It’s hard to overstate the importance of a well laid-out kitchen. Aside from being the site of all your meal-prep, it’s where you’ll entertain guests, make memories with your family... and where you’ll spend early mornings sipping coffee, staring out your window, and waiting for your brain to kick into gear. A remodel can not only improve your quality of life, it can greatly increase the resale value of your home -- provided it’s done with the proper care and planning. Luckily, the questions you need to ask yourself are very simple. The answers you need for them might be complicated, but don’t worry. That’s where Benchmark comes in.
1. Design your kitchen for your lifestyle (not the other way around)
Even if you’re not the kind of person who gets excited about appliances and woodwork, it’s easy to get carried away during your brainstorming sessions. But your kitchen is part of where you and your family live, and should therefore reflect all the little idiosyncrasies that make it home. So before you’ve drawn up a new layout, picked new appliances, or even set your budget, you want to consider how you and your family actually use your kitchen every day, and what you’re looking to achieve with these changes. Questions we usually ask are:
Why are you remodeling your kitchen?
What do you spend the most time doing in your kitchen?
How many people live in your home, and how many use the kitchen?
Who do you entertain, and how often?
When are you usually in your kitchen, and for how long?
How do you usually cook, and how would you like to cook?
Where do you usually dine -- and where would you like to dine?
Are there any major holidays you’d like to host
Once you have these sorted out, we can identify the essential changes your kitchen needs; and probably spot some places you can save money, too.
2. Focus on functionali
There are plenty of creative and unique cabinets and appliances that you can put in your kitchen. But at the end of the day, a kitchen is a room where you have to get stuff done, and you should always keep functionality in mind.
Take a kitchen island, for example: They’re stylish, and can provide plenty of extra storage, counter space, and even a place to eat. But if your kitchen isn’t big enough for you to easily move around it, none of that stuff will matter: You’ll just end up cursing your beautiful new kitchen island when you bang your shin on it, again, while trying not to burn your eggs.
The key is keeping a consistent vision, and remembering that you don’t have to trade style for functionality: we at Benchmark have designed plenty of kitchens that are both beautiful and a great place to prepare a meal. And we can do it again for you.
3. Stay consistent with your home’s existing style
Even if you’re not consciously aware of your home’s style, you can always feel when a home has a strong theme to its interior design. Some woods look better together, and other types of stone, tile, or ceramic just don’t make sense when paired with the wrong kind of cabinets, plumbing, or appliances.
The tough part is that even though most people can feel when a theme is off, you have to really know your stuff to be able anticipate these issues at the design stage. If you want to know what your home’s stylistic boundaries are (and where you can push them) that’s where we come in.
4. Get particular about your flooring
Never take shortcuts on something that comes between you and the ground. That applies to shoes, beds, tires and, of course, your floor.
Everything we’ve talked about so far applies to your decisions involving your floor. Your choice of materials and design depends on personal things like how often you walk on it barefoot or whether you have pets, practical things like what your maintenance budget will be, and your home’s current aesthetic. Will you have stools that might scrape up the wood? What’s your lighting situation? How much through-traffic will you get?
If this is starting to seem overwhelming, don’t worry, that’s where we come in. We love this stuff, and have committed to making the process as easy to understand as possible on your end. That includes creating a virtual 3D rendering of your future kitchen that you can personally explore from the comfort of your own computer.