Kitchen remodeling:: tips & ideas
When you decide to remodel your kitchen, the three most important elements you should consider are space, time & budget. Only having thought about these should you start thinking about style & d?cor. So don’t get the brochures just yet – first examine these issues. The three elements are correlated but let’s examine them separately – staring with the last..
Your money is your driving force – with an unlimited budget anything is possible, but unfortunately not many of us are that lucky! Be realistic with your budget. Always remember the golden rule of property development: you should not spend more than 10% of the value of your house on remodeling (and the kitchen is just one room in the house!) The good news is that good kitchens add the most value to a property, so it’s worth spending the money on quality fittings & appliances. Having said that, don’t go overboard. If you’re planning to use your new kitchen for less than ten years don’t buy the
most expensive products – there are always cheaper or "compromise" alternatives!
Save money. You can economise in several ways – you can do lot’s of the work yourself; reuse existing cabinets & fittings; use natural (yet hard-wearing) materials. Balance is the keyword – mix expensive-looking details (that are on display) with cheaper products that will be invisible. For example, buy flat-pack cabinets from home improvement stores or IKEA and make customised doors for them – or if you like their door range, just get some interesting-looking handles elsewhere to spice them up. A good thing about this solution is that base-units or carcasses very rarely get damaged – yet, if your doors get damaged over the years, they’ll be easy and cheap to replace! Then add a granite, glass or hardwood worktop – and you have a kitchen with the wow-factor. Even tiles can be utilised on worktops (this is even cheaper) – but do not use a melamine worktop – that just oozes cheapness and tackiness.
Choosing kitchen appliances can be very daunting – they are now getting "intelligent", which actually means the are testing our intelligence… A year ago I specified one of those intelligent fridge-freezers for a project – the clients still haven’t figured out how these extra amazing functions work. When it comes to appliances, always go for medium range stuff, things that are "good value". Good value is not necessarily the best – nor the most expensive. It’s tempting to get seduced by all those buttons and functions – but you will find you only use the basic ones! Do research and find out how reliable they are, how ecological & economical they are – and how much they cost at various suppliers.
The second most important element of remodeling a kitchen or creating a good kitchen is space. Consider the idea of relocating your kitchen to another part of the house or into an extension. If these are not possibilities – then design itself can be your magic weapon. With good design you can create an excellently functioning & looking kitchen. The next article explains how to do this.