Kitchen Design Basics



Ceramic Tile Kitchen Flooring

Kitchen Design Basics

Nothing can help freshen up an older home, or help in the sale of a property or inspire you like a new or remodeled kitchen. Proper kitchen design is becoming increasingly more important as kitchen spaces are rapidly growing smaller. Designing a new or remodeling your kitchen can be an incredibly exciting adventure but with it can come a lot of stress, and complication!

Our goal is to ensure you are properly equipped with the right information required In order for you to make your new kitchen design work for you, make educated decisions and ultimately save you time and money!

Build a Design Foundation

During the kitchen design process the most important question you can ask yourself is; “Why do I want a new kitchen?” Is it because you are looking for more storage space? Is your kitchen space not being maximized? Does your kitchen cabinetry need to be replaced? Are your appliances in need of change as well? Is your kitchen too dark? Is your kitchen too small or too big? Too boring? Or simply, too much??!

By asking yourself these important questions you will have a much better idea of what you need to get out of your kitchen space. This information will become the foundation for your kitchen design plan.

Make a Kitchen Design Wish List

Once you have your foundation in place it is important to ask yourself a few more questions. Now that I know what I need, what is it I want? What you would like to have in your kitchen? Give this a lot of thought because modern kitchen design can incorporate special storage and space savers into the latest cabinetry designs! Write a list of everything you couldn’t live without. This list will also become a very important guideline for you, your contractor, or kitchen designer to follow.
Here are a few questions to paint an example for you:

Do you want stainless steel appliances? Granite kitchen countertops? Ceramic tiled flooring? Is your flooring heated? Are you choosing gas or electric cooking surfaces? What will your color palette be? What kind of kitchen cabinetry will you use? What can I not live without?

Budget Considerations for a Kitchen Renovation

One of the biggest tests in making a decision to design a new kitchen is, How much can I afford to spend on my kitchen design wish list? This is probably the biggest question that can affect the entire project. Kitchen design projects are rarely inexpensive so you must get out and do some pricing on items that are necessary for you to fulfill your foundation and wish list. Beware that if you plan on replacing your cabinetry it will account for more than half of your budget!!

When building your kitchen design budget you also want to include the cost of all labor (electricians, carpenters, gas technicians, plumbers, delivery charges, contractors etc.) and then consider the possibility of hiring a designer.

You must stay within your budget when planning a new kitchen design. Account for as much as possible and add on another 20% or more just incase. Unexpected costs arise all the time in kitchen renovations and the best way to overcome it is to create a great budget. Dreaming big is one thing, but placing importance on price and affordability will ensure that you get what you are expecting and save some money for unexpected emergencies.

Building a Kitchen Renovation Time Frame

It is also very important to know when your project needs to be completed. Kitchen renovation projects are notorious for being drawn out. Set realistic goals. The remodeling and new construction industry is booming and this can have a direct affect on your project. Many crew are working on several projects at a time so be sure to communicate your completion date with your contractor and demand a realistic response. Labor is not cheap so the shorter the time frame the higher the cost. It is also helpful to plan for you and your family to prepare meals at an alternate location or account for dining out into your budget. Remember that being inconvenienced at home can also cost you more money at the end of the day.

Custom Kitchen Design vs. Ikea Kitchens

In the last decade we have grown to love (and despise on many occasions) Ikea for their unique and stylish, but mostly affordable home decor and home furnishing products. The Ikea institution has truly opened the door for homeowners to access the home design market at half the price. Today anyone can express personal style through furnishings and decor and achieve an ideal ambiance for their space and not break the bank.

This accessibility however comes at a cost in that the buyer is responsible for the assembly and we all know what that process can be like!

Ikea has done it again, tapping into a market that has been left up to the contractor and designer with a hefty price tag. A custom designed kitchen is always the best choice for quality, esthetics and resale however Ikea is presenting a product that is incredibly competitive.

You can save a lot of money but when you are considering a kitchen renovation there is a lot at stake and thus make sure you do your research on Ikea kitchen products and know exactly what you need.

Hiring a Contractor for your kitchen renovation

If you speak to anyone who has ever participated in a kitchen renovation project or any other home renovation project they will most likely tell you that your contractor holds the key to guaranteed success. A kitchen contractor will make or break the renovation process and although the end result may “look” the same, what lies underneath may tell a much different story!

This is an industry that can harbor many scam artists that go after your money with no care for your welfare! There are very few laws out there to protect the homeowner so it is up to you to be vigilant! You need to do as much research as possible to ensure a successful renovation.

Here are some tips when choosing a builder / contractor:

  • Get recommendations from friends and family on successful projects.
  • Ask for a work portfolio and the addresses of previous jobs.
  • Go to those sites and ask the home owners for their opinion on the job and of the quality of their work.
  • Use services that locate certified kitchen contractors in your local area
  • Do your homework! Learn everything you can about the project you are about to undertake as well as the process. Research on-line testimonials of personal renovation stories where costly mistakes were made so that you can learn from those and be better prepared.
  • Finally, be on site as much as possible! Be aware that your presence can also be a detriment to the renovation process but all the same be sure to see what is being done. Ask questions and get your contractor to show you exactly what has been done at the end of each day.

It is so important to note that if you are suspicious of something at any point during the renovation process stop the job immediately! This is your space and it is your right to stop the job and consult an inspector. It might be your only chance to rectify the situation so take action immediately!!

Hiring a Kitchen Designer

Hiring a kitchen designer can really help you get onto the right path sooner. These professional consultants can take care of every aspect of the kitchen design process like choosing the appropriate layout for you and your home. Coordinating color & lighting that is appropriate. Making sure all your trades and contractors are working in unison and of course ensuring that your dream kitchen becomes a reality.

Designers will sit with you and go through a detailed interview process to get the best idea of what you are looking for. Their objective is to design a plan and develop a kitchen that works best for you. Your designer will combine your foundation and wish lists and weigh the pros and cons to balance them against your needs, space limitations and budget. Your designer will put together all the planning, logistical needs and contractors for your project.

They can be expensive but many kitchen and bath showrooms will have in house designers working for them. You can set up an appointment or walk in and speak with someone almost immediately. This service helps the supplier get your business and they will do everything for you, from measuring your space to arranging packages for you that suit any budget.

Designers are usually well worth it, but do your research and find a design consultant with a portfolio that really connects with your own personal style.

You can also use your contractor to help you in planning out your workspace or even use a kitchen design software to personally plan out your kitchen space if you think you have what it takes!

Decide on a kitchen layout

Deciding on the proper layout for your kitchen will save you time and money. There are five primary designs to choose from and each on depends directly on the space you have to work with, budget restrictions or limitations and accessibility requirements. Some of the most popular layouts include, Galley kitchens, U shaped layouts, L shaped designs and of course, island kitchens that create a triangle work space.

Check out our detailed page on kitchen layouts for your home for more information

Using colors in your kitchen Design

Now we get to kitchen design colors and palettes. It is very important for you when you are in the design process to have a strong grasp of what color palette you are looking for. Colors can dramatically affect the overall look of your project. There are a few guidelines regarding color that might help get you on the right track!

  • Small kitchens – Try using cool colors. These colors will actually make your space look larger where warm colors will make your space seem smaller! Make your ceiling seem taller by painting it a cooler color than the walls!
  • Large kitchens – Any color could work however really intense colors can look amazing in a large space with appropriate contrasting colors. Warm colors will also help the space feel closer together.
  • Glossy – These colors and surfaces will reflect light making the color more intense.
  • Matte – These colors and surfaces will absorb light making the color seem flat or pale.

One of the most important decisions you will make in the design process is the appearance of your cabinets. They are the focal point for all kitchens so if you choose a color palette that deviates too far from your cabinetry, you will definitely experience trouble matching your countertops, appliances, back splashes and flooring. Of course a perfect match is not necessary but any great renovation is built upon a strong foundation of color and compatibility.

Remember that any color you choose will be very affected by the lighting in your space.

Kitchen Lighting Design ideas

Kitchen lighting is such an important part of any kitchen design. Does your kitchen get any natural light? Does it catch morning, afternoon or evening sunlight?  If there is no natural light how do you bring light to your work space? What styles of kitchen lighting fixtures will you use and what type of bulb will they require?

When planning your design, it is very important to consider the trends in lighting available today. No longer is the track lighting of the 80s and 90s the way to go. With Color palettes changing, lighting has become extremely important. Consider using under cabinet or inset lighting for countertops. Pot and recessed lighting can create a soft light and combined with dimmers will provide adequate task lighting and fantastic ambiance. Xenon lighting is replacing halogens as a softer alternative to help eliminate the shadow effect traditionally cast by halogen bulbs. Visit our article on Kitchen Lighting design ideas which will provide you with more detailed information on how lighting in your kitchen space can cause affect on the colors you choose.

Kitchen Countertops

Countertops are a big decision in your planning and can dramatically affect your bottom line. Remember to choose what works best for you and your needs. There are several outstanding options available for you that cross through all budgets. Laminate countertops are a great inexpensive choice. Many people are now using hardwood  & bamboo countertops as they bring a natural warmth to your space. If you prefer natural stone, consider granite or marble countertop surfaces. Solid surface and engineered stone surface give you the look of natural stone but are uniform in color and show no variations from piece to piece. Due to the movement to greener homes, builders and renovators now have many more options. There is beautiful choices in recycled paper surface countertops, recycled glass, recycled tile and even recycled hardwood.

Regardless of your choice, think functionality for your home and the needs of your family

Kitchen Flooring

You may think that the most used component of the kitchen would be an appliance however in fact it is your kitchen floor! Choosing the right kitchen floor depends on several factors. What will traffic be like? How much do you want to spend? What is the durability of each product? What designs are available? What are your flooring measurements and how much material will be required?  When designing your kitchen, it is vital to include appropriate flooring materials that keep durability, style and re-sale in mind. The choices are endless as vinyl, linoleum, ceramic tile, natural stone and hardwood flooring come in varied colors, designs and environmental impact options.

Kitchen Backsplashes

Kitchen backsplashesare a great way to bring color and texture to your kitchen walls. They are great at deferring moisture and clean easily. They are generally made from glass or ceramic tile. You can mix and match them to work with either your cabinetry or countertops. Be creative and have fun. If you are looking for more information, be sure to visit our kitchen backsplash designs page for our detailed report.

thesexykitchen opinion

A kitchen renovation can be a very stressful time, but it doesn’t have to be. Use our information provided, and best of all, ITS FREE! Get educated on what choices and decisions you will have to make and be properly prepared. Stress is no good for anyone, besides, getting a new kitchen should be an exciting journey not a nightmare! Enjoy your new kitchen and let the cooking begin!!