Deciding how to go about redecorating or renovating your kitchen — knowing where to start, what should be left intact and what should be redone — can be overwhelming at best!
In my mind, unless you are simply repainting or changing out the flooring, everything — especially the cabinetry — needs to go. Everything!
If you do plan to simply paint or stain your cabinets, you should know the number one favored finish or color for kitchen cabinets in America is white, with medium- and dark-stained cabinets ranking low on the list. So if you’re happy with the placement of your appliances— and assuming they are in good condition— then merely repainting your cabinets and walls (which might include adding a colorful wall covering) and installing new flooring, is a great, cost-effective way to infuse a fresh new look to your kitchen.
In 99 percent or more cases, however, by the time you decide it’s time to update your kitchen, it becomes apparent the most sensible decision is to rip it all out and start afresh.
If that’s the direction you choose, then don’t try to cut expenses by keeping the same footprint. Spend the extra money to move things around to get it right. Keep in mind a qualified interior design professional can provide you with a comprehensive, functional design plan. Though not necessary, if you choose to hire a certified kitchen designer (CDK), I recommend you not retain one who is affiliated with a specific manufacturer or vendor, as he or she may not act in your best interest. Keep in mind your interior design professional should work closely with your kitchen designer from the onset of the remodel.
- Here are some tips for a smooth remodel and a productive working relationship with your Designer(s): Not only should you review a space plan for your new kitchen, but if possible find a place where you can tape out the floor to get a feel for the new layout.
- Request cabinet elevations and/or a rendering of each of the walls where cabinets will be installed. Next, identify exactly what will be stored in both the upper and lower cabinets to ensure adequate storage space. Consider all of the newest and up-to-date ways to store dishes and kitchen equipment.
- Don’t be fooled by pretty drawings or renderings!
- The kitchen is the area of your home where function rules. Decor should work around the room’s functionality without question.
- Consider what type and amount of lighting you need. Be careful not to place recessed cans too close to the cabinetry, which can render a harsh effect.
- Explore and understand the three types of cabinet door installations: European, overlay and flush. European requires no face frame, so it’s the least expensive. The hinges on overlay and flush mount doors are installed on a face frame, which ensure a more durable installation. Never use softwood, as the hinges can fall from the frame in a short amount of time. And carefully research the varying types of hinges and drawer glides.
- Lastly, be careful to consider the many available options such as underlying drawer glides, trash drawers with recycling compartments, matching cabinet fronts at appliances, under cabinet lighting, toe kick internal vacuums, space saver cabinetry inserts and so much more.
Cabinetry is key and really sets the tone for the whole feel of your kitchen. For the finest in kitchen cabinetry, I suggest using Christopher Peacock, with showrooms in Greenwich, CT; San Francisco; Chicago; New York City; Boston; Atlanta and Dallas (www.peacockcabinetry.com). Another great, quality option is Kitchen Cabinetry by Heritage (www.heritage cab.com)
If you consider using a custom cabinetmaker, be sure to visit some of his/her recent installations. You’ll be glad you did!