Does your kitchen feel like the heart of the home, or is it in urgent need of a health check-up? Our kitchens are no longer just functional spaces where we store, prepare and cook food. Nowadays, they’re the place we choose to relax in and spend time together with friends and family.
Over the course of a typical week, our kitchens have multiple uses, not just cooking, eating and socialising; but they become places for kids to do their homework or pop-up offices for the increasing number of us who now work from home. In such constant and variety of use, it can be easy for us to forget that kitchens need to be spruced up now and then, to keep them looking at their very best and maintain their hardworking role at the heart of the home.
When buying a kitchen, do you know what to watch out for? With cowboys abound and endless choices, it can seem like a daunting task – as well as an expensive one. This ultimate guide will talk you through A Fancy Home’s pre-warnings as well as design aspects to consider (do you have space for an island?), what colour themes to choose from and day-to-day logistics of remodelling a kitchen.
The Ultimate Guide to Remodelling a Kitchen
Remodelling a Kitchen Won’t Happen in a Day
There are some very persuasive salespeople out there – some so good that you won’t realise what’s happening until after you’ve signed the dotted line. Be vigilant – THEY AREN’T YOUR FRIENDS – okay, so we’re being melodramatic. However, the message is all the same. Bear in mind that most salespeople work on commission and you will be ‘just a number.’
Beware of ‘one-time deals’ that require a signature within a time frame; these can often be a ploy to accelerate cash-flow in favour of the supplier. Remember: you’re the customer and they should be accommodating you.
Be Careful with Colours
What Are You Made Of? (Well, Your New Kitchen)
Tip: when buying a kitchen, test the noises made when closing the doors – you’ll be hearing it a lot!
Expensive Doesn’t Always = Best
Obviously, when it comes to buying a kitchen you’re prepared for the financial hit; we all know it’s not a cheap decision. But there’s also no need to throw money away. Check with the kitchen installer and make sure that there’s no doubt about the type of material being used and how good the quality is.
Samples, Samples, Samples!
Don’t miss this out! You don’t want to drop a lot of cash on a project only to find out afterwards that it doesn’t work. Nightmare.
When Buying a Kitchen, Ask for Recommendations
You must remember that even the nicest, most genuine kitchen retailer ultimately wants an exchange to end with you buying a kitchen – often they’ll say whatever it takes to seal the deal.
So, it’ll pay to do some research; get several quotes from different suppliers when buying a kitchen and find out the average price is for the job you require – just hit Google and look for people who have a good amount of positive reviews.
However, when it comes to researching and getting advice, the best people to ask are those that you trust such as friends and family. You’re going to receive an unbiased review and full details of costs so that you can go into your own project with clarity.
Watch Out for Hidden Costs
It may seem obvious when buying a kitchen, but some companies may not include everything in their price. For instance, the projected price may not include appliances that have been allocated slots in your new design. When you get your quote check with your supplier, check exactly what is covered and what’s not.
Neutral Trends for Kitchens:
As we said, when remodelling a kitchen you should be careful with your colour choices in rooms that are expensive to update (and so won’t get updated often). We picked out three neutral colour themes that will look whole by themselves but can also be dressed up with colourful appliances.
Go for MonochromeBlack and white have long been popular choices for interior design themes and they remain firm kitchen colour trends this year. Choosing a monochromatic palette which uses combinations of a single colour creates a dramatic contrast in any style of a kitchen from cutting-edge contemporary to the more traditional.
Add visual interest by mixing and matching different shades of white, grey and black for cabinet doors and worktops. Try varying gloss and matte surface finishes too. If you have enough space in your kitchen, make a bold statement with an island unit combining food preparation areas and a breakfast bar.
White cabinet doors help to ensure your kitchen feels bright and welcoming (though they will require more frequent cleaning). Introduce subtle shades of powder blue or dusky pink in a glass splashback. Industrial style black pendant light fittings complete the monochrome look in this kitchen. Either chrome or brushed steel finishes on taps and appliances will complement this scheme.
Tip: warm things up by laying a real wooden floor.
50 Shades of GreyA deep desire for all things grey continues to be a key colour trend for 2018. This look is accentuated by mixing different metallic finishes such as copper and burnished steel. Don’t be put off if you have a compact space – this look is yearning to rejuvenate your kitchen, whatever its size.
Be confident in choosing a dark grey cabinet and door finishes. Harmonise the look by selecting matching coloured worktops and splash back. Limit the number of cabinet handles and integral appliances to keep your kitchen looking sleek. This kitchen goes all the way with matte black taps and sinks too. The dramatic feel is heightened with concealed accent lighting to framework areas.
Rich charcoal grey is the colour of choice in this kitchen. Neatly fitted cabinets and appliances contrast with informal open shelving which adds colour and texture to the adjacent wall. Different metallic finishes for pendant light fittings and accessories give an eclectic feel.
Tip: add a rustic kitchen table and designer chairs to create an inviting focal point for the room.
Earthy NeutralsAnother kitchen colour trend of 2018 is off-whites and earthy neutrals such as taupe, cashmere and a nice green such as fern or sage. Add visual interest with complementary shades and finishes for cabinet doors and worktops. This is a tranquil choice of the colour palette which will stand the test of time.
Everything is serene in this off-white kitchen. Brushed steel finishes on taps, cabinet handles and appliances work well with this palette. Vary cabinet door shades and finishes to delineate different areas. A sense of luxury has been created with solid surface worktops and a built-in sink. Matching upstands add the finishing touch.
Contrast off-white and horizontal wood grain finish to cabinet doors for added texture and visual impact. Pick up on the earthy neutrals colour scheme with a feature glass splash back. Keep things looking stylish in a compact space by integrating your appliances.
Tip: introduce a dash of colour with some homegrown herbs or a houseplant.
Design Considerations When Remodelling a Kitchen:
1. Kitchen Islands: Great for Easy EntertainingThe kitchen, as so many homeowners can attest to, is where people naturally tend to congregate, so having an island spacious enough to accommodate both seated and standing guests will come in endlessly handy.
The problem faced with entertaining at home or hosting parties is that, often, whoever is cooking is either resigned to the kitchen alone or spends the evening with their back to seated guests; a kitchen island eliminates this issue.
If you’re adding or updating an island, consider how you can effectively use the space – perhaps by including a prep sink and stove top range. You can easily make dinner and cocktails while staying within eye line of the party. Other great kitchen island design ideas include drink coolers, large pan storage and custom wine racks.
Another way to include a sink in the island design a by choosing full size one, making it the main place to wash hands, rinse food and soak dishes. If your main kitchen sink is set within an island you should include a dishwasher too for easy clean-up logistics!
If your floor plan doesn’t allow for a proper kitchen island, but you still want the convenience it affords, consider adding a stand-alone counter. In this way, a tiered counter provides space for preparing food and space for lounging (and if you were to include a few high barstools, plenty of room for seating); all it lacks is plumbing and electricity.
Keep an Open Mind About Open ShelvingOpen shelving is a trend that’s taking modern kitchens by storm and for good reason. The design began as purely functional but now also serves as built-in décor. This duality in design makes it a great feature for many homeowners; whether you have a simple, Scandinavian style kitchen or a cosy country hearth. It’s a great way to store and exhibit your china and glassware.
This design style, however, does come with a few caveats. For starters, you must keep clutter to a minimum, as all your wares are on display. Plus, you will need to clean more regularly to protect from dust and debris due to a lack of cabinet doors.
Unique Lighting Fixtures Shine BrightLighting fixtures are a great way to add personality and style to your kitchen without having to devote a significant chunk of your savings to a comprehensive renovation. Having multiple light fixtures, as opposed to just one, allows you to adjust ambient lighting according to the mood.
Using distinct but complementary fixture, such as a crystal chandelier, is a great way to delineate separate areas in an open concept kitchen layout.
Creative Ceilings Are the Height of DesignFor a creative approach to kitchen remodelling, look up: your ceiling provides a great opportunity to incorporate colour and texture. Rich natural wood, for instance, gives a cosy warmth to a kitchen’s interior design.
Likewise, you could take homage from famous artists and create a more eye-catching space. Why not have the ceiling tailed in an interesting print? It’ll certainly make the ceiling easier to clean. Or, paint the walls a neutral colour and choose a pigmented paint for the ceiling down to the picture rails.
Exposed Beams: Balance and BeautyExposed beams are becoming more and more popular in current kitchen renovations thanks to a rise in stripped back and industrial design – and what a visual treat they are! Whether a kitchen needs a beam for structural support or is added solely for aesthetics, their presence elevates any space.
While exposed beams are the traditional hallmarks of a country or rustic French kitchen, the airy pictured here is a beautiful example of how exposed wooden beams can be used in almost any kitchen design. Crisp white cabinets with sharp geometric lines and contemporary metallic handles, along with the barstools and stainless-steel appliances, mark this kitchen with contemporary style. The rich wood beams lend an organic beauty and balance to its overall interior design.
Marble: More Than Just CountertopsMarbling is a beautiful pattern that can (and should!) be used for more than just kitchen countertops.
You don’t have to spend a tonne on buying loads either, a wallpaper pattern mimicking marble extending throughout the kitchen wall will make for a striking visual impact at half the cost. You could also go all-out and incorporate marble or granite as an unusual kitchen backsplash material.
Subway Tile: A Classic Element with Contemporary FlairSubway tiles have been loved for over a century, but are currently being massively revived in kitchen design. The tiles are named after its origins: the walls of New York City’s underground system when first opened in 1904. Traditional subway tiles are 3”x6” and simple white but options on the market nowadays vary in size, colour and finish.
Subway tiles are easy to clean, available in different colours and can be laid to create patterns for most design goals.
One of the last home improvement tips for remodelling a kitchen is to find the right professional partner to get your project completed on time, on a budget, and on par with your vision.
One place to start is by searching for local kitchen contractors, such as browsing through kitchen makeover photos at Renowaze or similar sites. These online forums host company profiles including past projects, design ideas and client reviews. With an extensive collection of pictures and references, you can make an informed decision and ultimately choose the perfect contractor for your project.
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