I always encourage my readers to consider getting your kitchen remodel underway earlier in the year. Many people try to execute this major renovation in September and then are stressed to be done prior to the holidays. Currently, with the economic downturn, it is a great time to think about remodeling because of the incentives available from the big box retailers and other cabinet makers. Incentives, including rebates, and low-interest credit on major purchases, are designed to encourage you to start on that dream kitchen or bath sooner rather than later.
The first question on everyone's mind is always, "Where do we start?" "How do I make choices that will remain in style?" "Who can help me make the tons of choices that I need to make?" As a kitchen designer, I have reduced people to tears with all the options and choices needed in a simple bathroom remodel. But that does not mean the project is impossible. It simply means you need to find the right professional to help with those important choices.
Even if you plan to sell your home in the near future and relocate, a face lift may be needed in order to get top dollar in today's discriminating housing market. With the economy currently in a down cycle, and the real estate market glutted with home offerings, it might not be the best time to put your house on the market. But, it is an ideal time to get your house ready to go on the market when the economy rebounds.
How do I make design decisions for the future? Whether you plan to sell your home at a future date or live there for years, you will need to make choices that transcend time so your dream kitchen is not outdated in five years. Sadly, we have all endured the avocado green appliances and dated cabinets. Unfortunately, the cycle we wait for did not ever bring them back into vogue. How, then, do we make right decisions and choose things that will last?
First, do not allow fads to dictate your choices. While retro appliances are currently popular, the fifties look and colors will not remain current for very long. Choose appliance colors, while they may be boring, that will stay around for a while. Stainless steel, white, black are good choices. Stained woods for cabinets and glazes are good solid choices. Painted cabinets allow for color change in the future. The best advice is to stick with the basics for floors, walls, cabinets, and counter tops. These items cannot be changed often. Get your color and "wow factor' from changeable decorator items. Especially choose colors for counter tops and floors that allow for alternate colors to work with in designing the accessories. While the earth tones are beautiful, you do not want to limit yourself to only those choices.
Secondly, develop a whole-house concept. From a design perspective, look for some thread of continuity that will be carried throughout the entire house. Especially follow the same pattern on each floor of the house. Kitchen and master baths, when both are on the same level should share some elements that are the same and different at the same time. In today's market, it is assumed that if you use granite counter tops in the kitchen with under mount sinks, then you will do the same in the master bath. Decide on either the same door style for cabinetry in both, or a different door style with the same finish. Hardware will also serve to tie together cabinetry in all the rooms on each level.
A good interior designer is invaluable in developing a whole-house concept. A designer can take your house design, colors, and textures and tie together the look that you want. If you choose an arts and crafts home design; the look will dictate what you do with cabinets, hardware, etc. It is vital that you develop an overall concept that matches. While we may joke that our style is eclectic, a well ordered home has a plan and each piece is integral to the whole.
What trends should you aim for in your new kitchen? Recent surveys from the kitchen design industry indicate that among the things influencing both decorative and functional kitchen design are:
Consumers today are opting for a simple, clean look over the ornate, layered moldings and corbels. Clean lines and simple moldings with simple hardware will probably be the trend for the next several years.
Larger doors and drawers equipped with organizers are designed to make the kitchen more functional and allow the consumer to design the kitchen for the way the individual cooks. As designers we see more men who are the family cooks and their needs are many time very different than women. Height considerations and right or left handedness can make a kitchen much more useful.
Advances in technology had moved the kitchen into the twenty-first century with a bang. The soft-close option for cabinets, once available on only the highest end cabinets, is now becoming the industry standard. Roll outs on base and pantry cabinets make everything in the cabinets accessible and prevent back injury. Today's kitchens spare no opportunity to organize, making cooking easier and clean up a breeze.
Gas cook tops are all the rave. Greater control over heat makes cooking easier and new cook tops have options like griddles, woks, and grills to accommodate a wide variety of cooking styles.
The modern kitchen has at least two ovens with one being a convection cooking center. The convection oven makes baking a snap and clean up simple. In place of a second oven, many are opting for a convection microwave. This second oven allows for more versatility in preparing a regular meal or a quick dinner for a working family.
As today's kitchen becomes more gourmet, recent surveys tell us that today's busy lifestyles prevent the vast majority of people from preparing all their meals at home. Only one-third of Americans fix breakfast at home every day, yet three fourths frequently prepare dinner at home (5+ times per week). Surveys also tell us that the top items on the wish list of today's kitchen shoppers are center island cook tops with versatile built-in grill, wok, griddle, and rotisserie, larger dishwashers, and double ovens.
So as you think about remodeling your kitchen, maybe it is time to dust off those remodel plans and get things moving. Visit your local interior designer and begin to develop your whole-house plan leading to a remold of your kitchen. Now is a great time to commit to fulfilling your dreams!
About the Author
Nitin is a creative designer who believes in the power of functional yet beautiful interiors. He has a well-trained eye for textiles, furnishings, quality, and craftsmanship. He is recognized in his field for his timeless, crisp, and stylish designs that remain fresh forever. In his spare time, he writes about interior design on various websites