I always laugh when I think of a woman I met on AOL years ago when we ran HouseNet, their home improvement channel. We were chatting on one of our message boards about the agony and ecstasy of remodeling a kitchen. I remember her saying it was a lot like childbirth – the pain and struggle seemed to last forever, but all was forgotten when it was over.
Living through a kitchen remodel involves adjustments for everyone in the house but the result is a wonderful new space with things just where you want them. But I can’t say enough about the importance of planning and defining and then refining what you want.
Spend a lot of time doing preliminary footwork. Go to home centers and kitchen design shops and take pictures of what you like with your phone or camera. Keep a digital or paper list of features that are “nice to have” and “need to have.” Keep notes in your smartphone or a notebook of the room with dimensions of your walls and where windows and doors are located. Talk to salespeople about the cost of different materials to keep you within your budget. Tear out pictures in magazines with cabinets you like. Print out Web site pages with the kind of appliances you want. Collect samples of wallpaper, cabinets, countertop and flooring materials and store them in one place – a folder, a box, a crate in your car – whatever works for you. Then over time take a second look and review what you have. Keep what you like and toss what you don’t.
This doesn’t happen overnight. Plan to spend a few months absorbing all these ideas and somewhere along the line you’ll be able to focus on exactly what you want and how much you can afford. It’s not easy, but all your preliminary work will help you create the kitchen you want within the budget that you have.
For a quick overview of what should be on your planning radar go to an article on DIYORNOT Kitchen Design Basics and pick up some pointers on creating a floorplan with all the elements to make a perfect new kitchen. And for specific costs of all the projects involved in remodeling visit us at www.diyornot.com.