Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Design Your Dream Kitchen

You've probably been fantasizing about redecorating your kitchen for a while. It's tempting to run right out and start buying items, but planning and organizing your ideas are important steps of the design process that you should not neglect.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Start collecting some photos. Clip pictures from magazines, or print out pictures from the Internet. Keep your photos together. Put them in a notebook, folder, or binder. This way, you can refer to them easily later with anyone helping you, including your contractor. If you have access to the Internet, check out the website for a home improvement or appliance store. You may be even able to find free planning resources such as 3-D layout software.

Decide on an objective and define your goals. Do you want a cozy, comfortable place for friends and family to gather and hang out? Do you need a modern, updated look that will help to increase your home's resale value? Perhaps you have special needs such as having space for more than one cook, or a separate sanitary area for preparing medications or baby formula.

Of course, you will need to keep your budget in mind. Be realistic. There are items you truly need, such as childproof cabinet fixtures, and nonessential items you may want, such as granite countertops. Make a list, and then do some research on prices of the items on your list. How much will the "must haves" cost? What can you live without, and can you afford it, or should you cross it off? Some home improvement stores will have handy worksheets for you to use for planning your expenses.

How soon do you need the project completed? Keep in mind your family's calendar of events, and make sure remodeling doesn't conflict with people come to visit, or any special occasions that will be held in your home. Will you need to bring in outside help? Let them know your schedule as well, and make sure they can commit to it. Interview contractors and remodelers early enough to get an accurate estimate of how long it will take.

Talk to everyone involved and see what their thoughts are. Make sure everyone is aware of the budget and goals. Talk to friends who have redecorated before. They may be especially helpful when recommending professionals to hire.

The three biggest things to change in a new kitchen are the cabinets, flooring, and the appliances. Refacing the cabinets can give the kitchen a whole new look. When you think about flooring, consider whether your kitchen will be a high traffic area. He served the function works for you, as well as the style.

By now, you're probably ready to start flipping through books and magazines, or searching store websites. Keeping track of your design ideas, and the progress you've made, will help you keep track of changes along the way. The right approach will soon turn your kitchen into a welcoming, new environment.