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10 Things To Think About Before a Kitchen Remodel

Planning a kitchen remodel can be overwhelming. From the first meeting with your design-build team, you should give them as much information as possible. Here at Innovative Design + Build, we will elicit this information through a well-honed list of questions. But the more you think about how you want your kitchen to function for you before you begin, the better. This guide will help you clarify your thoughts before meeting with your renovation team, and give you some new ideas about features you might not have considered. Here are 10 things to think about before a kitchen remodel. Put style aside for now; form will follow function once you get your needs worked out!

1. Think About What’s Not Working for You

If you’re ready for a remodel, it’s likely there’s a lot of dysfunction in your kitchen. Create a list of the things that bother you. These can include a bad traffic flow, a lack of countertop space, blind cabinets that are hard to manage, limited storage space, a lack of a pantry, bad ergonomics, no room for eating in the kitchen, ugly or insufficient lighting, hard-to-reach oils and spices, lack of space to charge devices or inconvenient storage space for cooking utensils. This will help your designer come up with a layout that will work for you and your family.

10 things to think about before a kitchen remodel

2. Think About Adjacent Spaces

Many times, spaces next to a kitchen that isn’t functioning well are other spaces that aren’t functioning well either. Mudroom-laundry rooms, coat closets, pantries, even formal dining rooms can be incorporated into the renovations. This can mean expanding the footprint of the renovated kitchen to make better use of space. And ask yourself how often you use an adjacent formal dining room, and if you’d rather open it up to the kitchen to create a more casual breakfast room.

Think about a landing zone — where coats, purses, mail and devices get dropped when you walk in. If it’s on chairs and counters in the kitchen, we can help you come up with a better system. If pantry space is inconvenient or lacking, we will come up with more efficient solutions. Also, think about if you want to open up a closed-off kitchen to other rooms, or if you want direct access to a patio, deck or side entrance.

More: What To Do When You Don’t Have a Pantry

10 things to think about before a kitchen remodel

3. Think About How You Use the Kitchen

Think about your dreams of you and your family and friends using the kitchen together. Does one person like to cook and keep others nearby but out of the way? Or do you like to cook together? Does one person tend to prep while the other cooks? Do you bake enough that a baking station would be a good idea for you?

10 things to think about before a kitchen remodel

4. Think About What You’d Like To Keep Handy

Think about what you grab for the most when you’re at the stove — utensils, oils, spices, herbs, salts, oven mitts. We can locate specialty cabinets and outfit them appropriately right next to the range. Likewise for prep — a knife block drawer, a built-in cutting surface and cutting board storage are good to have within reach of your prep area.

5. Think About How You Use the Sink

From listening to how you work, we’ll help you figure out the number of basins, the material, the faucetry and whether or not you want more than one sink in the kitchen. You may want a bar or prep sink in another zone or in the island, or you may want a really hardworking workstation sink. There have been so many innovations in this area that it’s hard to keep up! For example, here’s a video that shows The Galley Kitchen Sink Workstation in action:

6. Think About How You Like To Entertain

No matter how inviting their other rooms are, most of our clients find that all of their parties wind up centering around the kitchen. Some considerations to include are seating, setting up a bar, creating a food spread buffet-style, music systems, views of a TV for that big game, and creating a lighting scheme that can switch up the mood.

coffee and tea station

7. Think About Coffee, Tea and Other Beverages

Many of our clients are looking for a coffee and tea station that’s will keep people out of the cook’s way, especially in the morning! You’ll want to have the small appliances, sweeteners, mugs, grounds, tea bags, cream and some stirrers conveniently located together. If you want to invest in a stunning Italian espressomaker, it’s likely you’ll want to keep it out on the counter to admire. If you aren’t crazy about the way your Keurig looks, you may want to set it up in an appliance garage or pantry so that it can be kept out of sight.

You also many want to consider incorporating other sorts of beverage stations. Homeowners with small children may want a beverage fridge placed somewhere kiddos can reach in and serve themselves juice boxes. Oenophiles may want to incorporate a wine cooler and racks. Beer aficionados may even opt for a kegerator and beer tap. Some people choose to add a separate icemaker appliance. A butler’s pantry setup is often a good spot to place these kinds of bar items, with storage for the appropriate glassware and openers within reach.

eat-in kitchen space

8. Think About Eat-In Space

Are you a gather-round-the-island family or a kitchen table family? Perhaps you’d like a cozy banquette or booth. Do you want to keep all of the seating on one side of an island or have it wrap a corner to keep things more conversational? Will you need plugs for laptops and other devices hidden nearby? Perhaps you’ll replace your formal dining room with a more casual breakfast room. Think about if your table will need a leaf for larger gatherings, or extra-comfortable armchairs for long conversations or getting work done.

pet bowl drawer in kitchen

9. Think About Pets

Well in 10 Things To Think About Before a Kitchen Remodel, we can’t forget to consider the critters in your family. Finding a place to put food and water bowls, treats, leashes and pet food can all play a role in your kitchen remodel. Also think about muddy paws and sharp claws —we can recommend durable flooring that will stand up to them and is easier to clean. Pets hair can also affect kitchen design. For example, you won’t want low open shelves where pet hair can collect.

10 things to think about before a kitchen remodel

10. Think About How You’ll Function During the Remodel

If you plan on  staying at home during the remodeling process, be sure to ask your contractor about dust control and traffic flow through the house. Designate where they can stage (i.e. store supplies such as tile, appliances and other materials during the remodel). And be sure to make it clear where they can’t. We recommend finding a space where you can escape the construction during the remodeling process. And figuring out how you’ll set up a temporary kitchen space. You will likely want to include lots of take-out meals in your remodeling budget, and learn to live with eating off paper plates for awhile! Talk to your contractor about where you can temporarily move some appliances like the fridge and a countertop microwave, and have them make sure there are sufficient and safe electrical outlets in that space.

We hope these 10 things to think about before a kitchen remodel will help get you excited about how we can help tailor your renovation to your needs. Please give us a call when you’re ready. And be sure to check out the rest of the Innovative Design + Build Ideas Blog for more ideas. We’ll be addressing how to think about style in a future post, but start saving inspiration images you like, from sources like our Portfolio, Pinterest and Houzz.