As many of you know, I just completed a renovation of my kitchen. It was necessity due to a leaking sliding glass door that had caused the subfloor to rot, but it also created a good opportunity to remodel and change out some aspects of my kitchen that I didn’t love. The white finishes did not suit my family with three small children. Also, the linoleum floor was pretty outdated, and my appliances didn’t match. Finally, my husband and I have a rustic style, so our new construction kitchen didn’t suit our personal tastes.
This was the first remodel that my husband and I had undertaken, and there were some valuable lessons learned in the process. So, recently, when Unique Design of Brisbane, Australia reached out, asking me to share some tips about renovating a kitchen, I was well prepared with my new found knowledge. I am constantly in my kitchen. It is where I cook, relax, oversee homework, eat, and entertain. It is the most used room in my house, so it was essential that I thoroughly planned and considered all of the decisions regarding my updated kitchen. After reflecting on this experience, I compiled a list of my top ten things you should do when planning a kitchen renovation.
# 1 Find What You Like: You need to visualize exactly what you like. Use magazines, Pinterest, or design sites like Unique Design to find pictures of kitchens that appeal to you. Also, remember that you do not need to find all of your tastes in one place. It’s ok to find a picture of a floor and another picture of the cabinets, etc…
#2 Research Materials: Be sure to research the pros and cons of the materials and finishes you like. Make sure the durability and maintenance match your lifestyle and your family. For example, If you are a meticulous neat-freak, you do not want to choose copper counter tops that will develop marks and an uneven patina over time.
#3 Establish A Budget: Most of us do not have an unlimited amount of money to throw into a kitchen renovation, so establishing a budget is necessary to maintaining mental health and financial stability. When establishing a budget, make sure you can afford it, and make sure your home’s value is proportionate to the renovation budget. Finally, conduct property value research to ensure that you can get a decent return on your investment.
#4 Consider Alternatives: Once you have an idea of what look you are trying to achieve, consider the options. If you can’t afford your first choice, look for cheaper alternatives that provide the same look. Also, consider eco-friendly options when possible. A good showroom, designer, or contactor can help you understand the products currently available on the market.
#5 Evaluate Your Space: Prior to your remodel, evaluate the space in your kitchen and surrounding rooms. Is the space being used as well as possible? For example, we chose to get rid of the kitchen table and created a coffee/wine nook because our dining room was going unused five feet away. Don’t be afraid to use an old space in a new way. It may just make your house feel new again. Luckily, Unique Designs has Designer 3D, a free downloadable, digital template to use when planning your new kitchen.
#6 Communicate With Your Designer and/or Contractor: Discuss your needs and thoughts openly from the start. Not only can this save you money, but it will offer you a different perspective and valuable knowledge gained through experience. We learned this with our contractor when he grabbed a piece of slate tile from my rejected pile and showed me how beautiful it could be, and unique ways he could arrange it to create a one-of-a-kind look. It is my favorite part of the new kitchen! Also, when we discussed our budget with him, he pointed out simple things we could do to save hundreds of dollars.
#7 Be Creative, But Neutral: If you have BOLD style, choose a neutral foundation and add BOLD accents. Remember that your house is an investment. Your expensive renovation should not be something that detracts from the value of your home, nor something that you will regret in five years.
#8 Treat Yourself: Leave enough money in the budget to allow yourself at least one indulgence. Perhaps it will be an expensive light fixture or a new dishwasher. Whatever you choose, it will be the one piece that will jump out at you daily and make the room personal.
#9 Be Patient & Plan Accordingly: In order to preserve your sanity and happiness, plan out your renovation timeline while considering family and professional stressors. Be sure that the construction phase does not overlap your most stressful time of the year, or a major life event.
#10 USE IT!!: Once your kitchen is done, USE IT! Don’t avoid making it messy, or try to preserve its new perfection, embrace it, and appreciate it by cooking in it, or hosting guests to show it off. Make the effort and expense worth it.
So there you have it, my two cents worth of renovation advice. Good luck, happy planning, and love your space!
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.