When it comes to flooring, consider slip-resistance, ease of maintenance and porosity, suggests consultant Craig Verdon. Stone floors, which are somewhat porous, for instance, may need periodic resealing. If so, ask how often, and think about whether you want to deal with that process. “Hardwood floors are beautiful, but be aware that they wear out faster by the fridge, stove and sink than other areas,” he notes. “Hard, natural stone works wonderfully, and the earthy look and feel of it is very popular.”
Let’s clear out one thing right at the beginning: whether you live with a family or by yourself, the kitchen is the busiest space in a house. From the coffee you whip up to get out of that agonizingly-wonderful slumber every morning to the last glass of water you sip every night, the kitchen remains at the center of your home. It is perfectly understandable as to why just like life, kitchen design also needs a breath of fresh air, or simply, a coat of fresh paint.
There's a lot to love about this kitchen designed by Arent & Pyke, but we're particularly impressed by the careful, asymmetrical balance happening here. The hood leans to the right of the room, as do the bar stools, which is subtlety reflected in the cream lumbar pillow camouflaging into the sofa. Meanwhile, the linear floating shelf in line with the hood as well as the light fixture, island counter, and sofa form a soothing sense of symmetry.
Minor remodels aim to preserve the kitchen’s existing footprint while refreshing its overall appearance and usability. The significant changes are usually budget-friendly fixes like painting the walls, adding new flooring and buying energy-efficient appliances, since the customer isn’t selecting top-of-the-line materials or products. Cabinetry is often a lofty expense, but minor remodels opt for money-saving measures like refacing the existing cabinets or selecting entry-level cabinets, which are mass-produced and ready-to-install.
If they’re quality wood and still in good working order, you’re in luck. This is one of the first things I check when sizing up a pre-remodel kitchen, since cabinet frames are the most expensive component of the entire space.  It’s quite simple to give salvageable cabinets a face lift. Three common ways to repurpose and save thousands include: adding new doors and drawer fronts, re-laminating fronts and sides, or repainting – which leads us to......Don’t Just Paint – Spray Paint. Have all the cabinets cleaned and lightly sanded, then have a painter come in to spray them. Don’t try to DIY this one; a couple of cans of spray paint from the hardware store just won’t do the trick. A professional spray job can make ugly cabinets look factory-new. And you can’t get the same look by painting or rolling the cabinets yourself.
The time it takes to remodel your kitchen depends on the size of your project, the amount of work needed, and product lead times. The process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, averaging 2-3 weeks for a small project and 4-12 weeks for a larger, more complex project. These time estimates include the ordering and delivery of your custom products. During your site verification, ask our qualified kitchen contractor how long your project should take.
3. Even counter-depth fridges stand proud of their cabinetry housings by 2 to 4 inches to provide clearance for the door and hinges. To keep the fridge from sticking out farther, choose a model with recesses in the back to accommodate the plug and water line. Just make sure to align your outlet and water hookup accordingly. Otherwise, furr out the fridge cabinet from the back by an extra inch or so to enclose the sides completely.
Before you start planning, consider the market and decide whether a low-, medium-, or high-end kitchen remodel makes the most sense. Costs can run the gamut from $2,000 for a simple paint-and-hardware upgrade to $50,000 if you’re installing expensive countertops and luxury appliances. Knowing your neighborhood will help keep from overspending – you may not get your investment back installing travertine in your tiny starter – or worse, underspending. Let’s face it, you’ll never see Formica in a high-end home, and in fact, it may become a barrier to your sale.
Amanda Seyfried's Catskills retreat, designed by General Assembly, is a stylish (and slightly quieter) alternative to Hamptons living. Inside the kitchen, perfect for entertaining despite the limited square-footage, the range and hood are by Wolf, the Whitehaus sink is fitted with a Kallista faucet, and the backsplash is of tiles by Heath Ceramics. The island has a countertop of Caesarstone, the pairs of pendant lights are by Tom Dixon, and the cabinets are painted in Aganthus Green by Benjamin Moore.
If you do have the budget to rearrange appliances, make sure to keep your floor plan in mind. Does it follow the natural triangular traffic pattern between the refrigerator, stove, and oven? Is the dishwasher next to the sink? It should be, because otherwise, you create a mess every time you walk across the room with a dripping dish in your hand. To save money, I once put a dishwasher in the counter opposite the sink – and as a result, I cleaned up drips on the floor for years.
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