Five things I’ve learned building a new kitchen


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Now that my kitchen is ready, it’s time to share a few things I’ve learned along the way… So, let’s see what I’ve heard from professionals as well as what are the things I’ve learned the hard way….

1. I can add that easily later, no problem.

Sure, but only if you leave space for that microwave, built-in coffee machine or whatever. Now there’s an issue: there will be a gaping void in your kitchen until you add the new piece of equipment. Sure, you can buy an extra cabinet door to cover it… But don’t forget, temporary solutions tend to become final ones – and as long as temporary things go, they are not the best. So look out.

Designers say it’s best to add features to your new kitchen during, not after, renovation (or building). Even if you’re not sure whether you’ll use a something, prepare for its future installation by running cable and electrical lines. For example, one day, you, your growing kids, or a future homeowner may want a flat-screen television or a home-monitoring screen in the kitchen. Or, you may someday need more outlets on your counters and island. Be sure to have the right cables for electricity – that new washing machine or electric oven needs beefier cables than a hand-mixer..

2. I won’t have any clutter in my new kitchen.

Yes, sure, you don’t need that extra storage, do you? I bet you do! I’m always short of storage and I bet you’re the same, except for that guy living in a warehouse. Sure, it’s not always good to have lots of stuff in a crowded pantry (and the things on the bottom of the heap won’t be used up ever) but always plan for more storage than you think you’ll need. You’ll be thankful to yourself at the end.

Sure, storage units are not the best-looking of the kitchen-furniture herd, but you need a balance between function and style. (or that warehouse…)

3. Bigger is always better.

So the bigger the better, you think. If you just got that greeeeeat big kitchen, prepare for one thing: first you’ll be tired, next you’ll be fit. Because of all that walking, that is.

My designer friend says this is a typical mistake and homeowners have to live with for a long time, since kitchen renovations are done only once every 10 years or so. The solution, some say, is to install two sets of kitchen appliances, essentially having two work triangles into the kitchen area. But you still have to walk…

4. Yes, it will fit. I need it, you know.

New flat, new kitchen. Finally, you can put all your dreams into it. All the things you’ve seen in magazines, that gorgeous island, that fine range and all bells and whistles.

Don’t try to do what’s popular without any thought to whether it would work or not in the space… As opposed to the issues of a great spaces, there are issues with smaller ones as well – you need good organisation and keep an eye on not overstuffing it.

Sorry, you cannot always have an island or that great L-shaped worktop. In smaller spaces it’s better to put in quality – in cabinets, appliances, design – you’ll especially appreciate a good designer helping you think through all aspects on how you best utilise the space you got.

5. I want that kitchen from the magazine

It’s tempting to follow the latest trends, but it’s better to be practical. Do you need that hi-gloss finish with your small kids? (how will it look like in a month’s time?) Will you still love antique cabinets in 10 years? Will that funny red-yellow kitchen featured in the magazine really work in your house?

Always try to keep things – colors, materials, moods – in sync throughout your home – it feels so much better when you arrive. Don’t get carried away and plan before you do anything – remember, changing anything later will definitely cost more.

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  • 14 comments ↓

    #1 Athena on 05.31.08 at 5:56 am

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    Great information!!

    #2 Best Refrigerators on 07.01.08 at 3:27 am

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    Interesting to read other peoples experiences with building their new kitchen, this summer we are completely redoing ours and I hope it all goes according to plan!

    #3 Designer on 07.31.08 at 10:02 am

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    Great post,
    imagine the difficulties in producing a commercial kitchen 😉

    #4 Kitchen Plans on 08.21.08 at 2:00 pm

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    All good advice. Don’t forget a new kitchen is your chance to personalize a very important space. Don’t get too caught up in doing things for the future or resale. Don’t be afraid to put your own mark on you kitchen.

    Here’s a valuable resource for your readers and design friends. I’ve written a free e book named The Designers Toolkit – Kitchen Design Help. This e book includes over 30 pages of tips and resources for you next kitchen project. Grab your copy here [newsletter sign up required]:**CADKitchenPlans.com**

    I love your blog and enjoy the free e book.

    #5 Holly on 01.05.09 at 1:06 pm

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    I’m a interior design student and a few of those things are actually on a list I have of things to tell our clients during any renovation.

    The big one is just because it looks good in a magazine does not mean it will work or look good in your home.

    #6 Yvette Kelly on 02.22.09 at 2:33 pm

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    Also had my kitchen redone last year in July and it is so funny to see all the tips.Really good but one can only appreciate them after you have been through it yourself.Your post just took me down memory lane.Thanks!!!

    #7 Pedestal Table on 04.12.09 at 8:49 pm

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    Great tips to bear in mind. Thanks for sharing this informative post. A lot of it makes so much sense when renovating.

    #8 Refrigerator Gaskets on 11.01.09 at 9:26 pm

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    Well said, these are some great tips to consider when designing or remodeling your kitchen. I like number five especially, I think everyone wants that kitchen from the magazine, but in the end, you have to be realistic and do what works best for your kitchen and your pocketbook.

    #9 home renovation & remodeling contractors on 11.26.09 at 9:34 am

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    preferredbuildersoftexas.com is the only Texas custom builder and local home renovation & remodeling contractors providing Kitchen Remodeling, Bathroom Renovation, Custom Additions, Patio Design, Sunroom Installation, Energy Efficient Window Replacement, Siding Replacement or Update services in Texas”

    #10 Granite countertop california on 12.14.09 at 4:09 am

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    the points you have mention is very usuful.i totly agree that instead of using red yellow colour from magazine use light colour and synchronize with home. i personally feel graniteand marble countertop are best option in counter top and ofcourse long lasting.
    j.lewise

    #11 David Patterson on 01.13.10 at 3:09 pm

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    I see that you haven’t posted in over 18 months. I would to give you a reason to continue writing this blog with a little financial incentive.

    After reviewing your website I believe I may have a eco-friendly client interested in paying you for some advertising. They are open to advertorials, tutorials, sitewide text links, or even having you post a few product reviews (for a small fee if needed) of a handful of their products:

    * Polywood – eco friendly outdoor furniture (made from recycled milk jugs)
    * Tiger Claw hidden deck fasteners (including the Tiger Jaw Tool (new) , and pneumatic install gun)
    * underdecking (turns a 2nd floor deck into a usable living space underneath)
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    Let me know what options exist and if interested. I will let you know the client’s URL once you contact me. Look forward to hearing back from you.

    Sincerely,
    David Patterson
    dpatterson (at) elbrusconsulting.com

    #12 Kitchen on 03.02.10 at 4:42 am

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    Nice blog. Keep going x

    #13 Leader on 07.10.10 at 12:16 am

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    imformative post,i just want to rebuild my kitchen,your experience will be helpful.thank you~~

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