You need to think about questions such as:
How much light is coming into the kitchen, bathroom, living room?
- Is it already a dark space?
- Should we have that lovely dark woodgrain we loved?
- Or should we try to lighten the room and make it feel larger?
How large is the space?
- Dark colors will make it feel tighter.
- Light colors will make it feel more spacious.
What sort of furniture/architecture does my new kitchen have to “work with”?
- Do I want an eclectic look where I am mixing and matching different styles, materials and eras?
- Do I want a smooth, understated, elegant & seamless look?
- Do I want something else again?
How much “punishment”, (kids, clumsy young teens, etc.),will it have to take?
- Remember, everything can be damaged and it’s all about how the damage is able to be seen and/or repaired.
i. Laminate and paint can both chip, because their surfaces are very hard and therefore brittle
ii. Vinyl & timber are both flexible materials and tend to “bruise” or “crease”, rather than chip.
Little children make a lots of mess, so make sure you think about cleaning when choosing a door style. Jam & Vegemite dribbles are very easily seen on a mirror finish surface, far more than a lower sheen.
What can we afford?
No one has a money tree in the backyard, but neither should we be too price driven. There’s nothing worse, than looking back in a few years and lamenting, “Oh, I wish we had done this, or that”, because then it’s too late.
As the old saying goes, the first cost is usually the lowest cost. This is certainly true when renovating your home.
Why am I doing it?
- To sell or to stay?
- If selling, my taste might not be my potential buyers’ taste.
- If it’s for me, then I must ensure it’s “my kitchen”, not my “designer’s kitchen”. It should do the following:
i. Be an efficient layout. It is a little factory after all.
ii. Use the space well so that it has visual balance.
iii. Then and only then should you address the aesthetics.
Too many kitchens become a monument to the designer’s genius, rather than a well planned functional space that people have to work in.
Around 1900, the American architect, Louis Sullivan coined the phrase, “form follows function” and it is amazing to see how few kitchens really live up to this mantra.
While we all want our new kitchen to be beautiful, our primary task is a functional space and this must be your priority, then we can make it beautiful, not the other way round, which is constantly what we see in many coffee table magazines.