Our kitchens are the unsung heroes of 2020. With reduced access to restaurants and the constant forage for mid-day snacks, they’re getting more use than ever before. But is your kitchen as functional as it could be?
We’ve identified 5 key ways to improve your kitchen for your morning cereal, holiday entertaining, and everything in between.Traditionally, fall is a busy time for kitchen remodels. Homeowners are eager to start remodels before the cold weather hits and finish in plenty of time for the holidays. And that’s true this year, too. Even if the holidays look different, we suspect they’ll still bring lots of family time cooking, baking, and lingering in the kitchen. While this year has shifted the way we use our spaces — and pointed out some design flaws — eventually we’ll return to a more familiar rhythm. Whatever that looks like, the kitchen will remain the hub, the drop zone, and the place where family and friends gather. That’s why kitchen remodels are such good investments. Not only do they boost the resale value of your home, but they also enrich your daily life. So from everyday cooking to holiday entertaining and beyond, here are 5 questions to ask yourself to make sure your kitchen is working as hard as you are.
1. Does your kitchen have enough counter space?Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or your family each night, you need plenty of functional surface area. This is especially true if your guests like to congregate in the kitchen (which they always do!). Even in a smaller footprint, you can maximize counter space to create plenty of room for prep and serving. Without clear zones for prep, dining, and serving, even a kitchen with ample counter space can feel crowded. One way to maximize your counter space effectively is by varying the height. A raised portion of the island or peninsula can give guests and kids room to linger while you prep. It’s also a great feature in an open-concept layout since it keeps kitchen messes from view during dinner. We wrote about some cool kitchen design trends to transform your kitchen including a variety of counter top materials
2. Is your kitchen lacking adequate food and beverage storage?With many spending much of their work and school days at home, pantries and fridges are overflowing with more groceries than ever. Not to mention, many of us are buying more groceries at one time to decrease trips to the store. This can cause a pileup of pantry staples, with boxes and canned goods crammed into cabinets or spilling out onto the countertop. There are lots of organization tips to maximize kitchen storage space. But sometimes, the cabinetry itself is just inefficient, especially if it’s older. Updated cabinet designs typically extend all the way to the ceiling and can include organizational features like cabinet pullouts and drawer dividers to keep everything within easy reach. If you’ve got the space, a walk-in pantry can solve lots of kitchen problems. It acts as overflow, storing prep dishes when entertaining, and adds an abundance of storage for bulk items.
3. Is it a joy to cook in your kitchen? Or more of a juggling act?Cooking meals can really feel like a chore sometimes, especially if your kitchen appliances aren’t working for you. This is really exacerbated when you’re cooking a complex holiday meal or dinner for a large crowd. Your appliances can go a long way in improving the functionality of a kitchen. Once a luxury, double ovens and warming drawers are now much more affordable and can really reduce the stress of entertaining. The same is true for ranges. Many budget-friendly models feature extra burners and griddle surfaces to give home cooks a range of options. And don’t forget about a beverage fridge. Moving wine, beer, and soda into their own spot can free up tons of space for groceries and keep others out of the main kitchen area while you cook.
4. Do you have a comfortable eat-in kitchen space?We all know people are going to congregate in the kitchen no matter what. So why not carve out some actual seating space? Even in small kitchens, it’s possible to find space if you get creative. Is there room to add an island or a banquette area? Could you open up a wall to create a better flow to the dining room? Is there space to build out a bay window? Check out this post for more eat-in kitchen inspiration.
5. Could your kitchen use better lighting?
Lighting is a key design element in any space, but definitely in the kitchen. This is especially critical in Minnesota, where short winter days deliver nightfall well before the dinner hour.Luckily, there are so many lighting options out there to provide the right mood for every situation. Overhead can lights illuminate the space for prep, but can be a little harsh for entertaining. Install a simple dimmer switch to take control and adjust as needed. And don’t forget the extras! Interior cabinet lights give display items a pop and provide a soft glow through the glass doors. Under-cabinet lights illuminate prep areas and give you more control over the kitchen lighting throughout the day. And, with an endless range of styles and price points, decorative pendant lights and chandeliers allow you to add your own style to your kitchen.
Could your kitchen use an update?Now that everyone is settling into a new school year, it's a great time to look towards other projects. And, in the midst of a crazy year, we might already be dreaming of how to make a fun holiday season. It's looking like more of it might be at our own homes, but it can still be special — making cookies, trying new recipes, or hosting more intimate dinner parties. If you want your kitchen to be ready for the holidays, you'll want to get started now. Our team of design-build experts are committed to your family’s safety. That’s why we’ve created special protocols for all of our residential remodels.
Whether you’re looking to update your kitchen before the holidays or build lasting equity in your home through smart upgrades, we’re here to help. Reach out today to get started on your kitchen remodel. 952-746-7817
Written by Scott Rajavuori on September 15, 2020