Dreaming of a newly remodeled kitchen but aren’t quite sure where to start? We’ve got you covered! J. Carsten Remodeling has renovated our fair share of kitchens, and it’s safe to say we’ve picked up a few things along the way. Keep reading for our top ten kitchen remodeling design tips—and be sure to check out our kitchen photo gallery for an extra dose of inspiration!
Set a Realistic Budget
Perhaps one of our most crucial kitchen remodeling design tips is to establish a realistic budget. Typically, you can expect to pay about 10-15% of your home’s current value for a full-scale kitchen renovation. Either way, it’s essential to manage your budget accordingly, as no one wants to find out they’re over budget midway through a project! Be sure to plan for any surprises, as well. You never know when you’ll run into a plumbing or wiring issue, especially in older homes.
Direct the Flow of Traffic
Create a design that helps direct traffic while in the kitchen. Keep the cooktop or stove away from high traffic areas to prevent anyone passing through the kitchen from getting caught on handles and causing spills. Place the refrigerator in a spot that is easily accessible to passersby, as well as those working in the kitchen’s cooking or cleanup areas.
Identify the Island’s Purpose
Kitchen islands serve a different function depending on who you ask. Some people prefer the island to be for gathering and eating, while others like it to serve more than one purpose, i.e., cooking and eating. To get the most out of your kitchen island, decide what function you want it to serve. If you’d like it to house the cooktop in addition to being a place to eat, make sure to leave enough room to separate the cooking and dining spaces of the island.
Keep it Light
If your kitchen is on the smaller side, steer clear of dark colors, which can make the space appear much smaller and less inviting. Opt for a combination of natural light and lighter tones for paint and cabinetry to make the room appear larger.
Create a Focal Point
While there’s nothing wrong with splashy range hoods, painted cabinets, vibrant tile, and countertop patterns, trying to incorporate too many eye-catching details can be overwhelming. Create a cohesive kitchen design by creating a singular focal point, like a backsplash. Then use other materials and pieces to complement that area and make it stand out.
Find the Right Height for the Microwave
This is a detail that often gets overlooked during a kitchen remodel, but it’s one that can pack a big punch. The best height and location will depend on your preference as the chef. A good rule of thumb is to place the microwave 15 inches above the countertop level for adults. If your kitchen needs to be kid-friendly, installing the microwave below the countertop may be a better option.
Go Easy on Trends
There is no shortage of trends when it comes to kitchen design, but it’s important not to go overboard. Certain materials and colors may look great as a small sample but may appear overwhelming in a larger size. Instead of going crazy with bright patterns or unique appliance colors, err on the side of subtly. Incorporate the trends and designs you like as accents rather than centerpieces. This will also be beneficial if you plan to sell your home down the road, as a universal design will appeal to most buyers.
Be Strategic About Lighting
Lighting may be one of the most functional kitchen design elements, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring! Layer different types of light (ambient, task, accent, and mood) in your kitchen with a mix of fixtures. For overall light, recessed ceiling fixtures are always a good choice, while under-cabinet task lights are perfect for countertop work areas. Use pendant lights and chandeliers over the island and dining area to draw the eye and delineate those spaces from prep areas.
Incorporate a Pot Filler
Work a little convenience into your kitchen design with a built-in pot filler above the stove. The swing-out tap eliminates the need to lug heavy pots of water from the sink to the cooktop and prevents messy spills from occurring. If that’s not in the budget, installing a sink faucet with an extra-long hose can also get the job done.
Double Your Space With a Working Pantry
If you love to entertain, you’ll likely benefit from an additional prep area. Installing countertops and outlets in your pantry can create the space you crave, as it can house other appliances like a microwave, toaster oven, or mini-fridge. Plus, it keeps the kitchen counters free of clutter.