Often the kitchen is the focal point for socializing and living in a home. The aroma of tasty food simmering on the stove invites people in to chat, laugh and enjoy each other’s company. It’s common to see a family gathered around a kitchen island preparing meals together, or friends catching up over a glass of wine. If you walk into a kitchen showroom in a Home Depot or Lowes, you probably feel like you’ve walked into heaven. Long granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, never-ending cabinet and storage space. The same holds true if you flip through the pages of a kitchen remodeling magazine. The designs are gorgeous and the photographers make it look so easy to design your dream kitchen.
But when reality sets in, what is the real starting point for designing a kitchen in your new home?
• Determine your budget. Talk to a few designers and your builder about the range of expenses that people are investing in their kitchens.
• Identify your priorities. What are the most important features for you? How will you use your kitchen for “living”?
• Sketch a rough design that provides flow for both work and socializing. Is your space large enough for an island, or will it cut the room in half making it hard to work around? Collaborate with your builder in the initial stages of your home design to determine what is realistic within the overall home plan.
• Consult a kitchen designer and builder to determine the functionality of your ideas. They can offer alternatives that can improve the productivity, save you money, or both!
Your kitchen must work as a system, with each component complementing the next. Consider style, function, plumbing needs, and what will work aesthetically with all the mechanical needs of the space. Scheduling, budgeting and planning are at the backbone of great kitchen design. To skip these steps and simply buy what you like at your home service store is a recipe for disaster.