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Kitchen Planning Tips

If a new kitchen is in your future, take a few minutes to read this. Then, take a lot more time to properly plan out the kitchen of your dreams. There are dozens of considerations involved in planning a kitchen, and here are some of the basics.

  1. Shape and layout: Open concept is popular now for obvious reasons, but if you don’t have three or four walls to work with, you have to get a little more creative. The most important lay-out issue is the fridge, stove, and sink placement. If you get that one wrong, you will have a very awkward kitchen for the next three decades. Little things like having enough counter space in the right places make a big difference.

Fashion: The more bold and fashionable you go, the faster it will go out of style. That doesn’t mean you have to go plain, but pick colors that will last a generation at least. Or, instead of spending ten grand on granite, whose colors will go out of style just as quickly as anything else, spend two grand on laminate countertops and replace them more often to keep the colors current.

Hide the mechanics: With proper planning, anything unsightly can be hidden. Light switches and electrical plug placement does make a difference. Valances and crown moldings can hide lights and compliment cabinet construction.

Cabinet style and quality: Most kitchen cabinets are made of particle board because they cost much less than solid wood and don’t get the abuse that the doors get. The basic cabinets available at Ikea, Rona, Home Depot or Totem work very well but have one main downfall; they are not customizable. While they are available in dozens of different sizes, they require cover panels and filler pieces to fit exactly into your kitchen. True custom cabinets are built to fit perfectly by true craftsmen; however, perfection comes at a price.

Appliances: You get what you pay for. A three hundred dollar dishwasher is three hundred dollars for a reason. It will be loud, and you will still be washing pots and pans by hand. You also want to make sure your kitchen design will accommodate different sized appliances in the future. Take your time on this and talk to appliance retailers who know their stuff.

Flooring: The kitchen is a wet area so choose your flooring with that in mind. If the kitchen is cold, stay away from tile or consider under-floor heating. This area gets above average foot traffic and more spills, so spend a little more on kitchen flooring than elsewhere in the home.

My customers leave many of these decisions up to me. That’s fine if you will be happy with what I think you want. Better yet, show me pictures of things you like in other kitchens, or go online and send me the links. That way there is nothing lost in the interpretation.

Lastly, while a modular kitchen looks great, do not expect the perfection of a custom kitchen. If you want perfection, you will have to pay more. Your new kitchen can be very affordable or very expensive with the options available today. Either way, take the time to plan it properly with your contractor and you will achieve something to be proud of.


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