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5 Do's and Dont's When Redesigning your Kitchen

Kitchen's are one of my most favourite projects to design. In fact, I worked exclusively as a kitchen designer for many years before starting Shelley Hodge Interiors Inc.

There's lots to consider when designing the perfect kitchen. It's not a reno job that you will likely do again in the next 10-15 years so you want to do it right the first time. And it's not for the faint of heart either! (Think managing an entire household without running water or a sink for a week) As kitchen designers, we also play marriage counselors on occasion. We joke and say "if your relationship can survive a kitchen reno you can survive anything!"

It takes is a lot of planning and patience to get the kitchen of your dreams. With these 5 do's and dont's you'll start off on the right foot. Having a professional answer some of your questions helps too!

Do: Have a plan

Have a list of "must have's" and "would love to have's." Compiling a list of the things that are integral to you and how you work in your kitchen is the most important.

  • Do your research on types of cabinetry available. Will you buy pre-assembled or knockdown cabinets? Pre-assembled sounds wonderfully less work but have a higher rate of shipping damage.

  • Research countertop materials. Love the look of butcher block? Are you prepared for its regular maintenance (sanding and seeling every couple of months)?

  • Find a door style you love? Check for available purchase locations and delivery times. Having all items on deck and ready to go when the renovation starts will help minimize the length of disruption to the busiest room in your house.

Do: Consider how you work in your kitchen

What's good for the goose is not always good for the gander! In other words, what works for your neighbour doesn't necessarily mean it will work for you. Be realistic and plan your kitchen for how you and your family live and interact in your home.

  • More than one cook in the kitchen? Make sure you have room and various prep spaces to accommodate cooking together.

  • Love the inspo pictures of open shelves instead of cabinets? Consider that they will always need to be organized and clean. There's no hiding random dishware anymore!

  • Want to be super organized with pots and pans, Tupperware and baking sheets? Sometimes we love the idea of organized kitchen drawer fit-ups, but they often take up unnecessary space.

Don't: Rush into buying items because you're not sure where to start

One of the most common mistakes people make when designing their kitchen is to jump in and start purchasing things before they've made a plan. It's not going to be a happy day when the refrigerator shows up and it's too big to fit in the designated cabinet space.

  • Budget for a professional floor plan so you have a clear idea of how much space you have. (It's also incredibly helpful for your contractor or installation person!) It'll also help you visualize your new space. Most kitchen designers have a 3D program that will allow you to see options and how they will actually look in your space before you purchase.

  • Once you know how much space you have, buy your appliances first! When you know their sizes you can make the necessary size changes to cabinetry-before they are ordered and installed.

Don't: Choose trendy

Trends come and go quickly. And depending on where you live, by the time the trend reaches you, it's already passé where it began. Unless you want to renovate regularly or live with a kitchen you can't stand to be in, choose colours, finishes, materials and door styles wisely.

  • Choose cabinetry that aligns with your family's style, that will remain "your style" for years to come. Not "in style" for the next 3 years tops.

  • Sure you can add in trending elements! Have fun with a backsplash, cabinet knobs and decor instead (even countertops!) Those items can be updated and changed up fairly easily with mid to low disruption and cost.

Do: Consider the work triangle

Kitchen Design 101! For an efficiently laid out kitchen, you have to consider the work triangle. This refers to the distance and placement of your sink, fridge and stove. These are the most important areas in your kitchen and you want to access these zones uninterrupted and with ease.

  • The sides of the triangle should not exceed 26 feet total.

  • Each side should be no less than 4 feet and no more than 9 feet

A kitchen reno on average costs between $15,000 and $25,000 which is why planning and budgeting are very important. You want a kitchen that you'll love for a long time so take time to research so you can have what you really want!

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