Two Key Questions Before Renovating Your Kitchen

There is a reason why so many parties gravitate to the kitchen. It is the warmest room in the home, figuratively speaking; the place where everyone feels relaxed, welcomed and chatty.

As warm and welcoming as they may be, kitchens are also often the first room to really date the house. Cabinets, counter-tops, fixtures and appliances have traditionally been among those major household expenditures that can become visibly dated because of changing styles. Avocado appliances or vinyl veneer cupboards can define a home’s age almost to the month. In renovating a dated kitchen there are two key questions you should ask before you begin anything:

1. Am I renovating this kitchen for my pleasure, to fulfill all my senses through cooking and socializing for many years to come?; or

2. Am I renovating this kitchen with an eye to the resale value of my home?
In either case, you will want to utilize the best quality products you can afford, creating the finest kitchen with reliable appliances, thoughtfully laid-out cabinets, and flooring, window-coverings and counter-tops that are both efficient and pleasing to the eye.

Beyond these basics, there are a few things to consider.
If your renovation is really about making your kitchen a destination and a retreat for yourself, your family and friends for many years to come, you can let your imagination run free. Without worrying about what potential future buyers might think, you can use favorite colors, textures and styles.

A dazzling back-splash can set the tone for the entire room and make a statement about the kind of family you are. An unorthodox lighting scheme can make a stunning impression. Quartz counter-tops that pop to the eye can be a joy in your life as long as you live in the house.

The greatest advantage of doing this renovation “just for you” is making your kitchen as practical as possible based on the reasons you use it most. If your vision for your kitchen is really to host a social scene, raise the counters to make room for high stools around the perimeter of the room. Turn the kitchen into a stage for your culinary performances.

If you routinely cook for a crowd, incorporating special appliances like a stand-alone steamer or indoor grill can be worth the effort. If a member of your family has a bum knee, the entire configuration of the cabinets can be aligned to put the items at appropriate heights, leaving the lower sections for rarely used larger items or for drawers that do not require getting on hands and knees. When you are renovating your kitchen for your own needs, anything goes.

Think about your needs – your real needs, not the needs of the ideal Mario Batali you of your gourmet daydreams – and discuss it with your designer.

Your plans should be a little different if you expect to be selling your home during the lifespan of your kitchen. The basics should remain the same. You still want to use quality products and the best appliances and fixtures you can afford (they’ll pay for themselves in the resale). The difference is that you want to keep an eye toward what an “average” homeowner would want. Go with less splashy colors, textures and styles in selecting the components that are expensive to replace, like counter-tops and cabinets. If you want to make a statement, do it with window-coverings or lighting, which can be easily replaced if the next owner doesn’t share your exquisite style sense.

Asking the question “Who is this renovation for?” is the necessary first step in the process of re-doing your kitchen. There are a great many questions that follow in this exciting project, but this is the initial step to determine the big-picture plan.

For answers to all the questions you have, RodRozen Designs, an interior design company based in Vancouver, BC is here with advice on every aspect of your interior design, renovations, construction and custom services including window-coverings, draperies, furniture, mill-work and bedding.