Any home remodeling project is a big task to take on, but kitchen remodels are the most complex and expensive. For many, the kitchen is the central hub of the home. So the design and layout have to meet many functional needs.  If you’ve been wanting to remodel your kitchen but have been feeling daunted by the task of getting started, don’t worry, Triple Heart Design has you covered. Keep reading our kitchen remodel guide for everything you need to know.

Determine Your Kitchen Remodeling Priorities and Goals

First things first. You’ll want to think about what your priorities and goals are for your kitchen remodel. How do you like to cook? Is hosting and entertaining very important to you? Do your family members like to join you in the kitchen? Do you have sufficient storage? These are just some of the questions that may be inspiring your remodel. To figure out your priorities ask yourself, what is vital to the space? And start to differentiate between what you need vs. what you want. Needs are things that’ll make your kitchen more functional and suit your lifestyle better. Wants are the things that are nice to have, but not essential. Consider the following questions when prioritizing:

  • What activities take place in your kitchen?
  • Who is in the kitchen the most?
  • How many people does your kitchen need to accommodate at one time?
  • What things do you like about the current space?
  • What things need to be improved?

When thinking about your priorities you also should define your goals for the project. They will help inform each other. Some goals you may want to achieve are:

  • Increasing the resale value of your home
  • Having more storage and a more functional layout
  • Having more space and a more open floor plan
  • Updating the style, appliances, and fixtures
  • Creating a more energy-efficient and eco-friendly kitchen

Once you have your priorities and goals clearly set, they’ll help guide you through the project so you can get the best outcome.

Set Your Budget

Creating a realistic budget is a vital part of any remodel. You don’t want to begin the project while having underestimated all the costs involved. In Austin, the average cost of a well-done kitchen remodel starts at  $150,000+. With high-end renovations costing $200,000+. The size of your space, the scope of the work, and the level of investment you’ll want to make on fixtures and finishes all play a part in determining cost. As a guide, you should expect to invest between 10 and 15% of the value of your home in your kitchen remodel (HomeAdvisor). Don’t forget about additional fees – like taxes, labor, trash, and delivery. They usually aren’t apparent at face value and can add up fast.  It’s also important to plan for contingencies. Once construction begins issues may arise that you can’t foresee, so set aside 20% of your budget to go towards any unexpected costs. When budget planning it’s important not to sacrifice quality, you are going to use your kitchen every day and you want products and materials to last for the long term.   To balance out your budget, having a mix of high and low design elements helps focus your dollars where they count. You may want to invest in a great smart fridge, but you can go with the quartz counters instead of the more expensive marble you originally wanted. To get started, Better Homes and Gardens has a handy Kitchen Remodel Worksheet to help you figure out your costs and overall budget.

Plan Your Kitchen Layout

When planning your kitchen remodel, the layout is very important. You may find that your current layout works well, but if you want to change it there’s a lot to consider. You’ll need to plan adequate space for food preparation, appliances, cabinet and appliance doors, and walkways for people to move around. Other things to keep in mind when planning your kitchen layout:

  • Use the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time will be for the main use, and 20% will be for flex use
  • When measuring for appliances take all sides into account – the height, width, and depth
  • Don’t skimp on storage – functional storage in a kitchen is a must
  • The golden triangle between the stove, sink, and fridge – is the most common recommended layout for easy access between all three
  • Think about creating zones – for cooking, cleaning, and prep
  • Think about what you need for easy cleanup and compost or recycling

Consider the Style and Color Palette

Next, you’ll want to think about what kitchen aesthetics you like. Some styles to consider are:

  • Modern and minimal
  • Traditional or transitional
  • Farmhouse
  • Coastal 
  • Mediterranean 
  • Industrial
  • Scandinavian

If you’re having trouble nailing down your style the Designer Society of America has a great style quiz to help you figure it out. Along with style, you’ll want to think about color palettes. Do you like a classic white kitchen or do you want to incorporate more color? Your cabinets, walls, counters, and flooring will be the dominant colors in your kitchen so you’ll want to think of a balanced color scheme between those elements. When selecting colors, there are a few other things to in mind:

  • Lighting affects color, so consider how things will look in different lighting.
  • A neutral base is always safe and you can add personality and color with accents.
  • Don’t forget the bigger picture and keep the rest of your home aesthetic in mind. 
  • Your floors are the main driver of the color scheme.

To start getting ideas, browse kitchens on Houzz, Pinterest, and Instagram. Along with home design magazines and publications. You’ll start to figure out what styles and colors you lean towards. You may even want to create a mood board to help organize and visual inspiration for your project.

Find the Right Appliances

Appliances are a vital aspect of any kitchen so you’ll want to spend time weighing your priorities and shopping around. Appliances will have an impact on the kitchen layout, so it’s better to do this early on in the process. When selecting appliances you’ll want to consider:

  • Your goals and priorities – these impact where you spend and where you save
  • Burner heat output
  • Ease of operation
  • Safety features
  • Ease of cleaning and maintenance
  • Required clearances

Think about designing your kitchen with the environment in mind and purchase Energy Star appliances. An appliance gets an Energy Star rating when it meets energy-efficient standards set by the US Environmental Protection Agency or the US Department of Energy.  Energy-efficient appliances use less energy, causing fewer power plant emissions that are harmful to the environment, while also helping you save money on energy bills. Making them a double win.

Select Materials, Fixtures, and Finishes

Along with appliances, the materials, fixtures, and finishes you choose for your kitchen are crucial. You’ll need to think about cabinets, counters, sinks, faucets, flooring, lighting, and more. When selecting these products you’ll not only need to think about creating a cohesive style and color scheme, but you’ll need to consider durability, function, maintenance, and cost. Creating a balance between all those elements is key. Using our remodel guide will help you organize and plan your selections. 

Hire the Right Professionals

To prevent feeling overwhelmed by your kitchen remodel to-do list you’ll want to talk to professionals early on. Like with any remodel you’ll need a general contractor, but you’ll want to ask yourself do you need an interior designer? A general contractor coordinates the execution of the kitchen design plan. They’re in charge of organizing products, materials, and people. They manage the subcontractors needed for the project like electricians, plumbers, tile professionals, fabricators, and carpenters. An interior designer is responsible for creating the design of the kitchen. They focus on balancing functionality, and efficiency with style and design details, all while sticking to your budget. At Triple Heart Design we know kitchen renovations. We have years of experience and are experts at managing renovation projects. We’ll help you with the hard questions like:

  • How to plan the best layout to fit your needs
  • How to nail down your style and create a cohesive balanced design
  • How to select the right appliances, products, and materials
  • Where to spend and where to save within your budget

We’ll create the best balance of beauty and function for your new kitchen, so all you need to do is relax and enjoy the process. With our history of happy clients, we know you’ll love the final outcome! Ready to talk about your kitchen remodel? Contact us today to get started.