A kitchen remodel can be a massive project, but one that can offer you infinite value for years to come. Whether you want to undertake a minor update of your current fixtures or you’re looking to overhaul your existing kitchen completely, there are many elements of kitchen design you must consider.
To make the most out of your new kitchen décor, you must carefully consider all the design elements. They’ll come together to build a unique space befitting your lifestyle and family. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about kitchen decorating!
The first step in any home renovation project, especially in a kitchen remodel, is to understand your budget and plan your costs accordingly. If you do this from the beginning, you can avoid going over budget by allocating funds into three easy categories to make budgeting simple.
The first third of your budget should be allocated to cabinets, especially if you intend on purchasing new or custom cabinetry.
The second third of your budget should go to the costs of countertops, a tile backsplash, sinks, appliances, and fixtures. These will create the aesthetic of your new kitchen décor.
The final third of the budget should be delegated to labor.
It may initially seem cheaper to do a kitchen renovation yourself. If you’re not an experienced builder, this may not be wise. Kitchen renovations can take a lot of time, even for professionals. By hiring a trustworthy contractor, you can ensure that your project will be completed on time and to the highest quality level possible.
Accounting For Hidden Costs
Don’t forget to leave aside some of your budget for unexpected costs whenever you undertake a home renovation project. It’s often impossible to predict what you’ll find once you start taking down cabinets and replacing appliances, after all. If you encounter things like mold, plumbing, or electrical issues, among others, they will cost more to fix.
At best, you’ll never need to worry about these things, and you can use this extra cash to splurge on something special for your kitchen. At worst, you’ll have the money you need to cover unexpected costs without breaking your budget.
From the floor to the ceiling, when you’re renovating your kitchen, you’ll be able to replace or update each element to fit your new kitchen décor idea. Consider these essential details for each section to ensure your kitchen design accounts for all your needs.
Your kitchen renovation may start on the floor. Many people choose to keep their floor, especially if it’s enduring hardwood that can withstand the renovation processes.
However, it can be a great time to lay a new floor. If faded vinyl tiles cover your existing floor, it may be time to replace them. Consider a sturdier stone tile floor or replace it with another vinyl overlay for a fresher look.
Many floor alternatives are available to you, including luxury upgrades like heated flooring that you can add during your renovation.
One of the significant investments you’ll make in your kitchen is cabinetry. They make up the bulk of a kitchen, account for most if not all of the storage you have for food and cooking supplies, and make a powerful stylistic statement.
This means that picking suitable cabinets is essential for setting the tone of your kitchen décor and ensuring that your kitchen is as functional as possible. While you don’t have to choose to completely replace your upper cabinets and lower cabinets, choosing to update them with paint and refinishing can also add a new dimension to your doors and drawers for much less cost.
Choosing to install cabinets in a kitchen island can also increase storage and reduce clutter.
Type and Style
There are a wide variety of cabinet types and styles on the market, and it can be overwhelming at the time. If you don’t already have a clear idea of what style you want, it can be challenging to narrow down the choices. Consider what you want, need, and desire.
Do you want a sleek, ultra-modern clean look with smooth metal cabinets that don’t have traditional knobs? Or are you more attracted to open cabinets with glass inlays, where you can easily display your collection of mugs? Do you want something in between, like a shabby-chic style that incorporates exposed industrial fixtures and antique items?
Find your inspiration online, or work with a designer to get the help you need to pick the best fixtures for your design idea.
Nowadays, cabinets are constructed of many materials.
Wood: Most commonly, they are made from wood. Different types of wood will have various wood grain and color types, which can be more rustic, cottagey, country, or naturalistic, depending on the type of wood. Wood can then be further treated with a stain to enrich the color. Or you decide on painted cabinets, which will entirely remove the natural wood grain look.
Metal: Other cabinets are made of metal. These are often easier to clean than wood cabinets but can be more expensive. Metal cabinets have a much different sheen than wood cabinets, even if both are painted the same color.
Metal is much smoother and more rigid than wood, and its presence in a kitchen will make it feel less “warm.” Metal cabinets are a great option if your kitchen décor will be in a hard-rock style, or even for people who love 60s mod looks.
Try mixing and matching the materials used for your upper and lower cabinets and kitchen island cabinets to make an eclectic kitchen design.
Many forget that dealing with hardware is a part of buying cabinetry, but it’s a vital part of your cabinets structure and final look if you don’t opt for seamless doors. Different finishes, like stainless steel, brass, and even gold, though each option will have different costs.
When you choose this color, think about how it’ll fit in with the rest of your design. Getting brass is excellent if you have other brass fixtures, like a pendant light, or look very handsome in tandem with copper pots.
The cabinet hardware can tie together a new kitchen décor, so while you may want to avoid being overly matchy—getting several similar finishes will work better together.
The cabinets make up the bulk of your kitchen, and they set up the layout. When doing a significant renovation, you can decide to completely change the current floor plan to make it better suited to your needs. If your kitchen leads to the backyard, you may want to put a sink closer to the door for easy clean-up. However, you may want to move the oven further away.
Many kitchen designers now focus on a “work triangle” method of designing a kitchen. This means identifying three main use kitchen aspects, like the sink, stove, and oven, and making sure it’s easy to transition between these three workspaces.
While you may opt for a different workflow, always make sure you consider your kitchen design’s functionality at each step of the process. Open up your kitchen to the dining room to create a free-flowing space if it’s been closed off.
Many homeowners forget about maximizing the amount of storage in their kitchen during the excitement of picking out finishes and design elements. This is unfortunate because homeowners’ most significant complaint with their kitchen is a lack of functional storage.
While kitchen décor is essential, we wholeheartedly agree, make sure that you’re not accidentally eliminating a large amount of storage by replacing a kitchen peninsula with an island. Cabinet space is vital for hiding clutter. If you plan to make significant layout changes to your kitchen layout, be sure to account for any storage that may be lost and where you can make up this lost space elsewhere.
Moving up, the next part of your kitchen renovation focus should be on the surfaces. Countertops will take the brunt force of your kitchen use, so getting a beautiful and robust countertop will make working in it even more of a joy.
There are nearly as many countertop options as there are cabinets. Though many people focus on granite as the best choice for a kitchen countertop, there are many more that may suit your style better. There are quartz, marble countertops, limestone countertops, and laminate options, and you can even have concrete poured in unique rounded shapes that are much more difficult to achieve with stone. With new staining and coloring options of concrete gaining popularity, you can have all sorts of looks, from black to pastel.
Do you use your kitchen mainly for cooking and baking, or do you have other kitchen hobbies that require high temperatures that your countertop should withstand? If you have different uses for your kitchen that require additional heat resistance, then going with a non-laminate countertop is recommended.
However, even if you must go with laminate countertops, you can still get a bold and high-end look when choosing the right style that fits your other design elements. Plus, laminate is much cheaper than other countertop options, making it a creative solution for those who want a specific stone look but are on a budget.
From foundational room concerns like the cabinetry, you also need to consider how you’ll be replacing or incorporating other vital fixtures in your kitchen.
Style: There are many kinds of sinks, from single area buckets, sinks, the farmhouse sink, and sinks with partitions that can make it easier to do several tasks in the kitchen at once. However, picking the best kind of sink for your needs is just part of the process.
Picking a finish is also essential. Porcelain skins can come in many designs and colors, and other metals, like copper, are incredibly durable. A kitchen designer can help you make the best choice.
Adding a Pot Filler: Speaking of sinks, consider installing a pot filler if you plan on having a plumber come visit to update or move your sink. Have you ever had to haul a heavy pot of water from the sink to the stove? If you make a lot of Italian food or soup, a pot filler can be a great addition to the side of your stove.
Updating your appliances is a great way to improve the value of your home and can make your kitchen look more modern. Plus, many new appliances work better and are more energy-efficient than older models, so that updating can save you money on your energy bill in the long run.
Considering the Options: Built-In or Freestanding: Appliances are installed in two significant ways. Built-in appliances are used in a seamless installation where they are incorporated with the cabinetry. This way, there is no break between them and the cabinetry and countertop. The other option is freestanding appliances. Freestanding appliances are installed in a designated place after the kitchen cabinets are installed.
Understanding Built-in Appliances: If you’d like a seamless transition between your appliances and your cabinets, then a built-in appliance is for you. These appliances are more shallow than their freestanding counterparts, allowing them to fit into a built-in cabinet scheme without jutting out by several inches. Built-in appliances are generally more expensive and better built with more commercial-grade; therefore, foods typically stay fresh longer.
Looking to the wall, you should carefully consider backsplash options around a sink, stove, and other areas where food or water may frequently splash up.
Tile Backsplash: Tile is the tried-and-true backsplash. It’s durable for all kinds of liquids and food residue and is easy to clean. White subway tiles have become a kitchen classic and instantly make your kitchen a remarkable space.
Wallpaper: Wallpaper is becoming more common in kitchen décor and can make a fun backsplash, especially when mixed with tile or paint, giving both design and durability. The primary concern you should have with using wallpaper as a backsplash is that it’s not very durable.
Paint: High gloss paint can be easy to clean and is more water-resistant than other kinds of paint. Picking the right paint for your backsplash can add many colors, but the minimal texture is best for an easy-to-clean surface.
Lighting should not be unappreciated in a kitchen. While you’ll want it to be well lit when you’re cooking or working, when you secretly sneak in for a snack late in the evening, you need other lighting options. Consider these task lighting needs as you make final design plans.
Ceiling: Consider a bright clear ceiling light that’s best for visibility while cooking. This is almost mandatory to avoid accidents and ensure that your kitchen is clean. However, you can also include more decorative mood lighting alternatives, like small pendant lights. They can add character and serve as less intense lighting.
Adding accent lights over a kitchen island makes it a focal point of the room and creates an inviting space for people to sit by the counter.
Undercounter: Adding strip lighting under the counter, around the floor, or even in the cabinets can also be a great way to subtly illuminate your kitchen when it’s not being used.
Adding a kitchen island to your kitchen remodeling project can add extra storage and counter space you need to work at comfortably. Consider some of the following additional features when adding on this addition.
Putting a stovetop on a kitchen island can double up your cooking space if you intend on keeping the previous stovetop. Or it could even become a more interactive place to cook, as you’ll be better situated to talk to people sitting at the bar stools on your island.
Adding a Sink: A sink can also be a great addition to an island. Many sinks are placed against a wall with no view outside and often feel cramped. While you’re already in the process of kitchen design and remodeling, you may want to move your sink to a more open spot, like an island.
Go wild, maybe choose a farmhouse sink to make it a better fit to deal with the number of dishes produced by your household each day.
Adding Power and Outlets: Consider how adding power outlets will also bring a lot of convenience to your kitchen island. Make it simple for you to use small kitchen appliances to make cooking easier wherever you are in the kitchen.
Special Finishes: Kitchen Decorating Ideas
Wow, you’ve finally gotten to the end of your project. From the floor to the ceiling, it’s perfect! Well, nearly perfect.
The final piece of kitchen decor to consider is the finishing touches that make the room feel like home and not just a catalog. These include rugs, towels, family photos, family heirlooms, collections, and the great gear you use to practice your hobbies.
It’s time to take it out and put it on display. Soft finishings make it more comfortable to work in the space, while personal touches make it yours. In this final stage, it’s easier to change things, and over time your household will settle into new patterns. This can be as simple as changing where the fruit bowl is, and you may find out that white kitchen towels aren’t for you.
Experiment with finishes overtime to keep the kitchen feeling fresh and vibrant!
Make Your Kitchen Dreams Reality!
Your kitchen is often the heart of your home. From cooking to bonding with family during the holidays, you want to have the perfect backdrop for get-togethers. If your kitchen is feeling a little tired or outdated, it may be time for you to update your kitchen design with a renovation!
Kitchen design and renovation go hand in hand, and the larger kitchen remodeling project you take on to more you can overall the current look. Changing your kitchen décor fundamentally, starting from the floor up, can make it a whole new space. At the same time, simple updates, like refinishing and replacing small things like knobs and soft finishes, can add a sprinkle of new life to your favorite room.
This guide covers the ins and outs of kitchen design and renovation by describing each aspect of a kitchen that you will have to consider as you make remodeling decisions.