Kitchens are the heart of the home and everyone wishes they had the budget to get the kitchen of their dream. Unfortunately, for most of us, we have limited budgets and must make compromises on what we want versus what we can afford.
That is ok when you have a reputable contractor and are working with a great designer, you can get the best information to make the compromises needed and not feel cheated from your end goal. The good news for you is, it’s your contractor and designers job to help you look at the pros and cons of available products in your budget and come to the best decision for your space.
The first part to making these decisions is for you to consider how you will use your kitchen. It is important to be truthful with yourself here. Are you a party planner and enjoy entertaining? Do you love having the entire family over and cooking for everyone? Do you order out when you entertain. Or, do you just want a new kitchen to prepare meals for your immediate family. These questions will help you get to your end goal.
You also need to look at what is important to you and your family for the new kitchen. Make a priority list. When I say ‘you’ please remember that we can make all of the decisions for you, but it is your kitchen, and you have to live with it for the duration of your time in the home.
So, let’s get to the list.
1. Every day cook – or – Entertaining only
How many people do you ultimately want to serve from your kitchen? We need to find out how much refrigerator space you need, what type of a stove top you want, and do you want one oven or two? Do you need more or less seating?
I will give you an example from when I designed my own kitchen. We like to have family over for dinner can quickly become a large event. So, I went with a 48” stove with two ovens, one oven being smaller than the other. This serves two purposes, I can use the smaller oven for every day use cooking for my immediate family, but still have a large oven for those over sized turkeys when the whole gang is over. I also opted to have two dishwashers and two sinks which allows for everything to be cleaned and put away at the end of our gatherings.
2. Value your choices
When you go to your remodeler’s showroom and discover that there are over 400 stainless double bowl kitchen sinks to choose from, ranging from $250 – $3000 and up. How do you make the choice?
We like to remind our clients that you need to go back to your priority list and look at what was important to you. Did the sink make the cut? If not, you can most likely get away with a smaller investment option (just not too low, we want the sink to last you).
Is the sink one of your largest gripes about your kitchen? If yes, then let’s look at a nicer, deeper model for all those dirty cookie sheets.
3. Operation – vs – Beauty
While we want to make your new kitchen pleasing to the eye, if it does not operate and function properly then it was a waste of money and time.
Beauty is often looked at as the ‘expensive’ parts of a new kitchen. Will you be going for a full grade professional series stove top and oven? Hand made tile back splash? Custom cabinets with lots of detail work?
Some of these choices will be mandated by the way you are going to use your kitchen, others by the budget and most importantly, how you will use the space.
I will use my kitchen as an example again. I like cooking, but because most of the meals prepared daily in my home are for 4 people or less, there was not a practical need to have the large stove that I chose. But knowing that I will be hosting dinners for 12 or more people throughout the year made upgrading to the larger stove and ovens an easy decision for me. To offset the costs of my upgraded appliances, I decided to not go with a complete custom tile and chose a more practical one.
When you start a remodel expect some messes, maybe some delay (but hopefully not!), last minute decisions, more messes, and sometimes unexpected expenses due to unforeseen issues. But don’t worry, if you hired a capable, reliable contractor, this is their job to help walk you through the solution.
5. Don’t build your kitchen to make you be something you are not
I cannot tell you how many times we have sat in a client’s home and they ask for professional grade appliances, yet they never cook. They just want professional appliances for the ‘look’.
Focus on your list again. What is it you really want and how will you be utilizing your new kitchen?
Ultimately, you are the one who gets to decide what is best for you and your home. But remember, making that initial list of what you want and prioritizing your needs is how you will end up with the kitchen of your dreams!