prepping & cooking. Larger sink & dishwasher are along the other wall, and the cabinets have plates, spoons, etc.  Also a small toaster oven. So there's a "prep" side and a "clean-up" side. 

-PULL -OUTS in every lower cabinet.  Some people prefer deep drawers, but I find it harder to rummage around in those.  Pull-outs with shallow fronts work well because you can see what's there, and reach some things, without having to move everything else.

-LOTS of outlets, on every wall. Don't skimp on lighting over the counter-tops.

-LOVE our walk-in pantry. We had an awkward-shaped corner that we struggled to figure how to fit in, and decided to enclose it in a pantry. The inside has odd angles, but you can't see it! In addition to extra canned foods, etc. that's where the vacuum cleaner and broom live, the non-toxic cleaning supplies, extra rags/paper towels,  cookbooks, and grocery bags, and rarely-used items. It's NOT where I keep food that gets used on a regular basis - that's stored near the prep/cooking area - but extras.  And snacks.

-Cabinets go all the way to the ceiling. Over the fridge a cabinet with vertical dividers; trays, baking sheets, etc., fit perfectly, & easy to reach.

-One thing you might not think of that I'm glad we did - light colored cabinet interiors, even if the outside is darker.  Makes it SO much easier to see everything.