Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Great House Update: Kitchen Selections

I’m back with another little update. Before I do a kitchen reveal post I thought it would be fun to talk about what goes into kitchen updates and how to get the look you are after.

Here are all the past House Update posts:

Great House Update / Update List / The Exterior / The Exterior Pt. 2 / Pre-Nursery / Kitchen Sneaks

When you are remodeling any part of your house there are so many decisions that need to be made, especially when doing the kitchen. Alex, the resident remodeler, always advises his clients to spend time on Pinterest and perusing design magazines, making note of what they like and dislike.

When it came to our kitchen I was lucky because we had previously created my dream kitchen in our second flip. It looked like this:



1. What style are you after?

Traditional/Modern/Classic/Country? Check your Pinterest boards and magazines. I had pinned plenty of kitchens with navy or grey cabinets but at the end of the day I wanted classic white. Kitchens are spendy to renovate and while I like some trends today I didn’t want to go with something I would regret. Everyone is different…go with what YOU like.

My most pinned images…sensing a theme?



           via Little House Blog                        via decorpad                     via dougelissa

2. Think about how you will use the space.

When we first moved into our house, we spent time living in it and making note of what we liked/disliked and how our home could function better. Most people are surprised we did not choose to take down the walls in our kitchen. Our reasoning was two-fold: When looking at the floor plan on Alex’s design program, our main level footprint was too small to create an open concept. Secondly, I tend to agree with this article: Against Open Floor Plans. I love to cook so I don’t want everything to be in sight nor do I want everyone in the kitchen with me. And while I’d love more room for my girls to join me, I love how just changing the opening to our kitchen helped us achieve more open living.

I wanted the most storage I could get which meant tearing out our soffits and taking everything up. I also really wanted to incorporate a cabinet for our stick vacuum/mops and overflow pantry.

3. Be realistic about your budget.

Kitchen renovations are not cheap. You can do a lot of updates with just paint and changing out a few key things but if you are doing a gut job take your budget into account. Everything adds up. There are great ways to save and as we all know great ways to splurge! It’s a great idea to set allowances for each part of the kitchen to keep you on track and looking in the right places. Also know what to do now and what to wait on. We could have sprung for paint and spent the sweat equity changing up our kitchen for a few years until we could spring for a new one. At the end of the day saving those pennies to be used elsewhere was a better plan for us and so we kept saving for the kitchen we really wanted instead. Sometime it pays to do an interim remodel.

4. Pick out appliances you will use.

Sticking with one brand of appliances is starting to vanish. Many homeowners choose to mix and match based on what and how they cook. We ended up going with a Kitchen Aid appliance suite that we bought open box from Appliance Smart. We were able to save a lot of money buying appliances that had been staged in a house but never used. For our kitchen we knew we needed a counter depth refrigerator and they are not cheap. Because of that we ended up with a side by side instead of a French door. Fine by me because we have a freezer in our basement for backup but not everyone would want to sacrifice that. We also really wanted a slide in range, also not cheap. These two appliances themselves could have exceeded our appliance budget had we not been strategic in getting a deal. While a convection microwave sounded great for extra oven space at the end of the day I realized I wouldn’t be cooking that many meals that required a double oven which saved us money in the end.

5. There are things to splurge on and ways to save.

My husband calls the drawer pulls in kitchens the jewelry. This is one area you can splurge on but make sure you have the budget. We were *this* close to going with IKEA cabinets to save money on our kitchen. At the last minute we were given an incredible rate for custom cabinetry through a contact of my husbands. We ended up not having the greatest experience with the cabinet maker but at the end of the day we ended up with more custom touches like our hutch that otherwise would have been impossible. IKEA makes incredible cabinets…my husband was shocked how much he liked them and felt they were very good quality. Expensive hardware on a less expensive cabinet is a great way to make your cabinets shine. We ended up REALLY splurging on our hardware at Restoration Hardware because we knew we needed some long pulls. I’m so glad we did because it’s one of my favorite things. We also saved by using white subway tile for our backsplash. White subway tile may be one of the least expensive tile options around and it’s incredibly classic.

6. Know what you can deal with and what will drive you nuts

I’ve always wanted marble in our kitchen. Always. This was the first time my husband has ever put it in a kitchen because he’s always been a naysayer to the idea. Marble etches, stains, and gets water marks no matter how hard you try to keep it clean. I’m okay with that because those imperfections don’t bother me. If that would drive you nuts, steer clear. Contrary to popular belief, Carrera marble is not that expensive. It’s comparable to most types of granite with Quartz/Cambria countertops being far more expensive.

7. Create a kitchen for your way of life

Pinterest has all sorts of great ideas when it comes to adding things to your kitchen. Little personal details can be added pretty easily for the most part. As someone who likes to cook, I use a lot of different small appliances but I don’t want them all on the counters. We created our hutch in the kitchen to house overflow dishes, glasses, and our coffee maker/espresso machine. But this area is dual purpose because it becomes a drink station or bar when we have parties. We just store the coffee appliances and the hutch becomes the perfect place for drink mixing.

Another example would be our sink. When I polled FB and my blog for sink suggestions there were very few people who picked a single bowl sink over a double basin. I went against all the advice and picked out a huge single bowl sink with a grate at the bottom. I LOVE it mainly because when walking up our main stairs the first thing you see is the sink. A single bowl hides all the dirty dishes and pans from wandering eyes. While it’s not as ideal for dishwashing, I just add a small plastic tub to the sink when I actually do dishes. Since I’m a dishwasher kind of girl, not having another basin hasn’t flustered me in the least.

So there you have it. 7 great tips on what to think through when planning a kitchen renovation.

Happy renovating!!

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