For most of us, the kitchen is where we entertain, spend time with family and friends, and get creative. When it’s time to redesign the kitchen, where do you start?
As a designer for 30 years, I tell clients to begin with what they love to do in the kitchen and then follow these 6 steps.
1. Make a kitchen activities wish list
Make a list of everything you love to do (or must do) in the kitchen. Envision the things that really matter to you for this room as you write this list. It will be important later in the process.
This list could include:
- fancy pastry baking if that’s your absolute favourite thing
- gourmet cooking
- preparing meals for lunch every week
- preserving food
- rolling pizza dough with the kids on the weekend
- eating breakfast every morning at the kitchen island
- wine tasting
- displaying knife skills
- sharing natural herbs grown right in the kitchen
Anything that tugs at your heart goes into this list.
2. Find reference images of kitchens
Find images that capture the look of kitchens you like, including key elements that catch your interest. Find up to 10 key photos that represent the feel overall. You can find inspiration in the portfolio section of our site or on our Pinterest boards.
3. Make a list of things that annoy you
Now write the other list – the one where you track the things that annoy you when you are using your current kitchen.
Keep a pad of paper and pen on the counter and record everything that gets your attention in a negative way. Yes, that’s including messy Tupperware containers, the pile of mail beside the fridge, upper cabinets that are too high for storage or you and your partner always bumping into each other. Nothing is too little!
Now that you’ve done all your homework, set both lists aside for a moment because it’s time to start shopping! Here is where we have a different approach to designing your dream kitchen.
4. Schedule time for kitchen appliance shopping
Most people understand kitchens are built around your wants and needs but also physically around your appliances. There are so many options available today from built-in sous vide cookers, wok burners, wine columns, induction tops and coffee makers. The list goes on and it can get overwhelming.
Book several hours with a good salesperson who can educate you about all the brands and price ranges.
Being armed with some knowledge of what you like in appliances will help tremendously when working with your kitchen planner so a bit of research would help too.
Finally, know your budget but don’t set your budget until after appliance shopping.
5. Visit three cabinet shops
Find three cabinet shops to visit either through web reviews, referrals from neighbours or friends or from a designer/contractor. After visiting each shop, determine who you want to work with, set up the first meeting and present them with all your lists.
The kitchen designer at the cabinet shop will want overall room measurements to design from but they will determine how to get this done. They will work through the designs and use your “love it” or “hate it” lists as checks to measure the layout options against.
Once you have your design, the kitchen and contractor team will handle the next step of moving the kitchen from paper to reality. You have provided your vision to a designer so they can better execute how you see your future space.