Tips for Planning Upgrades for Your Ideal Kitchen

You may be cooking more than ever during the COVID-19 shelter-at-home mandate. Spending more time in your kitchen cooking healthy, home cooked meals may bring to light some of its shortcomings. You might find that the space is too dark to properly cut and prep your meals. Or maybe the workflow is a little awkward, making it difficult for more than one person to cook. You may find yourself wishing you had more counter space. Or realize that your baked goods fail because the old oven is delivering inconsistent temperatures.

The current quarantine may mean that many home improvement projects are on the backburner, but you can take this time to plan your kitchen upgrades for later. An upgrade can improve the beauty and functionality of your kitchen, which will add to your home’s resale value in the long run. And new appliances make cooking a pleasure while being more energy-efficient than your old outdated versions.

The blessing in disguise of the current pandemic is that you can spend more time than usual in your kitchen to really get to know what you’re looking for in an ideal cooking space. Here are some tips to plan your dream kitchen upgrade, so you’re ready to turn the dream into reality when the COVID-19 crisis is over.

Envision What Your Dream Kitchen Will Look Like

Source: Pexels 

Getting started may be the hardest part. A simple way to get ideas flowing is to create a vision or mood board or book you can use to get an idea of what you’re looking for. You can create your inspiration board on paper by collecting photos from home design and architecture magazines. Or you can put your board together digitally by creating a Pinterest account and saving pins of your favorite ideas. 

When going through the design magazines, you’ll find beautiful spaces featuring some of the top kitchen design trends right now. The latest trends include dark, rich colors, farmhouse sinks, industrial-style lighting, open layouts, and integrated appliances. Regardless of whether you’re designing a farmhouse, traditional, or modern kitchen, many of the latest design trends work for all styles.

When you spot something that catches your eye in the magazines, cut it out and start putting together a collection of design ideas. Include the following elements:

  • Layouts 
  • Cabinets
  • Favorite appliances
  • Paint colors
  • Barstools or other furnishings
  • Tiles
  • Flooring
  • Countertop ideas
  • Handles and drawer pulls
  • Lighting

Take a look at your idea collection to decide what the overall theme is. Start listing out what parts of the space will require an update. List the items you’ll need on your wishlist. Keep your idea book or Pinterest page handy — if you decide to work with a designer or contractor, your idea book will help them understand the look you’re trying to achieve.

Create a Kitchen Space Capable of Meal Prep for One Meal — or a Dozen

One thing most homeowners have come to realize during the pandemic is that their kitchen is not set up to cook large or multiple meals. Are you meal prepping because you’ve been working with your nurse practitioner on a preventative healthcare plan? The more room you have to spread your meal prep wings, the better. Others with large families who regularly prepare baked goods for their kids and their friends may realize their outdated kitchen doesn’t have the space needed to prepare, cook, and store larger casseroles and dishes. 

Source: Pexels

Adding a larger island area makes food prep easier. A new double could make baking or roasting multiple dishes easier. And a larger refrigerator allows you to store and freeze casseroles that can be reheated later. Make sure your new design includes plenty of kitchen storage to hold all your large platters, casseroles, pots, and utensils.

Work Out the Cost

Once you put together your ideal kitchen, price out what the items will cost. Don’t forget to factor in delivery and installation fees. Once you round up the prices, create a price list with two versions of every element — your first choice and a lower-cost backup. 

For example, a commercial stainless-steel refrigerator that costs $2,400 may be your first choice. List a lower-cost version that costs $1,100 as your backup choice. This gives you some flexibility if you need to adjust the budget. You may find that the ductwork you need for the exhaust costs more than you expected. You can make up for the new expense by going with the second, less expensive choice on some items.

Source: Pexels

There are other ways to save on your kitchen upgrade. Take some time every few days to look online for sales and markdowns on some of the items you need. You may find a great deal on the appliances, tiles, or flooring on your wishlist, saving you considerable money. 

As a last resort, look into your options to finance your kitchen renovation. Depending on how much you’re short, you could apply for a loan, sign up for a credit card with a low or no-interest introductory offer, or apply for a home equity line of credit. 

The Best Dream Kitchens Take Planning and Research

To create a cooking space that reflects your needs and style, it’s important to do your research to find your favorite design elements that personalize the space. It’s all too easy to walk into a home improvement store and order the kitchen on display, but it will lack your personal touch. It may take more effort to personally select your favorite cabinets, designer sink, or drawer pulls, but you’ll be happy with the finished look for years to come.

Bio: Magnolia Potter is a blogger from the Pacific Northwest. She loves writing on a variety of topics from technology to lifestyle. When she isn’t writing you can find her traveling far and wide or reading a good book.

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