29 June 2020

5 Tips for Designing Your Dream Kitchen

If you're a fan of cooking shows like "Hell's Kitchen," "Chopped," or "Top Chef," you may find yourself dreaming of the day when you can renovate your kitchen. Designing a new kitchen comes with a lot of decisions to be made since at every step of the process you'll need to weigh the cost of each choice against aesthetics and functionality. These five tips will help you make the most of your budget and renovation, offering you the kitchen you've always wanted at a price you can afford.

Make sure you're ready—financially, that is

Before committing to any major home project, it's important to take a look at your finances to be certain that you have enough money to perform the work yourself or pay a contractor. Regardless of who's going to be performing the work, you'll want to make sure you've accounted for any potential surprises—if you've seen those reality shows where people flip houses only to discover mold, termites, or dry rot, you'll definitely know why. A good rule of thumb for budgeting for contract work is to add about 10 percent to their initial estimate, while a cushion of 20 or even 30 percent may be necessary if you're taking a DIY approach.

Once you've determined how much you'll need for your project, it's time to fill out your home loan application in order to refinance and tap into existing equity in your home. The application process will require you to provide proof of income as well as an overview of your existing loans and expenses. In order for your refinance loan to be approved as quickly as possible, be sure to stay current on all other credit card payments and other bills to illustrate your trustworthiness to your new lender.

Wow your visitors with perfect cabinetry

Perhaps the most important choice you'll make when designing your ideal kitchen comes down to the cabinet style you choose. Beyond storing dishware, glasses, and food, your kitchen cabinets have a vital role to play in the overall direction the design of your kitchen takes, too. From wall cabinets to cabinets underneath your countertop, the wood grain and finish of your cabinetry is similar to paint color in another room, as it takes up the most visual space in any kitchen.

Once you've settled on a finish and style of cabinet, you'll want to think about the different kinds of customizations that will really make using your kitchen each day a dream. For example, if you hate the sound of noisy cabinet doors shutting, soft-close hinges for doors and under-mount glides for drawers are definitely worth investing in. Another helpful feature is opting for an easy-to-clean material for the interior of your cabinets such as melamine. If you're worried about getting lost in the details, a company like Polaris Home Design can assist you in choosing the best features for your needs and budget.

Pick countertops for durability before looks

While everyone thinks that marble makes the best countertop style, it's always a good idea to look at other options, too. For example, quartz provides an equally-durable option and looks just as elegant, as do granite and travertine. If you're looking for an accent material for a wet bar or island that won't be used as often as other parts of your kitchen, onyx can provide a striking statement to any kitchen. Although it isn't as durable as some of your other options, for renovators who love a bit of flair it's a beautiful choice.

Invest in appliances that'll last

When upgrading items like your refrigerator, oven, or microwave, durability and style are both two important facets to consider. The last thing you want to have to do is repair or replace an oven every few years because you've chosen a bad brand. Some of the top brands to consider include LG, Whirlpool, Sub-Zero, Philips, and Samsung, among others. Marketwatch has broken down a variety of brands' strengths and weaknesses so that it's easy to do your own research based on what features and functionality you're looking at.

Don't forget your backsplash!

While your countertops, tile, and cabinetry provide the most color in any kitchen, that isn't to say you can't add a pop of color with a backsplash, too. Often, a backsplash can become another focal point in your kitchen, perhaps in a color that ties in with your colorful Le Creuset pots or pans or Fiestaware dishes. Beyond adding to your kitchen's style, a backsplash also protects your wall near the sink and oven, where water and other liquids may otherwise damage or stain the material.

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