Creating the kitchen that works for you
If you find yourself eating out most of the time just to avoid the dark dungeon that has become your kitchen, then it's probably time for a change. Many people fear remodeling and redecorating, as they tend to envision the complete and sometimes disastrous room makeovers we often see on television (but without the free money, camera crew and professional designers there to guide them all the way through the project).
The truth is, your kitchen doesn't have to undergo a total overhaul to be updated. You can do wonders by simply cleaning away the clutter, giving your room a paint job or even something as small as changing the faucet. You don't have to rip down the cabinets to get a fresh new look!
You do, however, have to plan your remodeling and decide on your priorities. The following is a list of points and questions you should think about before embarking on your renovation adventure:
- Stop using catch-all phrases like "I hate my kitchen". Pinpoint what it is exactly you hate and start there. Maybe all you really hate about the room is the paint - a simple paint job will cost significantly less than completely gutting your kitchen and starting anew. Ask yourself what you want to change when your're designing your dream kitchen before you go ahead and change everything.
- What is the most important change you are looking for? If you could only change one thing, what would it be? What comes to mind first? Start small if the thought of a total kitchen remodel is intimidating.
- Make more room. Do you want to rearrange your kitchen appliances to get more out of your space? Sometimes simply moving appliances or furniture around can change the flow of the room and give it a breezier, more open look.
- Do you need more kitchen storage space? Evaluate the space you presently have and dream up ways of maximizing it. Maybe you could add extra drawers where you now have cupboards, or perhaps you simply need to rearrange your storage to make things more easily accessible. Place pots and pans in cabinets located near or above the stove, and dishes closer to your table. Using your cabinets effectively is one of the easiest ways to create more space, and is often the cheapest.
- Consider what you want. Is there anything you would like to add, such as a kitchen island or a new piece of furniture? Take a few weeks to make a list of the things you wish you had in your kitchen - truly important items that would simplify your life without cluttering up your kitchen. Then rank these additions in order of priority, and go forward with what you can afford.
- Banish the dungeon. Perhaps you hate your kitchen simply because it is too dark and working in there is a dreary experience. Try adding new kitchen light fixtures such as track lighting, that you can adjust to suit your needs. Maybe you should add a window or a pass-through into another room that would open up your space and give additional lighting.
- Keeping your budget in mind is key. Imagine what you could do with an unlimited budget - now strive to obtain that a little at a time. There is no need to go into debt to get the results you want, as even one change can often have a dramatic effect.
- Professional costs are always nice to avoid. Bookstores, libraries and the internet are all loaded with information on how to remodel, and there is certainly no shortage of television shows on the subject. Start there. If later you find you don't get far, you can always consult a professional who will be able to guide you through the best and most cost efficient methods of remodeling. In that situation, the results might be well worth the hit to the budget.
- Simple changes to your kitchen's current look will go a long way. Changing the little things, such as door knobs, hinges, curtains or wallpaper, is an affordable way to change the current look of your tired kitchen.
The key to any remodeling project is planning. Envision what your kitchen will look like after the renovation job and then map it out so you can obtain your desired results.
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