The secret to creating your ideal kitchen is in making informed decisions that suit your style and space. And we’re here to walk you through the entire process from start to finishes.
Figure Out What You Like
It might sound silly; of course you know what you like! But can you describe it? Do you know what those countertops feel like in real life? Are your inspiration folders so stuffed with ideas that you can’t even remember your favorites anymore? Every detail matters during a renovation, and the more prepared you are on the front end, the better you’ll feel once you’re ready to fire those burners and stock those cabinet shelves.
Look to magazines, books, websites and Pinterest as a resource, and then take it a step further. Jot down patterns you see in the shapes, colors and finishes you’re drawn to. It will help make the decisions easier if you have a larger vision and connecting theme. Skilled professionals can also help organize your ideas — at Cabinets to Go, staff design experts can craft digital renderings to guide the process.
Pictures are worth 1,000 words, but a sample is more valuable than any picture. Once you have your favorites in mind, call in samples and visit Cabinets to Go and assorted showrooms. You can’t tell how a color looks in real life until you see it in person and in your space. You should be able to borrow or buy samples so you have time to sit with a color, finish or piece of hardware to decide you love it in person.
One of the most important parts of a kitchen, cabinets set the tone of the room. The right amount of cabinet space will make or break your kitchen experience. Choose wisely and think about what your needs are.
Just like any organizing pro will tell you, you can’t buy the right containers unless you know what they’ll hold. Do you want to display your stemware? Do you have a large collection of pots and pans? Do you bake enough to launch your own cupcake shop? Taking stock will help guide you to your ideal cabinets and shelving style.
Think about color/finish.
There are no rules these days! Light or dark finishes are both in fashion. But think about the practicality, too. White cabinets, for example, are great for brightening spaces, but can be less forgiving of little ones’ dirty fingerprints. Think about what you like, and then consider what life looks like in your kitchen.
Consider the quality.
Features like hardwood frames, solid wood drawers with dovetail joints, and water- and stain-resistant wood veneer will help your cabinets last and look their best. Soft-close drawers are great when you’re in a rush.
Add your unique spice.
Make your cabinets work for you. Plan to change up standard sizes with spice racks, baking-sheet cabinets, lazy Susans, wine racks and other styles to suit your culinary needs.
Maybe one of the most-overlooked design elements, your kitchen floor has to hold up. When it comes to options, go with performance first, then think about design.
Think about your priorities
If this is your forever home, investing in Talon Hardwood floors might be a smart idea. Not only are they four times more durable than other hardwood, they’re protected by a 100-year transferable warranty and you can refinish if the style no longer suits your tastes. Or if your kitchen is prone to spills and drips, you might want to consider XRP Waterproof, which is more durable than hardwood, and still has a great finish.
Hardwood and some laminates can require professional installation. If that isn’t in your budget, vinyl floors can be easy to install with pieces that snap together. Pull out your rubber mallet and an angle square because you can DIY it.
When it comes to cooking and prep, countertops are where the action happens in your kitchen. They can also be one of the most-stressful and expensive purchases you’ll make when doing a renovation, so make sure the surface is going to work for you.
Think About What Counters Offer
Stone is durable, but some types are porous, so can stain or discolor over time. Quartz won’t stain, but it is an investment. If you put your counters to a lot of use, you might want to consider an acrylic countertop: it’s not cold to the touch like stone and still holds up to all of the kitchen messes you throw at it.
Are you looking to recoup your investment? If so, spring for stone countertops, which will help with the resale value. Butcher block is another trendy option, though you’ll have to love a look that weathers over time.
The accessories of the kitchen, hardware adds a nice accent to cabinets — but it serves a practical purpose too. Make sure they’re more than just pretty.
Choosing a Finish
Warm metallics are having a moment, but there are plenty of other options, including black and chrome. Choose what works with your appliances and the other finishes in the kitchen. A good rule of thumb when picking fixtures is to think about the style of your home. Try to pick shapes that fit with the time when the house was built. They’ll add instant character.
Focus on function
Make sure you like the way a handle feels in your hand while you’re opening a cabinet. Practically speaking, try to avoid nooks and crannies that will be impossible to clean — your future self will thank you.
Bringing it all together
Put those samples to use.
This is especially important with surface samples. Place a cup of coffee on them, see what happens if some red wine or oil drips onto it. It’s better to know now rather than once you’ve installed everything. Test out your paint colors and see how scrubbable they are, and what they look like at different times of the day. The more you get to road-test your picks, the more confident you’ll feel once you’ve committed.