A new kitchen is the biggest investment you will make in your home. It is the room that: is used the most, brings the family together, is a place where memories are made and the favorite gathering spot when friends come to visit. The kitchen is the “heart” of a house. It is also the room that will most likely pay you back when you decide to sell. Careful planning is crucial.
Three things you should decide on BEFORE you order your new kitchen….
- Appliances, shop early and make this a priority. Once you have placed your appliance order be sure you have the size specs and installation instructions for each appliance. This information will determine certain cabinet sizes. Your new appliances and their location will dictate: location of plumbing lines (refrigerators often need a water line and some stoves now have a faucet for pot filling), venting for exhaust fans and additional electrical outlets. Don’t forget to pick out your sink…lots of sizes and configurations to choose from! Have you considered a wine fridge, warming drawer, second prep sink, built in cappuccino machine, etc? Make these decisions and choices before the kitchen is designed to insure a well functioning kitchen and less installation glitches.
- Room flow. One of the most important factors in a kitchen is work flow that allows ease of movement from prep to cooking to clean up. Also consider how you enter your new kitchen with your groceries, where you place them for unpacking and the direction of the swing on both your refrigerator and pantry doors. If possible, place your pantry as close to your prep area as possible (less steps). Larger kitchens may incorporate a baking area, wet bar, computer station and more. Keep in mind easy access and appropriate location (away from the main prep and cooking area) when adding these additional features to your kitchen.
- Surfaces. Consider your selections early. You may want to mix and match your surfaces. An early decision can help save on your budget. How you might ask. Counters are usually ordered in several sections. Different materials work best for different areas. For example: the food prep area needs something durable and stain resistant such as granite, a desk area is perfect for a wood surface, a baking area is great for marble. Once you know the lengths of each counter space, do some shopping around. Stone yards often sell remnants. A smaller area may allow you to buy a more expensive stone at a bargain price.