Reinvest in your home with your tax refund. Part 2.

Glass Tile BacksplashThe kitchen is often the heart of the home. So it makes sense that an upgrade or remodel can dramatically change the way you live – not to mention the value.
Like most things, there’s a process I like to follow when embarking on any new kitchen project. This is a big space, with big costs and big potential for problems. So here is my four-step recipe for how to make sure any kitchen remodel is a piece of cake.







Islands tend to work best in L-shaped kitchens that measure at least 10 X 10 feet and open to another area. Increase the functionality of your kitchen by equipping the island with a cooktop or outfitting it with barstools for casual dining.First up – figure out your layout. Working with a professional to design what’s functional for you with the space you have has to be done before anything else. Measure, think about what you want where and double check the triangle effect. The what? It’s exactly as it sounds, make sure your refrigerator, sink and over/cooktop form a nice convenient triangle. This is the optimal design for any cook space.




this site has dozens of styles of cabinet doors side by side; easy to browse and find your favorites

Next? Cabinets. Think about the style you want. Modern? Go for a slab front. Industrial? Try shaker. Really more traditional? Then stick with raised panels and any other details. Other things to consider might be if you have any glassware or cookbooks to showcase. If so, think about an open cabinet. Or even a glass door for a hint of glam and class. Really want to get creative (or a bit country), what about metal mesh door front? Like with most design, there are no limits. But just remember the kitchen, like every other room, should reflect you and your lifestyle.




The new Aqua oven from AGA.... it's love!! Absolutely stunning.

So floor plan and cabinets are done, what now? Appliances. Easy as pie. Here’s a good place to mention that I recommend a splurge item in any kitchen – as it really is where you spend so much time. Could be that five burner Viking range if you’re a real Julia Child. One client went all out on lighting – using under cabinet LEDs that changed colors and could sync to the music all by remote control. How’s that for a party kitchen?







I so agree with Laura at The Turqoise Home- I am also Crushing On: Hale NavyNow that the big stuff is out of the way, it’s time to pick out your other materials: tile, countertop, floor, backsplash. Here’s another area where you can splurge and show your style. Think blue island in an all-white kitchen. Another important consideration, what’s practical for you. A swirly granite pattern will hide morning crumbs better than a slate gray one (just saying). Once you’ve made your picks, gather up samples and bring it home to see how it looks in your kitchen. Making sure it all works before you get started will help you sleep at night. Trust me.





So now what? Now you find a contractor. Yup, all that was just the pre-plan – the mise en place of kitchen design if you will. To bear the fruit of your vision, you need a professional to put it all together. Much like I mentioned with the bathroom, this is really not something you want to attempt to DIY. Helpful hint? After doing all the legwork, give your contractor all those choices – the cabinets, appliances, flooring, back splash, etc. That will allow them to provide an accurate master quote because now they know exactly what materials they will be working with.
Ready to get cooking? Make sure you plan for it. A true kitchen renovation will take roughly three to four weeks, AFTER your cabinets are in. Those take two to six weeks easy. And remember you’ll likely have little access to the conveniences you’re used to (coffee pot and microwave in the garage isn’t much fun). Easiest fix? Hire a designer you trust and go on vacation.

Flora Soames, the interior designer of this London kitchen worked with Tom Bayley of Quartet Interiors. 'The bespoke island unit is based on a vintage piece: the brushed stainless steel and carrara marble look elegant. The units are painted in 'Down Pipe' by F&B, walls in Shaded White. Ashley Hicks Moroccan tiles from Popham Design. October 2014 issue of House & GardenNot ready to sink in the $15,000+ it’ll cost at minimum? Here are some ideas for a semi-homemade version:
• Paint your cabinets
• Think about wall paper, stencils or a sticker mural as a more affordable backsplash
• Change your lighting (lighting and hardware are like jewelry – these are accessories that can make a big difference and work with a range of budgets)
• Not ready to commit to granite or marble counters, try tile. It can cost $100-$150 less per square foot.
As always, contact me to get started or with any burning questions (I promise I’ll leave out the cooking and food puns)!

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