How to Design Your Own Kitchen
Whether building new or remodeling the heart of your home, you may already have been designing plans in your head for months. Getting it all down on paper to hand to your contractor and/or designer is an important step before the work starts. Ironing out all of the details beforehand will help keep the project on track and within budget. Even small changes or misunderstandings can cost money and time when you build or remodel your house.
- Choose the flooring. There are many types and colors of linoleum, tile, stone and woods. The flooring you use is literally the base that will figure into all of the other designing choices later.
- Choose the appliances. Stainless steel, white and black are the main choices, and you can build on features from there. The main considerations at this point are size, style and type, such as if you want a standard oven or dutch ovens and if you want a side-by-side refrigerator/freezer or a bottom/top one.
- Pick out the cabinetry. Many choices of cabinets and cupboards are available, and wood stain or color can be customized for you; the hardest part is choosing what you want.
- Figure out the layout of the kitchen. After you have your wish list completed for the bones of you space, it's time to sit down and figure out if and how you can place it in your room. Talking with your contractor may be beneficial at this stage to make sure everything you want is possible within your square footage and budget limitations. The contractor may have ideas on how to tailor your ideas if necessary, without having to sacrifice the general scheme you have planned.
- Decide what extras you want inside your cabinets. There are many options on customizing the insides of your cupboards to suit your family's storage needs.
- Choose the appliance features. Refrigerator choices include whether you want an ice and water maker or a TV on the outside door. Stove choices include whether you want a self-cleaning oven and whether you want six burners on your stove or the standard four with a grill/griddle attachment in the middle.
- Have another sit-down with your contractor to talk about the extras you would like to include. He can present some options and give you a price range for what you are looking for.
- Choose your countertops. This will most likely match your floors. After you have the whole layout planned, you will have a better idea of the kitchen space and be able to budget accordingly for the types of materials needed. There are as many choices in countertop material as there are floors, including wood, tile, marble, granite and cement.
- Pick out your lighting. Lighting in the kitchen is especially important, from how the overhead adds the ambiance that you want, to the task lights that make your job easier. Coordinating all of this beforehand, such as where you want it and what styles you want it in, will save you from scrambling later to find fixtures that will work with the overall scheme.
- Choose your sink, faucet style and colors. Everything from stainless steel to all colors in ceramic can be yours if you search. Custom faucets can add a personal touch to a standard, cheaper sink.
- Settle on the details. Choices like the cabinetry hardware you use and light switch and outlet colors can make or break a design scheme.
- Finish it off. After the contractor and the workers leave, it's time to go shopping for the finishing touches of your kitchen, from window treatments, to tables and chairs, to dishtowels and clocks. Have a blast. You've earned it.
Things You Will Need
- Notebook or sketchpad
- Take a notebook and pencil with you wherever you go. You never know when you might come upon something that inspires the designer in you. Taking a picture of the item, even on your cell phone, can convey to the contractor what you are describing.