Are you saving up for a gorgeous kitchen remodel?
Do you know exactly how to create the kitchen remodel of your dreams?
Here’s my list of the top 8 Must Do’s for any kitchen remodel that will absolutely be worth saving up for!
I know you secretly want to be The Envy of The neighborhood, right? Or you’re at least hoping for some ooow’s and aaahhh’s for your efforts!
Not to worry, these kitchen remodel tips are going to help you create a stunning, fresh, bright, “I don’t want to leave” kitchen that is just going to knock everybody’s socks off!!! That’s what these 8 tips helped do for my wonderful clients Olga and Lou!
See..→No Socks, lol
I’m so excited to finally share the final results of the long awaited absolutely gorgeous kitchen remodel I did for them!
First let me tell you…I’ve been working with Olga and Lou for several years now, helping them transform their modest split level home in CT into their dream home one room at a time.
The kitchen remodel has been a big “please can we do that next” on the projects list, and also the one with the biggest price tag, for a long time. So hence, the wait! I believe it’s been about a ten year wait. We turned an old dark ugly kitchen into a bright, fun space that their family loves. We started with the basics…updating the cabinets, the appliances, new flooring, lighting, paint, art, window coverings… Here’s some pictures of their old kitchen
8 Must Do’s For Any Kitchen Remodel
#1 Kitchen Cabinets- Replace or Refinish
For Olga’s kitchen remodel we opted to replace the old cabinets since the originals were short and stubby on the uppers. I also did not like the arches on the doors and felt even if we painted them they would not go with the look and feel we were after…Modern Country. The bulkhead had to go! Just too “80’s”! If your cabinets are in good shape, just updating by having them professionally painted can save you some cash. Another option is to replace the doors. These new cabinets were custom made and were actually a great price. even less expensive than pre made. The style is called “Mission style”. They are simple and versatile. I absolutely love them!!!
#2 Update the Countertops
For resale value, buyers today are looking for solid surface counters. The cost of granite has come down significantly although there are many other beautiful options other than granite which many owners are opting for now. Concrete, Corian, Wood,Marble, Stone… Stay away from tile, or use tile only for a last resort to save money or for very style specific homes. I think tile works well in a log cabin home for instance. It’s much cheaper than solid surface but I recommend saving your money for a solid surface counter unless it clashes with the style and period of the home.
#3 Flooring Matters
Olga’s kitchen remodel included updating her flooring. The old kitchen tiles were ugly and dated. I love the look of wood in a kitchen. I think it’s versatile and goes with any style. Lou loved the idea, Olga wasn’t sure. The contractor agreed with Lou and I, so the wood won (say that 10 times).
So here’s the thing about flooring…if it’s a small area or one that is open to the other rooms (Theirs was open to the dining room) and if you put different flooring in each space it will look choppy and make the rooms appear smaller. It’s better to create “flow” where the eye travels easily from one space to the other. Also keep in mind, if you like to cook a lot, tile is hard to stand on for long periods. If you drop a glass on tile, it’s going to break, and it’s cold under feet. Wood has it’s downfalls too. It’s not as water resistant as tile and may need to be refinished over time from wear. There are many other options as well, however for this couple the choice was between wood or hard surface, either tile or stone.
#5 Everybody Loves an Island
If you have the room put in an island. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You can easily use a base kitchen cabinet like we did. You can add corbels to decorate it and give the countertop added support. For this kitchen remodel we chose a teak wood tone for the island and white kitchen cabinets, and we brought them together using the same granite on the island and kitchen cabinets. With their young boys, Olga felt the white on the island would be too much to keep clean. Gone are the days where everything has to match. Don’t be afraid to add interest by mixing and matching.
#6 Lighting Is The Jewelry Of The Room
Lighting is so much fun! It’s my 2nd favorite part of any design! Choosing fabrics and color being my 1st. Every room should have task as well as ambient lighting. For your kitchen remodel be sure to have ceiling lights, a light over the kitchen sink, a light over the stove, and lights over the island.
We chose these large pendants over the island in brass to correlate with the brass fireplace surround in the living room and the hardware on the buffet in the dining area to create Rhythm.
Here’s a little excerpt from a design class I teach:
If we would speak about music we would describe rhythm as the beat of pulse of the music. In interior design, rhythm is all about visual pattern repetition. Rhythm is defined as continuity, recurrence or organized movement. To achieve these themes in a design, you need to think about repetition, progression, transition and contrast. Using these mechanisms will impart a sense of movement to your space, leading the eye from one design element to another.
Repetition is the use of the same element more than once throughout a space. You can repeat a pattern, color, texture, line, or any other element, or even more than one element.]
The ceiling canned lighting is on a dimmer and is LED which is wonderfully bright and helped us keep within the budget by eliminating the over sink light and stove light.
#7 PLEASE Add a Backsplash!
I see so many kitchen remodels that are without a backsplash. This area takes a lot of abuse. It gets splashed (hence, backsplash) and dirty easily. Throw some tile up! It’s a small space so it’s relatively inexpensive to do depending on how large your kitchen is and what tile you use, but in my opinion it’s a must! It’s also a great DIY project. I’ve done a few myself and it’s not that hard. Just make sure if you rent a wet saw, it works. Last one I used I had to cut while my crazy friend poured water over the blade cause the hose was clogged. Fun! (Where there’s a will…).
In this kitchen we kept it timeless by adding just a simple white subway tile. If the kitchen were larger we could have added a special design over the stove or a border or band.
#8 Color Me Happy
My design style is “Fresh”! What I mean by that is I create spaces that are cheerful and springlike. I love working with bright white and pops of color and lots of pattern. I seldom use muted, sallow tones.
This home was so dark I couldn’t wait to brighten it up! Especially this kitchen! Lou and Olga are a young couple with 2 young adorable boys. I wanted to create a really happy space for them that was timeless and comfortable. Not too serious, but still have a bit of elegance.
I love creating the mix of formal and casual in one space. It’s a melodic dance…placing a casual wicker basket on top of a formal antique armoire, or a fine crystal vase on a shabby chic table with the paint chipping off with pretty lace napkins…I alway think, Ok it’s getting too stuffy, let’s bring it down a notch, so I’ll add something casual and cozy, or if it’s too casual and worn, I’ll add something elegant like crystal or silver.
The dining room drapes were custom made my Kallie Gordon of The Curtain Call in Branford CT. Kallie was terrific and very affordable! I don’t mess around with store bought draperies anymore! They are always uneven! You just can’t get that “finished” look that custom made gives.
In this kitchen remodel, we painted the kitchen a soft spring green and added pops of orange, blue, and red using the colors in the fabric that we chose From JoAnn Fabrics for the dining room drapes and the kitchen and door window treatments. This fabric I also used on the throw pillows in the living room and the ottoman. Again using the design element “Rhythm’ to create harmony.
So what’s Up next Olga? The boys rooms? (Hint Hint 🙂
I would love to help you with your kitchen remodel or next project so take a look at my very affordable design services here.