Q: Remodeling my kitchen is so overwhelming! I've been dreaming of my new kitchen, but I'm frozen like a deer in the headlights because I don't know where to begin. Where is the best place to start?
A: You're right -- remodeling a kitchen is a big job that involves a lot of decisions. But the process can be exciting and satisfying, too -- especially when it's time to start using a kitchen designed to meet your needs and desires. The best place to start is making a wish list. There's no cost to dreaming. List features you've always wanted. Group them according to must-haves, nice-to-haves, and fun-to-haves, and number them in order of importance.
"I advise all my clients before they start a remodeling project to create a file of pictures and magazine tear-outs of rooms that 'speak' to them," says Keri Davis, a certified kitchen designer (CKD) in Lake Oswego, Oregon. "It may mean that you like the flooring in one photo, the cabinets in another, and the countertops in yet another. Or maybe you just like the light and bright feeling of a particular photo. The more photos you collect, the more apparent your style will become, and a common thread will start to emerge." You might find that over and over you tear out photos of kitchens with white painted cabinets and dark hardwood floors. This will give you the confidence to move forward and make a decision. "It doesn't matter too much whether you select the countertop first or the cabinets first," Davis says. "At this stage, it's more about understanding your style and making sure that your decision fits with that style."
Organize all the photos you collect into a scrapbook, and include product samples and brochures. Add the name and address of the manufacturer, style name/number, color, price, etc. Take the scrapbook with you when the time comes to meet with a designer -- it will help you communicate your ideas, plan your budget, and feel confident about the decisions you make.
Before you start shopping for your new kitchen, or even consult a design professional, it's wise to take a needs assessment. Use these questions to help you determine design changes you need to make, based on the way you use -- or plan to use -- your new kitchen. These questions are great starting points for sparking creative kitchen remodeling ideas.
When it comes to your kitchen, which of the following statements most closely describes you?
In addition to food prep, which of the following would you like to accommodate in your kitchen?
Which of the following best describes the kitchen of your dreams?