#1 PASSAGEWAYS – Entry and Exit into kitchen eating area. Is it accessible from the garage? Is it user friendly bringing in groceries? Do guests need to enter from another room or is there a main entrance?
In an effort to keep #1 brief, I will stop here simply saying that easy access and esthetics make or break a “fabulous kitchen”. So frequently we are asked in to assist with a kitchen Reno with unsuspecting home owners trying to work a horrendous floor plan. The kitchen, i.e. millwork itself likely lovely. However since a kitchen renovation is single-handedly the most costly investment within your home consider the opportunity to modify the basic footprint. Fix what isn’t working; then go from there.
#2 ACCESS THROUGHWAYS – Outline space considering all of your “wants” vs. “wishes”. Will the space be comfortable to walk through? Do all of your doors and drawers have sufficient space? Do you need a minibar and/or desk area? Is your table suitable to access chairs and guests in and out?
#3 FUNCTIONALITY – The term work triangle has been thrown around for years. I always find this quite comical as few configurations, if functional, are out of this shape, albeit a large or small triangle. Think through how you cook! When you remove ingredients from your fridge is there room to set things down? Is your sink close at hand to rinse foods? Is there optimal counter space to prepare prior to cooking? It’s VERY IMPORTANT!! to walk the floor plan. Remember everything looks great on paper…use masking tape on the floor to plot it out yourself.
#4 ESTHETICS – A kitchen is often the hub of the house. The esthetics of this space, while considering functionality and flow, needs to be easy on the eye. What look are you looking for? Do you want soft / subtle? Formal? Artistic? What moves you? What inspires you? Trends — fantastic, but buyer beware — they come and go. How long does this look need to move you based on the associated investment?
#5 FLOOR PLAN – Funnily enough, when I discuss Floor Plan with clients, people frequently say to me we’re only focusing on the “Kitchen”. I respond by saying that’s like focusing on the “wedding” not the marriage. Think of a floor plan like a relationship. Certain expectations need to be met prior to moving forward. You would never consider having a wedding if you had doubts marrying this person. Renovations are no different. In order to make educated decisions, A comes before B. Plan accordingly.
#6 HELP – A fresh set of eyes. Trust experts who specialize in contracting / design / decorating on a full-time basis. Live vicariously through others past mistakes. I always say you learn the most valuable lessons from work done in error. Costly mistakes resonate in our minds. We offer a vision as well as solutions and years of experience helping others design their kitchens and core living areas. If a “Full Service” company is out of your bracket, never underestimate the value in a consultant who for a nominal fee can at least get you on the right track. Then take the reins from that.
#7 ENTERTAINING – Consider your life patterns. Do you entertain? How frequently? Are you a gourmet cook or a frozen dinner guru? Perhaps transitional pieces…fold-out tables; a large island with seating suits your needs?
#8 HARDWARE – Pulls or knobs. Glass or Brass? All part and parcel of the big picture.
#9 STYLE / PROFILE – Mission; Raised Panel; Glass Doors, Range hood? Yes or no? More to consider!
#10 APPLIANCES – Cook-top; wall ovens, full range; dishwasher, refrigerator / freezer combo — integrated, stainless, white / black…more to consider!
#11 FLOORING – Wood, tile, granite, porcelain, ceramics, patterns, size, grout…more to consider — other rooms?
#12 LIGHTING – Pots, decorative, task, ambient floor plan…just a bit more to consider!
#13 BACK-SPLASH – Tile, pain, wood…hmmm, still more!
#14 TABLE – Round / rectangular — leaves — amount of seating?
#15 SINKS / FAUCET – Double, Single, Farm House, Garberator, Sprayer, Soap Dispenser, Electronic Faucet?
#16 WINDOW TREATMENTS – Privacy Required. Decorative. Fabrics, Style?
#17 BELLS AND WHISTLES – Upgrades – Internal features – Lazy Susans, Drawer Inserts, Water Fountains, Pots and Pans Drawers?
#18 STORAGE – Separate Pantry, Cold Cellar?
#19 OFFICE – Desk Service Area, Calendar, File Drawers, Laptop Centre?
#20 DETAILS – Style / Accessories, Final Details, Finishing Touches.
#21 ISLAND – Function / Decorative, Second Sink, Preparation, Same Finish. Different Colour, Counter Top?
#22 FINISHES / COLOUR – Wood, Paint, Combination, Type of Stain?
#23 COUNTER TOPS – Quartz, Butcher Block, Stainless, Granite, Tile, Formica?
#24 OUTLETS / ELECTRICAL – Requirements is Standard
– Increase ease of preparation
– What extra counter top appliances will you choose? (Coffee Maker, Toaster, Blender, Crock Pot, Electric Knife, etc.) Plot out their usual home.
#25 WOW – Save a bit of cash towards the end so you can splurge on a spectacular item that you will treasure every time you see it!
Now that you have addressed the 25 concerns, put pen to paper. Make a list. Discover your needs.