That diagram at the top….that shows some of the decisions that go into a remodel.

If you overwhelmed by all the choices you have to make for your kitchen remodel you are not alone. We have calculated that there are over 100 decisions that will need to be made before and during a kitchen remodel. That is a significant number.

This is why many people come to us and say, “I just don’t know where to start.” So today we are sharing some insight as to our methods that have worked for many years on projects at every scale.

The first thing to do is select your appliances. This is critical for the design process to begin and end with the best design. Appliances need a certain amount of wall space and countertop space around them. So selecting those first will allow a good designer to work those into the design in a way that allows for proper flow.

Starting with the lay out of the kitchen first, before getting into the aesthetics of color and finish is wise. First we need the design to be efficient so that cooking in the kitchen flows well,the storage is adequate, and well placed. How the space is utilized for cooking and lifestyle are important considerations in the design of the space.

Traffic flow is imperative to consider. More than one cook in the kitchen requires more walkway space. There is also a need to account for children and the ages of the children so that the design can grow with the family. If the family entertains on a regular basis that needs to be considered in the design. Maybe we add a wine bar area. If the client bakes a lot do we need a baking area?

Having the floor plan come to life in 3D is a great help for visualizing the space. Having a floor plan with measurements is great when discussing traffic flow and fit. By walking through the plan with tape measure in hand it will become obvious if something is not going to work well in the lay out it. Altering the design on paper is much easier than after the cabinets are ordered and all the rough in work for electrical and plumbing has occurred. If the rough in work has occurred, and cabinets are ordered, changing a design can be costly and will cause long time delays on the project.

The goal is to have the floor plan and selections completed prior to starting demolition. Work through every scenario to be sure all things are considered and have the contractor involved as well – their perspective is invaluable in terms of costing out changes as budgets are considered.

Once the lay out is defined the selections of the cabinets, countertops, backsplash, plumbing, and lighting can be made. Starting with the highest investment items first usually works well. Or if there is a key inspiration piece in the kitchen, such as a custom made hood, then start building the rest of the space around that piece by making selections that compliment the style.

There is a trickle down affect of decisions made in a kitchen remodel. One choice affects another choice. Choosing a painted cabinet versus a stained cabinet will affect the color of the countertop. Choosing a painted cabinet for the perimeter and a stained cabinet for the island will reqiuire a countertop that works with both finishes. So do you go light or dark? This is where the trickle down affect occurs and clients often get tripped up. It is all about priorities and the overall desired outcome for the space.

The client should always be the inspiration for the aesthetic in the design. There are no unbreakable rules when it comes to styling of a project. Design is living and breathing – there is an evolution that occurs. The final product should be everything the client has dreamed of and more. With the right process in place to vet out possibilities and considerations, the client should say in the end, “I wouldn’t change a thing.”

***Angela Bonfante is an expert kitchen designer, entrepreneur, speaker, coach, and writer.

***Call her if you would like to save time and money and design a space that is uniquely yours. (614) 582-5821