4 Remodel Tips to Create a Functional Kitchen

Kitchen remodels are one of the most expensive upgrades for homeowners. Between the abundance of high-end materials to choose from and the technologically advanced appliances available, mid-to-high range kitchen remodels typically cost upwards of $50,000. Many homebuyers are aware of these costs so they search for homes with previously upgraded kitchens to avoid pricey additions after purchase. For this reason, current homeowners planning quality kitchen remodels can expect positive returns on their investments, plus they benefit from constructing kitchens to ideally suit their needs.

kitchen house renovate
Image Credit: HomeAdvisor

Before embarking on a kitchen remodel, consider these four elements of functional kitchens to incorporate into the project.

1. Sensible Layout

The most popular style is the open layout which accommodates multiple bodies in a kitchen. The open layout makes the room appear spacious, de-cluttered and bright. Avoid cramped kitchen areas that become challenging workspaces. For instance, islands create additional counter and storage space, but carefully evaluate the size of the island, because bulky islands can absorb too much of the functional workspace.

Think about convenience when incorporating the refrigerator, stove and sink into the layout. Try to keep the sink across from or near the refrigerator and stove. Sinks require significant counter space on each side, which may affect placement; and remember to keep the dishwasher nearby for easy loading. It’s handy to store cooking utensils near the stove whether hanging, in a basket or a deep drawer. Homeowners should think about what they appreciate about their current kitchen workspaces and design those features into the new space, while correcting any problematic features.

2. Convenient Accessibility

Before remodeling, account for convenient storage and accessibility. Professional kitchens use open-shelving to quickly retrieve pots, pans, dishes and spices. Homeowners may be partial to open shelves instead of standard cabinets or storage under kitchen islands. Alternatively, keep the cabinet doors but add pull-out installations which allow the base of the shelves, or even multiple rows of shelves, to slide out like drawers. These let spices become fully visible without fussing to find the proper bottles. The pull-outs also make it simple to select the perfect pot from otherwise challenging, deep cabinet shelves. Also consider large shelving for the wok, rice cook, blender, crockpot or other appliances not used daily.

3. Ample Lighting

Don’t overlook the value of a well-lit kitchen. Incorporate recessed lighting to provide sufficient overhead light without the distraction of low-hanging fixtures. Consider task lighting under cabinets to shine directly on countertop workspaces or a bright overhead fixture above the sink. Be sure to consider the lighting in neighboring rooms, such as a breakfast nook or dining room, because dark spaces nearby can absorb the light in the kitchen workspace. Too much light should not be a concern, especially if lights are installed with dimmer switches to set the lighting at the perfect level whether cooking, entertaining or dining.

4. Modern Appliances & Surfaces

High-tech appliances add a significant amount of convenience for the modern chef, whether it’s an Andrew James ice cream maker or state of the art coffee machine. Professional-grade refrigerators, for example, are great for large families or those who prefer to keep their produce cooled at a separate temperature than their meat or beverages. Double ovens are another popular appliance upgrade for newer kitchens. They offer the option of cooking separate dishes at their own temperatures, simultaneously. Even modern faucets allow cooks with full or soiled hands to turn on/off the water with a tap of the arm, wrist or elbow. Such appliances are expensive additions to a new kitchen, but make the cooking lifestyle simpler and future buyers more interested.

Aside from typical kitchen appliances, upgraded countertops should be careful reviewed. Before settling on the aesthetic choice, consider the benefits of a durable, low-maintenance and attractive surface. Think of the ease of being able to set hot pots directly on the countertops, or the confidence that spilled jam won’t stain the porous surface. Even soft counters can be problematic with the sharp utensils used in the kitchen. Many counter surfaces require repeated sealing, sanding or mineral oil buffing. Quartz and granite countertops score high amongst informed buyers but tend to come at higher costs.

In all, there is much to consider before jumping into an expensive kitchen remodel. To ensure the homeowners are pleased with their completed kitchen, they should carefully evaluate how these four elements factor into their remodel designs.

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