The main reason homeowners do a kitchen renovation is to update it – but not just for its looks. These days people renovate their kitchens to improve functionality, storage, and more than ever, lifestyle.
How do you use your kitchen?
Before starting a renovation it’s important to consider not just how you cook and eat, but how the kitchen plays into your and your family’s lifestyle. Some questions to ask yourself include:
- Do you entertain a lot?
- Do you host big family gatherings?
- Does homework or office work happen in the kitchen?
- Is your space functional?
- Does it flow well?
- Do you have pets to consider?
- And what about technology?
The answers to these questions will help determine how the space should function, and what layout will suit your needs best.
Layout & Functionality
More and more people are cooking at home and spending mealtime together with family and friends, so functionality of space should be top of mind. Consider what you need for prep space, cooking space, as well as eating and entertaining space. Islands are a fantastic solution if you have room because they offer extra storage, extra counter space, and a spot to sit or perch. However if you don’t have the space for a full island, something as simple as a peninsula/breakfast bar can do the trick. You need somewhere for people to sit, but also to move around comfortably without bumping into things. These can be great solutions.
Another thing I like to include when possible is a beverage centre. As someone who entertains a lot I find it super convenient for guests to be able to help themselves to a drink without me or my wife having to be taken away from food prep. It also saves room in the fridge, which is always important when entertaining large groups.
No matter what your lifestyle, charging stations are a must-have in kitchens today. Technology is a necessary part of our lives, and whether you’re using your kitchen as a gathering space, a workspace or both, charging stations and holders for phones and tablets will make life much easier – whether you’re looking up a recipe or sitting down to pay some bills.
Cabinets & Storage
Since cabinetry takes up the most real estate in a kitchen, that’s where you’re going to want to put your focus when renovating. Make sure the color and style suit the space, but even more importantly, make sure the layout, flow, and storage capabilities are sufficient for your needs.
No matter what your lifestyle, the number one solution homeowners are looking for is storage. Fortunately, no matter how big or small your kitchen may be there are a lot of great interior storage solutions that can help.
The right storage solutions in the kitchen can do wonders for staying organized and reducing stress. I always recommend including items like rollout trays, built-in waste/recycling centres, divided cutlery trays, and so on. If there’s one place in the house where you want everything to be organized and easy to access, it’s here.
Finally, when it comes to appliances make sure you’re choosing what suits your family best. If you play host and do a lot of cooking, a double oven might be the right choice. And again, beverage centres are great. Depending on the size of your kitchen, including a small under-counter fridge just for drinks may be preferable to a larger main fridge. Or perhaps you need both. The key here is to really think about your needs and determine what works for your household rather than being talked into something that’s trendy or something you’re “supposed” to have. If you don’t cook a lot there’s no need to splurge on a professional grade oven for example. Just be sure to think about the return on investment and how it will affect your day-to-day life.
I get asked a lot about refacing or painting cabinets. I like both options – particularly painting – when it comes to a quick refresh to flip, however when it comes to improving your lifestyle and making things more functional, renovating your kitchen to suit your needs is the way to go. The kitchen is the heart of the home, it needs to work for you and your lifestyle.
Photos courtesy of Thomasville Cabinetry