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Remodeling a Kitchen: Getting Started

There's a Lot to Think About


Brushed nickel pulls

Brushed nickel pulls set off the leaded cabinet windows.

Coral Nafie

The kitchen is the hub of the home, serving many functions. Food preparation may be the main activity, but it is not the only one. Today, the kitchen serves as a family gathering spot, meal-planning area, computer base, and social center.

Remodeling a kitchen will most likely be the most expensive and longest-lasting project a homeowner will undertake. But don’t let this scare you off. In spite of the 3-day magic change-outs accomplished before your eyes on fantasy TV shows, a kitchen remodel with new appliances, flooring, lighting, fixtures, cabinets and counters will probably extend beyond three months! Of course, the time frame will be determined by the extent of the project. But in the end, the results will be very satisfying and you will have added to the value of your home.

If you’re really planning a total kitchen remodel, I’d highly recommend engaging the services of a professional space planner and kitchen expert. You may know someone who specializes in this area of interior design, or you could find someone to guide you at one of the many home improvement centers around the country. Whether you pay them just for the design or the completed job, the money will be well-spent and you’ll most likely save money in the end.

There are many elements in kitchen remodeling to consider. Your budget will determine how much you can do. You’ll have to decide what to change and what to keep. The home may have a good working space and but be unattractive. Or this may be your once-in-a-lifetime chance to create the ultimate gourmet kitchen.

If you’re a serious cook, undoubtedly more money will be spent on the appliances and food-preparation surfaces than cosmetic elements. If your idea of cooking is warming something in a micro-wave (you’re not alone), you may want to dedicate more of your funds to the look of the space.

The original purpose of a kitchen is food-preparation and the appliances selected should be of the best quality your budget allows. If you’re a gourmet cook, then this is the time to make the big investment in the finest tools you can find.

The cabinets in a kitchen are like the furniture of the room. The style of cabinets sets the style for the whole room. Because most kitchens are an extension of the other living space, they should reflect the style of the rest of the home. Whether they’re of natural wood or have a painted finish, the cabinets will be the decorative focal point.

Storage space is often at a premium in a kitchen, and the remodeling project should consider what will make the kitchen work well. Large deep drawers make it easy to find and grab pans. Pull-out shelves offer easy access. An island in the center of a large space provides added storage and workspace. Drawer dividers help to keep utensils in place. These elements should be part of the kitchen plan.

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