So, you’re ready to carry out that full-on kitchen renovation you’ve been dreaming about for so long. When it comes to your home, no room is more important for your everyday life and resale value than the kitchen. And you deserve one that works hard and looks good doing it.
Your kitchen is critical to your lifestyle because you spend so much time there. It needs to be a space that you love, whether you’re cooking, eating, entertaining, or cleaning. It’s essential to your home’s resale value because, well, homebuyers say so. A top-notch kitchen space can encourage buyers to overlook other areas of the home that may fall short, and renovations can often lead to both a quicker and a more profitable sale.
There’s a caveat, though. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year and a half, you know that life has not been normal since the pandemic began. Virtually every industry has been impacted by restrictions and other circumstances, including manufacturing. Though we have the pandemic’s end in our sights, manufacturing companies will be playing catch-up for quite a while after it’s over. Thus, items like kitchen cabinets and appliances are on backorder throughout the country.
Does that mean you should wait on your renovation? Absolutely not! It simply means that you must accept that your materials will take a little longer to arrive and that you should plan your remodel accordingly. Queen City Kitchens & Bath has listed some tips for how you can do just that, along with some practical design ideas to consider:
General Prep Tips for Buying Cabinets
When you’re undergoing a kitchen renovation, purchasing cabinets is a big deal. How you approach and prepare for the process will play a major role in how your renovation plays out. We don’t mean for it to sound scary—buying cabinets is a lot more fun than it is difficult, especially when you work with pros like QCKB! But knowing what to expect and doing your part to prepare for the process will help everything go more smoothly.
Know What to Expect
When it’s time to shop for cabinets at QCKB or anywhere else, you’ll meet with a design expert to go over your overall vision and plans for the kitchen renovation. You’ll probably tour the showroom to get an idea of your options in terms of cabinets, countertops, and hardware. The designer can also show you the catalog of other products that may not be in the showroom.
Once you and the designer have an idea of the materials you want to use, the designer will put your kitchen’s dimensions into the computer to create a rough layout. During this stage, the designer will ask you a lot of questions, which will enable them to modify the layout until there is a computerized image of your potential renovation. Then, they will discuss the estimated cost breakdown.
If you and the designer come to terms with the particular materials you want to use for your kitchen renovation, you can put in your first order before leaving (or soon thereafter). This is where things look a little different than normal. Rather than ordering all of your products at once and beginning the remodeling process right away, you will need to allow for more time in the process.
For example, since manufacturing is generally behind right now, cabinets are on backorder. Throughout the country, customers are waiting six to eight additional weeks to receive cabinetry, which means that you should plan accordingly. The earlier you order, the more money you will save and the less disappointed you will be.
One thing you can do is plan your kitchen renovation in two phases to allow for supply to catch up. This would mean that you plan and order half of your cabinets (and other products) at first, then order the other half later in the process.
Know What to Bring
It will help to take measurements of your existing kitchen space and bring them with you to the showroom consultation. These measurements will be used to develop an accurate plan and layout of your renovation. If you’re not comfortable taking the measurements yourself, we’ll be glad to send an expert over to handle it!
Before you make your first cabinet order, you’ll also want to know the layout of your new kitchen. Some customers know exactly what they want and come to their first consultation prepared with detailed ideas—either on paper or in their head. Others have only a vague idea of what they want. QCKB can step in at any time to help you lay out your new kitchen design, whether that means helping you create a new layout from scratch or simply confirming that your ideas will work.
Think Through Common Questions
As previously mentioned, you can expect the design expert to ask you a lot of questions during the showroom consultation. This is how they will get the information they need to help you create or modify the layout of your new kitchen. The better prepared you are for these questions, the more time it will save and the smoother the process will be for you. But don’t stress yourself out if you have trouble answering the questions; we’re here to navigate the challenges with you!
Here are some questions you might be asked by the designer relating to your cabinetry:
• Are you thinking stock, semi-custom, or custom cabinets?
• How big are your appliances?
• What color would you like your cabinets to be, and do you prefer stained or painted?
• Do you want all of your cabinets to match, or are you thinking about going with a tuxedo or other type of design?
• What do you want your cabinet doors to look like?
• What quality of wood are you looking for?
• What about the style and color of your hardware?
• How deep and tall do you want your cabinets to be?
• Are there any vents or electrical outlets that need to be factored in?
• How many cabinets and how many drawers would you like?
The design expert will likely ask you more questions, but thinking about these will get you off to a great start. You can also expect a number of questions concerning your countertops, kitchen organization plans, and other factors that will influence the design of your kitchen renovation.
10 Essential Kitchen Design Tips
While planning and ordering your cabinetry is a crucial aspect, there are other considerations to make when planning your kitchen remodel. Check out these quick design tips as you develop the ideal layout for your needs:
1. Think About Traffic Flow
One factor that you don’t want to overlook in your kitchen layout is traffic flow. If you have kids, you’ll want the cooktop away from traffic areas to prevent them from catching handles and causing spills when they walk through. And you also want the refrigerator accessible to people who are either passing through, cooking, or cleaning.
Moreover, be sure to allow for wide walkways. Your floor plan should include plenty of room between the cabinets and the island. Paths should be a minimum of 36 inches wide, though you’ll want more space in the cooking zone (42 to 48 inches).
2. Choose One Focal Point
Your kitchen will need something that makes a statement. Choose a focal point that will draw attention without being obnoxious. This might include vibrant cabinets, an elaborate countertop design, extravagant flooring, or eclectic backsplash tile. Surround this focal point with quieter, complementary elements.
3. Add Details to the Cabinetry
You don’t want your kitchen walls to be covered floor to ceiling, side to side with cabinetry. This can make your kitchen design uninteresting if not overwhelming. Think of intriguing details you can add to break up long stretches of cabinet doors and drawers, such as display shelving, glass doors, or pegboards.
4. Pay Attention to Microwave Height
Part of designing your new kitchen will be to determine where your microwave is going. Most adults find 15 inches above the countertop to be a comfortable height. If you have kids who will be using the microwave, consider putting it below the countertop.
5. Allow for Landing Space
When cooking or prepping ingredients, it’s important to have space where you can place items. Plan for at least 15 inches of landing space on the countertops on each side of your cooktop and refrigerator. And think about leaving landing space near the microwave, coffee pot, and other everyday appliances.
6. Watch Out for Corners
Deciding where to put your cabinets and appliances is critical. You want your kitchen to have a good flow and be as functional as possible. This means that you will need to carve out space for door clearance on your cabinets and appliances, taking the swing direction into account. Appliances should always be kept away from corners, and none of your doors should hit each other when open at the same time.
7. Factor in Counter Space
Few things are more critical to a functional kitchen than counter space. If you plan on cooking a lot, then you will want more counter space than someone who cooks infrequently or puts together simple meals. Create space between the range and sink if possible. If you do a fair bit of baking, then consider installing two different countertop heights.
8. Put Electrical Outlets in the Right Places
You don’t want to complete your exciting new kitchen only to realize you don’t have electricity in the places you need it. Along with installing outlets wherever you will use countertop appliances (e.g., blender, toaster, coffee pot, etc.), you may want to install a couple of outlets on your kitchen island and backsplash.
9. Focus on Function With Your Island
If you’ll be incorporating an island, chances are you want it to serve as an attractive aesthetic element in the overall design of your kitchen. But before you get too deep into choosing a kitchen island design, determine the function you want it to serve. For instance, if you plan to cook and eat on the island, you’ll need to ensure there is plenty of space between the cooktop and dining area. For extra functionality, you can add a dishwasher, sink, and/or other elements.
10. Don’t Forget About Cleaning
Finally, the way you design your kitchen will play a major role in your cleaning routine. Think of how you can make cleaning as easy and convenient as possible. For instance, using matte finishes (instead of glossy ones) will minimize the dirt that shows up. Installing an undermount or flush-set sink will cut down on the crumbs and grime you have to clean from the rim. And choosing glass shelves for your refrigerator will make spills easier to clean.
When you consider the benefits to your lifestyle and resale value, a well-planned kitchen renovation can be well worth the investment. Just be sure to factor in manufacturing delays as you plan your project and order your cabinets, appliances, and other materials, and keep in mind the design tips mentioned above. Lastly, don’t hesitate to contact Queen City Kitchen & Bath with any questions you have about the process!