Kitchen Design Projects – Remodeling and Renovations
Remodeling or redesigning your kitchen is quite an exciting adventure and holds the promise of an enhanced new lifestyle. If your makeover stems from a long overdue need for change, your project will be tinged with a rosy hue of optimism.
Kitchen makeovers born out of a need for additional space, extra functionality or a more family-oriented design, carry the weight of great expectations.
Formalize your Requirements
Kitchen renovation or remodeling projects are not overnight exercises, but take weeks or months, depending on the size and complexity of your project. A complex project may require architects, general contractors, plumbers, electricians and other professionals to assist your Kitchen Designer.
To quote a well-known truism: “To get what you want, you must know what you want.”
The best starting point for a successful Kitchen Remodeling project is getting to know your kitchen space. Begin by reviewing the way you use your kitchen and focus on how you can make it work better for you.
The important factors to note are the shape and size of your kitchen space and how this impacts on your preferences in terms of access, work-flow (zones or triangles), movement, seating and the proximity of inter-dependent items and areas. This will help you to understand your constraints and limitations.
Use the actual dimensions and measurements of walls and floor areas as a practical means of establishing the feasibility of specific ideas, wishes and plans, in order to eliminate assumptions and clarify any uncertainty. It will also prevent you from painting yourself into a corner – forever stuck on a misguided assumption. Attempting the impossible guarantees failure, before you’ve even started.
The placement and location of your preparation, storage and cooking areas should be a prime feature of your design deliberations.
Experts concur that you should contact your Kitchen Designer only once you have defined your requirements to an acceptable degree. You can reduce your options by elimination if you subject your wish-list – ideas, wants and needs – to a feasibility/do-ability test within the constraints of your remodeling space.
Make the right choices
It is possible to make the right choices if you allow your own personal style and taste to inform your kitchen design style. This will also reduce your options considerably and make things easier for both you and your Kitchen Designer.
Your desired lifestyle is the blueprint for your new kitchen and your kitchen design should reflect the way you use your kitchen on a daily basis.
How to avoid mistakes
Search results on Kitchen Design projects are dominated by glossy images of breathtaking kitchens and numerous success stories. Sadly, excellent results are not a given. Peeking behind the euphoria, under the veneer and beyond the backsplash reveals the secrets to a successful project.
Identifying and adopting the best approach to your project is an art which is founded on proven methodologies – principles, rules, techniques and practices. These methodologies insulate your project and mitigate the risks posed by internal or external factors which could derail it.
Historically, most epic failures are preceded by unbridled optimism. Realism, is tempered optimism. Realism limits the potential for pie-in-the-sky objectives and eliminates any premature visions of a fait accompli. Realism embraces rational reasoning while moderating emotional reactions – ensuring better choices, for better results.
Projects guided by smart choices conform to requirements. As a result, your new kitchen will be a feast to the eye, a joy to the family and a timeless source of sumptuous culinary delights.
Mitigating Project Failure
Why do project fails, when it all sounds so easy?
The four usual suspects top the list for project failures which result in long-lasting disappointment:
- Unclear requirements (goals and objectives);
- Overly-optimistic expectations and wayward assumptions;
- Budget-overruns, and
- Poor-quality craftsmanship.
By inference, the success of your project is directly linked to…
- How well you translate your goals and objectives into clear requirements;
- How realistic your expectations and assumptions are;
- How well you set and manage your budget, and
- The caliber of the Kitchen Designer you choose to appoint.
Failed remodeling projects have far-reaching consequences for your home and wide-ranging implications for your family.
You can improve your project’s chances for success exponentially by defining your requirements clearly; minimizing assumptions setting realistic expectations; setting a budget and sticking to it, and most importantly, appointing an accredited Kitchen Designer with a proven track record.
Irrespective of your motivations for remodeling your kitchen, your results should reflect your requirements accurately and deliver functionality which expresses your style and taste beautifully.
The Evolution of the Kitchen
Modern-day kitchens have evolved into the operations center of the home – a critical component of day to day living.
New York-based interior designer, Andrew Suvalsky, says “The kitchen is truly the focus of the home today. A great kitchen design will give essential clues to how the rest of the home can and should develop.”, while Hannah Lord of Heid Interior Design senses that, “Kitchens are going back to the future with ‘workhouse island counters’ as the central feature. The island counter is where you can cook, chop, store and socialise.”
The design of your kitchen can instantaneously create a feeling or setting which you enjoy, such as a farmhouse, a cottage or a coastal getaway. Tables, cabinets, cupboards, finishes, furniture, colors, textures, decor and accessories are integral parts of the desired moood, character and ambiance of your kitchen.
The “Island Kitchen” design is growing in popularity due to flexible layout options and space-saving. An island creates a naturally central, multi-purpose hub for preparing, cooking, eating, socializing and entertaining.
The Triangle revisited
The latest kitchen designs are characterized by variations on the traditional “triangle”, focusing strongly on optimized work-flow, access, space usage and storage.
Traditional “store-prep-cook” triangles have been replaced by more expansive and practical “zones” which are allocated and defined according to their usage.
Mary Jo Peterson, principal, Mary Jo Peterson Inc. decribes the evolution of the kitchen: “We have gone from the traditional kitchen, where one person prepared meals to a multi-purpose room and a multiple-cook room, and this evolution has changed us from looking at one work triangle to multiple triangles, or ‘zones’. With that in mind, we have to increase clearances and look at adding comfortable spaces in the kitchen.”
A Multi-purpose family room
Breaking with convention, many modern kitchens have “developed” an office and homework capability to complement the traditional kitchen activities such as cooking, eating, socializing and entertaining.
We see countertops doubling as desks for laptops and other devices, as well as paperwork. The kitchen has also lately become the de facto park-and-recharge hub for most of the family’s electronic gadgets.
Common Kitchen Design Styles
Modern kitchens bring the sophistication of technology to the heart of your home. The convenience of push-button automation provides most of the required functionality. High-tech materials up the ante for a look and feel that is cool, sleek and sexy. Space-tech appliances – recessed, hidden, retractable – together with handle-less cabinetry and shiny surfaces – keep up the awesomeness and eliminate clutter. Tasteful exotic wood and glass finishes add the finishing touches to hi-tech luxury.
Traditional and Classic designs offer unique characteristics for your kitchen, despite styles becoming slightly more fluid and sharing elements – while retaining their fundamental characteristics. Transitional kitchen designs straddle more than one style across various elements.
The Contemporary kitchen features well-considered mixing and matching of elements from across the spectrum and provides open spaces, seating and top-drawer cooking appliances. The additional kitchen space enables guests to interact with the chef/host(ess). This design changes traditional cooking from “social cooking” to “cooking socially”.
The Contemporary kitchen provides an inclusive social and entertainment hotspot: Guests can socialize with their hosts – enjoying an interactive cooking experience while sharing the natural kitchen heat and social buzz. Not much wrong with work and play!
Farmhouse, Rustic and Country kitchen designs feature natural – slightly rough-hewn and imperfect – furnishings and finishes to complement their inherent warm, cozy and inviting feeling. Coastal kitchen designs create an informal and relaxed setting, with imaginative, vacation-inspired furniture, decor and finishes.
POINTS TO PONDER BEFORE DIGGING IN
Kitchen Designers offer excellent advice for you best options, but if you prefer your own counsel, you should be aware of the implications of your choices.
Your Kitchen Design Style will ultimately inform your choices but the key considerations listed below will affect your final results negatively if you ignore or overlook them.
When optimizing work-flow, your placement of the preparation area, landing area and also the storage areas for food (cold, chilled, ambient), kitchen utensils, appliances and accessories must be considered carefully. The location of your sink area, cupboards, pantry, large appliances and transient workspaces can often dictate the layout of your new kitchen.
Transient workspaces include chopping, unpacking and multi-use holding areas for cleaned, rinsed or ready-to-be-used items.
Wiring and Plumbing
Pay special attention to the location of the power-points, electrical wiring and plumbing for all your appliances and note potential changes to these locations. Keep sustainability in mind and consider energy-saving options.
Kitchen lighting is all about brightening up your kitchen tastefully, effectively and economically. New lighting trends offer exquisite lighting solutions which add a beautiful touch to your kitchen.
Clarify your lighting requirements and your color preferences for creating the mood and personality you desire for your kitchen.
Highlight the areas that needing more light as a guide the placement and style of your lighting and fittings. Keep sustainability in mind and consider renewables, energy-saving options and also explore the use of natural light.
Cabinetry, Cupboards and Furniture
Your preferred cabinetry, built-in cupboards and furniture should suit the style of the kitchen design you have selected.
The size of your space will determine what type of seating can be used and whether a dining table is an option.
Choose the type, style, color, usage and placement of your cabinetry, including your choice of doors and handles.
Also decide on whether you wish to allocate and demarcate different zones in your kitchen with furniture, if you have an “open-plan” design.
Your countertops play a huge role in defining the character and tone of your kitchen and should top your decision list.
Your countertops form the face of the kitchen and have a significant impact on the balance – blend or contrast – of your overall color-scheme.
Flooring and Tiling
Your choice of flooring and tiling completes the character and style of your new kitchen. Both the “flooring” and “tiling” market offer innovative and low-maintenance materials and colors for flooring and tiling.
You could opt for a design which is distinctive or one which complements the existing flooring and tiling around your home.
The quality and suitability of your decor, colors, paint, fabrics and textures play a significant role in completing your project. These elements should stay in focus, even if only at a high level. This allow you to drill down into the detail and finalize your requirements at the appropriate time.
PLANNING YOUR KITCHEN DESIGN PROJECT
Common misconceptions such as “haste equals speed” and “the details are not important” spell disaster and one or the other party will have egg on their face.
Wayward assumptions turn dreams into nightmares. Wake-up calls come far too late, leaving the dreamer to enjoy a generous helping of humble-pie – served up cold – in an undercooked new kitchen.
For a project to take the cake with timeous delivery and excellent, results it must follow one simple recipe: Meticulous planning. In the Kitchen Design space, the proverbial devil is indeed in the detail. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Spectacularly!
Meticulous planning requires sound judgment, rigorous requirement management; stringent adherence to time-frames; deft sidestepping of distractions, focused fiscal discipline and tireless due diligence. These ingredients blended together, form the recipe for a masterpiece.
Your chances for a successful Kitchen Remodeling project are improved considerably when you have clear requirements; a realistic approach; a well-managed budget, and a qualified Kitchen Designer.
If your objective is to create an efficient and well-organized “cooking space”, you have to focus on
functionality, work-flow and accessibility – within the constraints of your available space.
If your requirement is a warm, multi-use family space with a social cooking hub, focus on zones and placement.
In order of priority: Style and taste have pride of place, but placement ultimately wins the race.
Good placement sets everyday items within reach, enabling you to find exactly what you need when you need it, quickly and easily. It facilitates effective organization.
Accessibility, efficiency, organization, flow and functionality are all rooted in practicality.
The hallmark of a successful kitchen remodeling project is a bouquet of functionality, delightfully wrapped in efficiency and practicality.
A kitchen with optimal flow and placement is too intuitive to confuse, and an absolute joy to use!
Click here to contact Gardner Interior Concepts right away and get your dream project started today.