Great Kitchen Remodel 4: Kitchen Considerations 101
Fourth Installment on the Remodel of the Live Pretty Family Kitchen
Decisions, decisions. It can make one crazy, but keep the goal in mind. Having a working floor plan, and cabinet placement plan that works for me was the first and most important step. With contracts in place, a few decisions remain. The rest is mostly shopping. And, we ladies all love shopping.
My wish list included the following:
- A food storage pantry.
- Allow for more than one cook or prep person in the space.
- Induction cooking.
- Energy efficiency in all lighting and appliances.
- The “Wow” factor.
- Cabinets: full overlay, wood, style, sized to fit space with storage, storage, storage. Did I say storage? A place for everything was my goal. I needed to get organized … stop clutter. I required adequate storage for all kitchen items in convenient places – dishes, silverware, pots and pans, baking requirements, spices, food stuffs. my martini glasses, etc. The cabinets had to include a lazy susan or two, a retractable trash can, pull-out spice racks, vertical cookie sheet and tray storage, a garage for the 30-year-old Kitchen Aid mixer, self-closing pull-out shelves, self-closing drawers.
The decision process was constantly coming my way. Just as I thought all was decided, there was another decision to be made. The following are considerations I was faced with and lessons I learned in this process:
Wood trim: This also has to be chosen to finish off the cabinets — you must choose coordinating crown molding on top (to meet ceiling) and light rail at bottom (to hide the under-mount cabinet lighting).
Lighting: The most important decision was to eliminate our dropped ceiling lighting and opt for LED recessed lighting in the ceiling, under the cabinets, inside cabinet lighting for glass shelving and glass doors with dimmer switches.
Counter top materials: We chose granite instead of engineered stone, quartz, stainless steel, recycled materials such as glass, butcher block, laminate, ceramic or porcelain tile, concrete, marble and limestone. An edge finish for you counter top also has to be chosen.
Flooring: We chose porcelain tile with the color through and through. Other options were vinyl sheeting, wood (solid or engineered), plastic laminate, ceramic tile and Travertine stone.
Sink: An under-mount sink for easy counter top cleaning was chosen. The sink can be made of various materials — composite granite, stainless steel, porcelain, etc. We chose stainless steel with a depth of 10 inches to keep in line with the contemporary look of the entire kitchen. Sink depth can range from 8-12 inches. The deeper the sink the more bending a shorter person has to do. So keep that in mind when choosing sink depth. Sink bowls come in various shapes and sizes. It’s purely a personal preference considering the type of cooking pots and pans you use. There are also farmer sinks which are large single bowl sinks with decorative front surfaces.
Faucets: I chose one with a pull out spray handle. I wanted one with enough space below to fill up large pots with water. Coordinate the finish of faucet to coordinate with sink and appliances and general design of your kitchen.
Appliances: We bought our appliances in December. December turns out to be a good time to purchase due to end of year rebates offered by manufacturers. (We were lucky. I didn’t know that little fact but thought it might help you.)
Evaluate the features and cost of the appliances and choose what is right for your needs. It’s all in the details here. So, take your time.
Refrigerator: It’s nice to create a built-in look either with cabinetry or counter-depth refrigerator. There are several choices of refrigerator types:
- Standard top or bottom freezer
- Side by side refrigerator/freezer
- Bottom freezer with french doors
- Counter depth or built in depending on the amount you have budgeted to spend. High-end appliances can be very expensive. So, choose wisely.
Dishwasher: Any dishwasher of mine must work in silence and clean dishes. It doesn’t have to have every feature ever designed by man.
Microwaves: We chose a built in model, GE Advantium oven.
Cooking: Range types are free standing, slide in, cook tops with separate wall oven, gas, electric, dual fuel, convection and standard ovens, and the newest Induction cooking cook top. We chose the induction range offered by GE. That would mean I would need all new pots because of the magnetic properties of Induction cooking. (Pretty sneaky, huh?) To read more about how Induction cooking works go to this web site.
By far, the biggest decision was to take down the wall separating the family room and kitchen. So this ….
Next week: From Kitchen 101 to the finale. Trusting the process and the big reveal.