Kitchen Renovation – What to Consider When Replacing Cabinets, Countertops, and Appliances

The kitchen is the center of your home. It’s where family meals are prepared and memories are made. Kitchen Remodeling Tacoma WA typically includes sink upgrades, countertop replacement, a backsplash, stock cabinet installation, and painting. Structural changes may also be incorporated into the remodel. These projects could involve knocking down walls or reworking the room’s flow.

Kitchen RemodelingThe layout of a kitchen is the defining factor that determines how well it will function. Kitchens come in all shapes and sizes, but a balanced kitchen layout is the key to a functional space that will work well for you and your family.

When it comes to kitchen layouts, there are a few basic options that will work in most spaces. The one-wall kitchen layout is great for small homes, as cabinets and appliances are affixed to one wall. This creates a walkway down the center of the room and keeps everything within easy reach.

Another popular option is the galley kitchen layout. This kitchen layout is ideal for narrow rooms and often works best in downtown Chicago or Naperville homes. It offers plenty of storage space, with cupboards and appliances on both sides of a walkway down the center of the room.

Larger kitchens can benefit from an island layout. This kitchen layout combines a workspace and dining area into one, which is perfect for families that enjoy eating together at home. An island also adds extra counter space for cooking and food prep.

While an island can be a great addition to any kitchen, it’s important to keep in mind that it can increase traffic flow around the room. Make sure there’s enough room for the kitchen sink, bins and dishwasher so you don’t end up with a bottleneck.

For open floor plans, a peninsula can help with the kitchen layout. This type of design combines two walls into a U-shape and leaves the third side for storage or seating, such as a breakfast bar or kitchen island. This is a great option for a modern home with an open floor plan, and it can help open up the kitchen to adjoining rooms without sacrificing storage space.

Cabinets are the basic skeleton of your kitchen, and they play an important role in how your room looks. A fresh coat of paint or some new hardware can spruce up an old set, but major changes call for a cabinet replacement.

A quality set of cabinets is a considerable investment, so it’s important to work with a contractor that can help you find the best options for your space and budget. The door style you choose for your cabinets will go a long way toward shaping the aesthetic of your room. Look for a design that reflects your personality, while balancing function and durability.

If your cabinets are in good shape, consider a simple refinishing to give them a fresh, new look without the cost of full replacement. Many cabinet manufacturers offer refinishing services that can be completed in just a few days.

For an even more dramatic change, you can replace just your upper or lower cabinets. This can be especially helpful if your lowers are older and showing signs of wear. You can then re-stain or repaint your uppers to coordinate with the new lowers.

Another option is to add a built-in breakfast nook to the kitchen, which can add both seating and storage space. If you decide to do this, you’ll want to carefully plan your cabinet layout so that the nook doesn’t block any of your cabinets or interfere with the flow of traffic in the room.

Other cabinet upgrades include adding full-extension drawer guides and soft-close stops to ensure the drawers and doors shut smoothly and quietly. Also, don’t forget to upgrade the knobs and handles on your cabinets. These are an opportunity to tie your entire kitchen together with a cohesive design.

Countertops are a crucial element that can define the overall style of your kitchen. They’re often the most visible surface in the space, so you’ll want to carefully consider their color, texture, and design. You’ll also want to think about how they fit into your cabinets, wall color, backsplash, and appliances.

Laminate is the most budget-friendly countertop option, and it’s available in a wide variety of looks. However, laminate is not easy to clean or sanitize, and it may chip or scratch easily. Tile countertops are a more durable choice and can be custom-cut to suit your layout. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, from neutral to earthy shades to even metallic. They work well with a variety of kitchen styles, including contemporary, farmhouse, industrial, and rustic.

Natural stone is a premium choice that’s available in a wide array of stunning textures, such as quartzite (which can be made to mimic the natural variegation of marble), limestone, travertine, soapstone, and slate. These surfaces are typically bacteria-resistant, but some require annual sealing or waxing to prevent moisture from trapping in porous surfaces.

Wood is another classic countertop material, but it can scratch and swell if it comes into contact with water. Look for butcher block countertops made from hickory, maple, walnut, or cherry to add rich grain patterns and warm tones. Or, opt for a live edge wood slab that preserves the organic shape and knots of each piece of wood, which can add a dramatic contrast to light cabinetry. You could also use a more rustic material, like river rock or crystal geodes, to make a statement and complement your pendant lights.

With advanced smart appliances and a wide range of design and brand options, there’s never been a better time to invest in a new kitchen. But what should homeowners consider when making upgrades to the refrigerator, oven and cooktop, sink, dishwasher, and microwave?

Start by considering how the finishes and aesthetics of your appliances complement your overall design. Many brands offer sleek, classic lines that coordinate with a variety of kitchen styles. In addition, a number of manufacturers also offer specialty finishes and features like stainless steel with matte or black accents, chef-inspired Professional style ovens, and energy-efficient models that reduce utility bills and help the environment.

When shopping for appliances, draft a wish list that outlines your needs and wants. For example, if you entertain frequently, you may want to add an ice maker and warming drawers. Or if you have kids, you might want to consider a dishwasher with a childproof lock or speed cooking oven that allows for quicker cook times.

Then, consider how your floor plan and existing appliances factor into your choices. For example, if you plan to relocate your refrigerator during the remodel, you’ll want to ensure it will fit in the space. It’s a good idea to visit your local retailer or showroom for product demonstrations and a chance to test out different appliance options before you make your purchase.

If you find yourself piling groceries on top of your fridge or losing kitchen tools in the depths of your pantry, it might be a sign that you have inadequate storage. A simple remodel could include adding cabinets or a walk-in pantry to increase capacity. If expanding the room isn’t possible, a creative solution like stacked glass shelves offers a low-profile way to add extra storage to your kitchen.

Lighting is often a secondary consideration during kitchen remodels, but it can make or break how the new room looks, feels and functions. In fact, a good lighting design can be as important as the cabinets, appliances and countertops themselves.

Good kitchen lighting starts with the right fixtures, which can be found in a wide range of styles and prices. In addition to traditional pendants, there are also surface-mounted fixtures and under cabinet lights. Undercabinet lights are especially useful, as they can light up work surfaces and eliminate the shadows cast by upper cabinets. Choosing LED strips in a warm white tone (rather than brighter, more daylight-like hues) can help keep energy costs down.

When it comes to ambient lighting, it’s all about creating an even pool of gentle light. This is known as the opulent layer and can be achieved with ceiling-mounted indirect fixtures, torchieres, recessed adjustable fixtures or opaque wall sconces. For the best effect, choose fixtures in pairs to create symmetry and streamline the look.

Task lighting is the next level up, and the options here are nearly endless. From brighter, more intense under-cabinet lights to halogen spotlights that are ideal for highlighting kitchen countertops, there is no shortage of choices for illuminating cooking areas. The key is to think about how much workspace you want illuminated and what tasks are most common in your kitchen.

Accent lighting is designed to keep a kitchen from feeling flat or mundane by illuminating open shelving, artwork or architectural details. Track lights and recessed adjustable fixtures are popular choices for this purpose, but there are many other ways to highlight a focal point, such as using a directional spotlight directed at a plant or a work of art.