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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.