How to Remodel your Kitchen – Part 1

Remodeling or redesigning your kitchen is an exciting venture. The result of a successful project is an enhanced lifestyle – extra functionality, convenience and added comfort.

A failed project on the other hand brings only unhappiness, disappointment and resentment. Failed projects have far-reaching implications for your home, your property and your family.

Why then do some projects fail, when success seems so easily attainable?

The sad face of failure

Most failed projects share similar features and characteristics, of which the most common are the following:

  • Vague requirements,
  • Poor planning, and
  • Sub-standard workmanship.

The building-blocks of success

Successful projects deftly avoid these undesirable features and are instead built on…

  • Clearly-defined requirements,
  • Realistic project plans,
  • Superior workmanship.

SEE: How to select an Interior Designer

If your objectives are vague and sketchy, it follows that your requirements will be vague and sketchy too. Your results will inevitably mirror this uncertainty and indecision.

The kitchen designer is the pivotal role-player in every remodeling project. Contracting unapproved, unaccredited and unqualified kitchen designers will invariably limit your chances for success.

Plan for success

Failing to plan is planning to fail. Without fail!

The main ingredients of a successful project are planning, adhering to proven methodologies and adopting best practice.

This includes engaging accredited service providers who guarantee professional project management and high quality products.

Professional project managers provide the ultimate safety net for your project. They ensure that all the role-players and stakeholders are committed to the project and deliver on their tasks and actions.

Professional project managers stick to the plan. They identify potential challenges, find creative solutions, avoid common pitfalls, mitigate risks and remedy mishaps, effectively.

A professional project manager ensures that assumptions and misconceptions are replaced with relevant facts and figures.

The anatomy of a successful project

Successful projects generally exhibit the following set of features:

  • Clear requirements,
  • Realistic time-frames,
  • Achievable project plans,
  • Sound judgement,
  • Well-considered decisions,
  • Qualified Kitchen Designers,
  • Effective Project Managers, and
  • High quality workmanship

Clear Requirements

Clarity is the key to maintaining your sanity while specifying your requirements. Clarity of thought helps to simplify your requirements. Complexity and ambiguity cause confusion – muddled specifications.

Clarity brings all the relevant role-players onto the same page quickly – with sharp focus and common purpose.

Start off by reviewing your kitchen space and how you wish to use it. Once you know what you want, it’s easier to get what you want.

Important Design Elements

Consulting an accredited Kitchen Designer for advice is always a smart choice, but if you prefer to take the plunge on your own, it helps to understand your options and choices.

Allow your your personal preferences and your preferred kitchen style to guide your choices.

Articulate your preferences in terms of access points, movement and storage space – within the shape and size of your (new) kitchen – then wrap it smartly in your personal style and taste.

The key considerations listed below will assist in defining your requirements and will ultimately affect the quality of your results.

Wiring and Plumbing

The devil is indeed in the detail. In the kitchen, the devil lives in the wiring and plumbing. A kitchen will lose its luster and fail to pass muster if the wiring or plumbing misses the mark.

The quality of these critical installations have a major impact on your results and may affect the safety and security of your family.

Pay special attention to the location of power-points and water sources for all your appliances. Make a note of potential changes to these locations. Keep sustainability in mind and always consider energy-saving options first.

Placement

If the designated spaces for your sink area, cupboards, cabinets, pantry, large appliances and transient works-paces are fixed, your options to optimize or redesign the workflow may be limited. These items often predetermine the layout of your kitchen.

Should you have the option to redesign or optimize your work-flow, it helps to focus on the placement of the preparation area, as well as the landing and storage area for your food (cold, chilled, ambient).

Assign appropriate spaces for your utensils, appliances and accessories.

Careful consideration should be given to the location (zones) of the transient work-spaces to be used for chopping and unpacking. Don’t forget to assign a location for the “multi-use” holding areas for cleaned, rinsed or ready-to-be-used items.

Lighting

Effective kitchen lighting is essential, and your work areas should be brightened adequately and efficiently. Well-considered lighting is appealing and also economical.

Lighting solutions that support sustainability are always a good choice. These solutions include renewables, energy-saving options and natural light.

The latest lighting trends are innovative, and add a new dimension to lighting. Color and intensity settings can quickly change the mood and bring a magical touch to your kitchen.

Create your own lighting plan by highlighting the areas that need more light, and use your plan to guide the location and style of your lighting, fittings and switches.

Cabinetry, Cupboards and Furniture

Your preferred kitchen style will guide your choice of cabinets, cupboards and furniture, while the size of your space will determine whether you can include a dining table within your seating configuration.

The type, style, color and placement of your cupboards, cabinets and furniture – including doors, handles and accessories – should also be noted.

If you have an “open-plan” design, the size of your kitchen will determine whether you can arrange furniture items to demarcate different zones or not.

Countertops

Your countertops or worktops form the face of your kitchen, set the tone and define the character of your kitchen. Pay special attention to the color, style and type of your worktops.

Balance your worktops – as a blend or contrast – with your overall color-scheme.

Ceilings

High ceilings provide extra decorating opportunities and challenges due to the additional wall expanse. The following options add character to high walls by replacing emptiness with coziness and connecting the high walls to the rest of the interior:

  • Bold colors, vertical artwork and sculptures add a dynamic element to high walls,
  • Wallpaper, textiles and textures (fabric, wood and stone) clad high walls with a softer or warmer effect,
  • Increased cornice and skirting sizes can decrease the empty expanse of a high wall,
  • Elevated curtain rods and longer draperies conceal empty high wall space,
  • Shelves offer creative options to dress cold and empty high walls, and
  • A combination of artwork, textiles and creative effects can make an ordinary high wall extraordinary.

Flooring and Tiling

Your flooring and tiling complete the character and style of your new kitchen. Modern and innovative materials, textures and colors offer excellent, low-maintenance solutions for flooring and tiling.

Choose a solution that works for you, whether it’s unique and distinctive, or complements the overall theme of your home.

Finishing touches

The quality of your products and materials, combined with the suitability of your decor, colors, paints, fabrics and textures play a significant role in the outcome of your project, and should therefore remain in focus throughout the project.

Conclusion

It is important to have a clear definition of your objectives and an achievable plan to meet those objectives with your remodeling project.

If you need more storage space in your kitchen, define, plan and organize your space in line with your needs.

If your objective is to create an efficient and well-organized “cooking space”, focus on functionality and accessibility – within the constraints of your available space.

If your primary focus is to create a warm family space with a kitchen that is the heart of your home, focus on placement, access and lighting. Practicality should drive accessibility, efficiency, organization and functionality.

In order of priority, personal style and taste have a special place, but ultimately placement, functionality and practicality win the race.

Gardner Interior Concepts’ is an industry leader, and our in-house team of expert designers, project managers and craftsmen will deliver on all your requirements – elegantly and beautifully.

For a superior customer experience and excellent results, contact Gardner Interior Concepts today. Let’s get your project underway.

Click here to contact us now.

How to Remodel your Kitchen – Part 1

Kitchen Designers Cape Town | Gardner Interior Concepts

Kitchen Remodeling and Renovation – Innovation trumps frustration

Kitchen Remodeling and Renovation projects are always filled with excitement and hype – naturally and understandably – but as much as we believe that our project will be successful, it is better to be in the know.

So, what should we know, and why?

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Truth is: If we know nothing, we will accept anything.

There is much more to remodeling and renovating our kitchen than meets the eye. Let’s explore what this is, and why…

Many remodeling and renovation projects deliver striking and somewhat beautiful results, but a fair percentage of these projects miss the mark on critical issues. To understand what these issues are, and how and why things go wrong, we should review the fundamental characteristics of a successful remodeling or renovation project.

In terms of the final result and finished product, a successful project encapsulates and integrates the three most important design principles, i.e. functionality, ambiance (mood) and style (personality).

Functionality

Functionality – be it additional or enhanced – is the primary objective of almost every remodeling or renovation project. Functionality transcends aesthetics and is the de facto measure of success or failure. If your project enhances the functionality of your space and makes it work really well for you, it guarantees great returns on your investment.

Functionality embodies effective design which optimizes the usage of your space. Functional design improves flow and accessibility; facilitates organization, and places necessities within easy reach when you need it. Effortless efficiency!

Function-rich design replaces frustration with creativity and innovation. When functionality is sumptuously wrapped in tasteful aesthetics, it creates maximum eye-appeal – the “wow” factor. This is essentially the hallmark of a dream project – a resounding success, and a source of pride and contentment for years to come. Great projects deliver timeless results and retain their “wow” factor.

Functionality and Setting

For a project to deliver a magical result, it must deliver the required functionality within a setting which is fitting. The setting of a space is created by the ambiance (mood) and style (character) of the space. Creative, innovative and well-informed designers deliver dynamic and harmonious settings which are fit for purpose and meet your requirements.

In order to achieve a harmonious setting, specific design elements require careful consideration up font.

Balance, scale and proportion are three separate, but intertwined elements. Collectively, these three elements can make or break the mood and the character of a space.

Balance

Balance and equilibrium can be achieved either formally, by symmetrical design, or informally, by using various objects around your space, in order to create balance and equilibrium within the space.

It is important to note that the indiscriminate use of random objects to achieve balance, or to decorate a space, has a negative impact on harmony, because it results in a disjointed or cluttered look and feel. Both the selection and use of decorative objects must be guided by scale and proportion to maintain harmony in terms of color, size and also weight.

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Good balance flows naturally from well-considered design – supplemented with complementary decorations which fit the dimensions of the space and also enhances harmony.

It is impossible to achieve balance within a space if the color, size and weight of the decorations do not create a sense of harmony.

Scale and Proportion

Scale and Proportion are important elements for creating harmonious “size relationships” within a space. If either scale or proportion is not considered as important factors in the selection of decorative items, the balance of the space will be impacted negatively.

All the items in a space must have the correct scale and proportion to fit the dimensions of a space. It helps to measure the dimensions of the space and define the acceptable dimensions of every decorative item in order to maintain a balanced “size relationship” among all the objects in a space.

Conclusion

The objects in a space create, affect and impact the balance – equilibrium and harmony of a space. Formal balance is achieved by design, while informal balance is achieved by the placement of various objects. The “symmetrical design” option – formal balance – creates equilibrium intrinsically and naturally.

The use of decorative items to create informal balance results in a space which is subtly balanced and offers a subliminal sense of freedom, casualness, informality, and perhaps even playfulness.

If our kitchen designer successfully weaves the critical elements of functionality and balance (size, color, weight, scale and proportion) together harmoniously, we have the makings of a magical kitchen remodeling or renovation project. These are the ingredients of the recipe for success, befitting of a celebration for design innovation.

If you are searching for a kitchen designer who understands the principles and subtle nuances of both interior design and kitchen design, contact Gardner Interior Concepts today, and let’s create a masterpiece, together. We aim for success and nothing less…

Kitchen Designers Cape Town | Gardner Interior Concepts

Kitchen Designers Cape Town | Remodeling | Renovation | Cupboards

Kitchen Remodeling and Renovation Projects

Part 1 – Focus on success and nothing less!

Remodeling and Renovation projects can be successful and breathtaking or disappointing and heartbreaking. Unbridled excitement can blind us to the pitfalls of a project, because we simply don’t know what we don’t know. The first step towards improving our chances for success is accepting that knowledge is power. We have to be in the know.

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So, what do we have know about our project, and why?

Truth is: If you don’t know something, you will fall for anything.

Remodeling and renovating your kitchen is not an overnight exercise or a weekend job. It entails much more than meets the eye. Let’s explore what this is, and why…

Many kitchen projects deliver good results, but lack the “wow” factor. This is mainly because the designer overlooked critical factors or understated the importance of certain critical elements. To understand what these elements are, and how and why things went wrong, our best starting point is a review of the essential characteristics of a successful remodeling or renovation project.

Successful projects encapsulate and integrate important design principles, best practices, the latest trends, artistic flair and practical efficiency. The optimal placement of objects within the layout of a space is guided by the aforementioned elements. The placement of objects can make or break a space in terms of function, mood and personality.

Focal Points

The moment we enter a space, our eyes are automatically drawn to one or other item or object in that space. Quite often, this shift of focus is not merely accidental, but instead engineered. Great designers have the ability to deliberately and consciously grab us by our eyeballs and shift our focus to an object of their choice.

This object is commonly the focal point of the space and the designer is able to shift our focus, grab our attention or draw us in by virtue of the strategic placement of the object, the proximity of the object, the shape and color of the object, but mainly, the layout of the space.

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A focal point is essentially a standout feature of a space – a dynamic object which makes a silent statement with emphatic impact. It captures and captivates our focus.

Designers may use paintings, sculptures, ornamentation, wall-hangings and exotic rugs to serve as focal points – by design. On the other hand, plants or trees, large bay windows with panoramic views and fireplaces form very natural focal points. A space without a focal point is like an actor without a character. Lifeless!

Great designers have the ability to turn a focal point into a delightful treasure trove for the captivated visitor or viewer and creates maximum impact. A well-constructed focal point offers more than simple eye-appeal. It also introduces the rest of the design as our focus shifts from the focal point to the rest of the space.

Rhythm

As we perceive the rest of the space, the rhythm of the design becomes clear, as with a piece of music. The progression and repetition of lines, colors and forms can be either subtle or overt and it impacts us either positively or negatively. Subtle progressions translate into a sustained rhythm, while drastic changes in lines, colors and forms cause a break or change in the continuity of the rhythm.

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Great designers create a work of art in the same way that orchestra conductors create a masterpiece from various instruments. The continuity, repetitions or changes in rhythm can be either progressive or pronounced. This ultimately determines our response to, and our perception of the presentation. The effects of great music and inspired design are
however the same, in that we are deeply touched on many levels, despite their different sensual entry points. Design captivates our eyes as music captivates our ears. We immediately feel the rhythm and choose whether to run or dance.

Furniture

Our selection of furniture items must be guided by the intended usage and functional requirements of the space. Size, scale and proportion should determine the suitability of every furniture item. Maintaining a balanced “size-relationship” within a space is important for creating a harmonious atmosphere and the desired ambiance in the space.

The placement of furniture items must be planned with a well-considered approach. Ensure that each furniture item fits within the overall dimensions of the space. Measure each individual furniture item to ensure that it fits within the allocated area and sustains the visitor’s connection with the focal point of the space.

Importantly, furniture items should not impede access or obstruct the flow of movement in critical areas.

Lighting

Lighting has a significant effect on the mood and character of a space. Selected lighting according to the usage and required functionality of your space. Lighting has a profound effect on the senses and must be suitable and sufficient for the intended purpose. Adjustable lighting (dimmers) offers a wider range of uses and options.

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Energy-efficient lighting is an important component of global energy-saving efforts and drives the shift towards sustainability. Smart choices will ensure the best of both worlds in terms of functionality and efficient energy usage. Natural lighting is fast becoming a prominent feature of all modern-day kitchen designs.

The best lighting solutions combine eye-appeal, functionality and efficiency into a striking and effective package. Install accented lighting in appropriate areas to maximize impact and effectiveness. The use of spots for the floor; motion-sensor lighting; mounted or recessed spotlights, and touch-sensor lighting enhance the ambiance and character of any space. Perfect lighting is mood food, even without music.

Conclusion

Great designers use their “trade secrets”, skill and talent to create masterpieces which are revelations. They uncover hidden gems where others only see challenges. Their delivery amounts to more than just eye-appeal. They realize your vision effectively, efficiently and beautifully by balancing your requirements with the essential design elements for an eye-catching and harmonious solution that works well for you.

Great designers create inspiring visual delights. They don’t make idle promises, or hide behind jargon or catchy soundbites. Their designs guarantee a new kitchen that will be the focal point of your home and your family. Your lighting and furniture will be functional, practical and inspiring – enhancing your space and your property. Their designs have an intrinsic rhythm, creating the right mood and ambiance to keep you dancing for a lifetime.

If you are searching for a kitchen designer who understands the principles and subtle nuances of both interior design and kitchen design, contact Gardner Interior Concepts today, and let’s create a masterpiece, together. We aim for success and nothing less…

Kitchen Designers Cape Town | Remodeling | Renovation | Cupboards