This is a post by Ellie Jo about home remodeling.
The kitchen is essentially the heart of the home. It is the place where you and your family will spend a lot of your time, from cooking delicious meals to sharing your thoughts on the day over a cup of hot chocolate. With so much use, it is no surprise that after a while it can succumb to wear and tear and also just be in need of an upgrade.
Doing up your kitchen is not something that you tend to do often as it can be a big expense that needs saving up for, but once you have done it, it makes a huge difference to your house. When you do up your kitchen you want it to be made to last and therefore need the design to be stylish, timeless, and built to last. There is nothing worse than spending a lot on something only for it to break or wear down after a short amount of time. If you are looking to do up your kitchen from the ground up, or are just looking to upgrade your appliances and decor, here are some top tips.
Work out a budget and stick to it
One of the hardest things about doing your kitchen up is figuring out your budget. If you just say yes to things as you go along then it can quickly rack up costs without you even realizing it. It is a good idea to set up a spreadsheet of everything that you will need for the kitchen, from any Electrolux spare parts, to your lighting, flooring, and accessories.
This way you will know just what you have to spend where, and which parts you are willing to stretch the budget a little bit on. Make sure that as you go along you update the spreadsheet to include what you have actually spent so it can total up what you have left. This will be useful if there are any items you need to add on further down the line. It is also a good idea to put away a spare bit of money for “extras” as there are always unexpected costs that you come across no matter how well you plan!
Set up temporary food making facilities elsewhere
Perhaps the most difficult thing about getting your kitchen redone is trying to figure out how to eat when you don’t have your usual cooking set up. It is likely that your oven and fridge will be completely unplugged and out of action. It is a good idea to get a small, temporary fridge/freezer or move your fridge/freezer into another room such as the dining room or living room while the work takes place. A microwave is also a good idea.
This way you can batch prepare all your meals the week before, then simply defrost them when you can’t access your usual appliances. You could also order take away meals or rely on the kindness of friends and family for letting you use their kitchen or having you over for dinner. If you don’t like the idea of being without a kitchen, you could always rent out an apartment or AirBnB while you wait for the works to be completed.
Decide on a color scheme
One of the most important features of your new kitchen is ensuring that it has a solid color scheme throughout. You want it to be something that will last for years to come and that isn’t too “on-trend” at the current moment. For example, it would be that you choose a bright paneling for the walls, yet this is only a fad trend and it soon looks very outdated and you may need to redecorate again. It is usually best to go for neutral colors such as creams and whites that make your space look larger, cleaner, and brighter. They can also easily be jazzed up with accessories as a way of adding splashes of color to your kitchen.
Get multiple quotes
One of the biggest mistakes that people can make when getting their new kitchen done is to just get one quote and go with it. Prices can be very different between manufacturers and service companies, so it is a good idea to spend your time talking to different people and finding the best price.
A lot of companies do a price match guarantee so if you have found the kitchen you want somewhere else, they might agree to sell it for the same price. You could also get discounts if you ask the company if they will supply the labor as well as the materials. Put all the quotes together and find out which one will best suit your needs and your budget. You don’t want to go for something that is low quality, but you also don’t want to spend the earth if this is something you don’t need to do.
Add in plenty of storage
One of the top things you need to remember for your new kitchen is to add in plenty of storage. Whether you currently have a large family, are thinking of expanding, or it is just you on your own, storage will always be a necessity. There are many clever ways that you can add extra storage to your kitchen, from hidden cupboards and drawers to extra shelves on the walls. If you have an island, you could always add storage to this rather than just making it a solid structure. Speak to your kitchen designers and builders to see what they think too – they would have worked on many kitchens so have some inspiration.
These are just a few top tips for when you redo your kitchen. The key thing to remember is to keep a spreadsheet of all your finances and design based on the long term. It is a good idea to take plenty of before and after photos, so you can compare the difference – you won’t be able to believe what a transformation has taken place!
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.