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Kitchen Remodeling Tips Straight from a Designer


What is your goal for your home’s kitchen? On the surface, you obviously need to have a kitchen that lets you prepare and cook meals for your family, but there is more to a functional kitchen than just a fridge, oven, and sink. From the kitchen cabinets you choose to the layout and flow of the room, you need to consider how all of the various style elements and functional features will work together to create a space that you actually enjoy spending time in. After all, there’s a reason that kitchens are referred to as “the heart of a home”!

Unless your kitchen was built to your specifications, you probably look around the space on a daily basis and dream about making improvements to the room. If that’s the case, then it could be time to start thinking about a kitchen remodel, and that involves narrowing down a design plan so that your contractor can bring it to life.

So, where exactly do you start when planning a kitchen remodel? To get you the answers you need, you have to go straight to the source—a professional kitchen designer. As an insider in the industry, kitchen designers have seen it all when it comes to the good and bad of remodeling, and we’ve broken down some of their top tips for creating a room that works for the needs of your lifestyle.

Getting More Out of the Kitchen Wall Outlets

It is definitely more fun to dream about the color of your backsplash and the custom tiling you want in the space than thinking about your kitchen wall outlets, but you know what they say—the smallest details can make the biggest impact!

Kitchen wall outlets will play a major role in how easy your kitchen is to use after a renovation is completed, and you need to make sure that you are choosing the right outlets and putting them in the right place to get the functionality you need without the awkward appearance.

  • Work with Color Coordination: White outlets might be the standard choice when remodeling your kitchen, but that doesn’t mean that they always work with the style of the space. When local codes dictate that you need several outlets in a place where white would stand-out, it is ideal to color-coordinate your outlet and wall plate with the color of your backsplash tile or wall.
  • Be Creative with Outlet Styles: You’re not stuck with traditional outlets! Options like undercabinet plug molding can give you a clutter-free backsplash while being creative with placement can make your room look seamless. Try hiding outlets behind an appliance if they will always be plugged in, and make sure to incorporate a mix of hidden and wall outlets to make your design work for your home. You can even turn the outlets sideways when you want a less obtrusive profile!
  • Turn to High-Tech Features: While it might seem like something out of a sci-fi show, pop-up outlets have become a favorite with kitchen designers. This style of outlet disappears completely into your countertop when not in use—giving your kitchen an ultra-chic and modern look. There are also several options out there for functional charging stations for the kitchen, which is ideal if you have a houseful of people constantly fighting over limited chargers!

Making Your Room Pop with Kitchen Lighting

Lighting is one of those details that can make or break a room, which is why professional kitchen designers put so much emphasis on planning out your lighting strategy! In addition to having a whole-room light source, there are other lighting features that you will want to consider to improve the look, ambiance, and ease-of-use with your kitchen. A couple of the top lighting details that we are seeing in modern kitchens include:

  • Task Lighting: Have you ever nicked your finger when chopping veggies in dim light? Working in a poorly lit kitchen is frustrating and dangerous, which makes task lighting highly important. Installed under the front of cabinets to light-up your countertops, task lighting helps you do exactly what it implies—complete your kitchen tasks safely and efficiently.
  • Interior Lighting: Old-fashioned lighted cabinets featured glass shelving and an overhead light source, but modern interior cabinet lighting takes it to the next level. With LED lighting strips installed on both sides of a cabinet, interior lighting can give your kitchen a beautiful and warm glow, making it a top choice for any high-end design.

Hiding Your Kitchen Appliances

Let’s face it—we all know that appliances are essential to the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean that you love staring at your appliances every time you walk into the room. The modern design trends lean towards sleek styling and hidden features in a kitchen, and now you can hide your unsightly appliances with a few designer tricks! Two of the most common appliances that homeowners are ready to hide in their kitchens include:

  • Dishwashers: A dishwasher can greatly impact the seamless look of your kitchen, especially when it sticks out like a sore thumb in the middle of your beautiful kitchen cabinets. To get the polished look you want without losing out on this all-important appliance, consider paneling the dishwasher to blend it into your existing cabinetry.
  • Microwaves: Microwaves might be incredibly convenient, but they are also bulky and can have a negative effect on your overall design scheme. Instead of taking up valuable countertop space with your microwave, consider adding a wall cabinet with a lift-up door! This way, you get the easy access you need for quickly heating up leftovers, without making your microwave a focal point of the space.

Streamlining Your Kitchen Layout

When it comes down to it, the layout of your kitchen is where you really need to focus your attention before beginning a remodel. Every kitchen designer knows that the most beautiful products and appliances aren’t going to help if the kitchen isn’t laid-out efficiently. To avoid the annoyances of dealing with a poor flow in your kitchen, consider the following:

  • Setting Up Zones: Prepping is one task, cleanup is another, and it can be challenging to try and accomplish different tasks in one heavily used space. Instead of living with the hassle of having “too many cooks in the kitchen”, plan-out zones within your kitchen design. By designating specific areas for cleanup, prepping, cooking, and even baking, you can enjoy more efficiency in the kitchen—with a lot less frustration!
  • Utilizing a Kitchen Island: It seems that designers always lean toward adding an island to a kitchen, and it’s for good reason! A kitchen island can create a sense of symmetry in the room while giving you a highly functional space for storage, prepping, or clean-up. To really make an impact with the look of your kitchen, consider adding an island in a bold, trendy color to make the style in the room pop.
  • Defining Storage Needs: Storage is one of the biggest worries of any homeowner when it comes to the kitchen. There are several ways to accomplish getting adequate storage, even in a small kitchen, but first, you need to know exactly what you have to store. When planning out your cabinets and storage features, don’t overlook awkward yet necessary items—make sure you plan out a storage solution for pot and pan lids, Tupperware, your garbage can, and other kitchen essentials that you want to be hidden away from sight.

Working with a professional kitchen designer may be out of reach for some homeowners, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from the tricks of the trade! The insight of a kitchen designer can give you inspiration to create a beautiful and functional kitchen that you love coming home to—all you need to do is keep an eye on the small details to make a big impact in the overall look of your newly updated space.

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