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It’s not hard to see why undertaking a kitchen remodel is one of the most discussed topics in interior design. These projects—while worth it in the end—can get to be a little costly and time-consuming. It goes without saying that, if you’re going to do it, you want to do it the right way.
With that in mind, we decided to take this topic to the experts. We asked interior designers to share their favorite kitchen remodel tips. Read on to see their no-holds-barred answers. With any luck, their experiences can help you redo your kitchen with ease.
1. Know How You Use Your Kitchen
“The first step in remodeling is to know what is important to you when cooking. Are high-end appliances a requirement? Do you prefer gas or electric? Do you cook lots of curries or other items that use strong spices and want a hood for ventilation? Would you like your knives to be on your left or right while you cook? Do you bake a lot and need to keep that equipment close to the oven?” – Sara Chiarilli, owner of Artful Conceptions, an interior design firm in Tampa, FL
Before starting the renovation, make sure you have a solid plan in place to ensure that your new kitchen will meet your needs. As you cook, walk yourself through your routine while asking questions like the ones Sara offered above. Make note of any favorite details or annoyances that you have about your current space and include any necessary changes into your design plan.
2. Consider Leaving the Layout As-Is
“Keep the appliances and plumbing where they are. A good rule of thumb is to add $5,000 each time you move a section of plumbing or any appliances. If my clients are on a tight budget, I tell them to work with the current layout whenever they can.” – Justin M. Riordan, LEED AP, the founder of Spade and Archer Design Agency, which has multiple locations in California and Washington
Home improvement show fans can attest to the fact that TV magic makes it seem like changing you kitchen layout is a breeze. In reality, that’s definitely not the case. Out of dozens of submissions for this article, this was the most frequently mentioned tip. Obviously, your budget will dictate how creative you can get with the layout, but if you’re trying to save, do not underestimate this cost. Make sure you meet with multiple designers and get quotes so that you can go into your remodel with a realistic idea of the final cost.
3. Incorporate Contrasting Colors
“Using contrasting colors on walls, counters and floors helps with depth perception and provides a clear line of sight when navigating throughout the kitchen, especially in working areas.” – Wanda E. Gozdz, B.S., A.S., founder of Golden Age Living, LLC in Hutchinson Island, FL
Choosing contrasting colors—or at least tones, if you’re not into the monochromatic look—will help you add a huge amount of visual interest to the kitchen. When you’re putting together the color palette, go with either one neutral shade and one bold color or choose a warm and cool shade. Additionally, focus either on the contrast on a single item, such as an island, or allow an element to continue throughout the entire space.
4. Invest in Your Backsplash
“Take the backsplash tile to the ceiling, especially when they are only 8 feet. This is common in a lot of older homes. Taking the tile up creates visual height and an especially polished look because you don’t have a break where tile meets drywall (particularly around a window). It’s a great look for minimal cost compared to the whole project.” – Brad Little, of Case Design/Remodeling in Charlotte, NC
The second unspoken bonus for this tip? A dramatic backsplash will draw the eye with ease and make an excellent focal point. Consider this one if you’re searing for a way to truly make a dramatic impact.
5. Sometimes Small Changes Matter Most
“Sometimes it’s not about doing a total remodel. I updated my own kitchen last year by simply swapping out bar stools and pendant lights, and replacing a cabinet with open shelving. I was inspired by the BoHo trend, so I gave my contemporary kitchen some organic touches that make it feel warmer and more alive.” – Natasha Jansz, founder of Natasha Jansz Design in Los Angeles, CA
If you’re debating whether you need to go ahead with a full remodel or if you can get away with a quick update, ask yourself this question: Am I concerned with function or aesthetics?
When function is the issue, a kitchen remodel is usually in the cards. However, if it’s just the look that needs a refresher, you can probably get away with swapping out a few design elements with trendier picks. As usual, look for things like accessories, textiles and wall art to revamp your style. These items will have a huge visual impact at a relatively low price point.
Every design aficionado knows the value of a well-done kitchen. The only issue is that it’s often challenging to pull off this project the right way. In an effort to give you all the tools you need to create the kitchen of your dreams, we asked interior designers to share their best kitchen remodel tips. Keep this post close at hand. Whether you’re starting tomorrow or won’t be ready for a couple years, you’ll want the benefit of their experience.
What do you think of these kitchen remodel tips? Do you have any of your own to share? Tell us in the comments below.