After you decide to build the kitchen of your dreams, the process becomes more fun and less stressful. Almost every one of our clients would like to have an unlimited budget, but we all know that is rarely the case. Working with an experienced designer can help assure that you get the most value and enjoyment from the design and products that you select. Helping our clients to set priorities is one of the major ways we create value.
Make the Most of Your Space
We start the prioritization process by focusing on our client’s goals. If our client entertains often, we create a design that provides uninterrupted access to the stove, refrigerator and sinks with space for guests to stand or sit without interfering with meal preparation. For clients who are fastidious about a clean and clutter free kitchen, we design the space to make clean up easy.
We help our clients set priorities by asking how often the kitchen will be used, who will use it most often and what will take place most often in the kitchen. We will help create ample space for cooking, eating and/or entertaining if that is the functionality that our client wants. Specifying that space depends on how many family members will dine regularly in the kitchen when it’s first completed and five and 10 years from now. We also want to know how often our clients entertain and the number of guests that typically are entertained.
A recent project we worked on reinforced a valuable lesson. A couple who lived alone and rarely cooked for others wanted an eight-burner cooktop, double oven, two dishwashers, main and island sinks and a double wide refrigerator. The size and number of appliances did not make sense until we probed a little bit to find out that every year, the couple celebrates several holidays with their five children and 13 grandchildren. On those occasions, the couple wanted to make sure that her family members could help with meal preparation and use kitchen as the main gathering place in their home.
In establishing priorities, we often suggest to our clients that they consider the maximum uses that they might need for their new kitchen.
Get the Best Bang for Your Buck
We can specify refrigerators with price tags ranging from $800 to more than $10,000. Almost everything in the kitchen from tile to countertops has a wide spectrum of pricing. Where do you splurge and where can you create value? The best way to answer those questions is to consider the effect each product will have on your lifestyle and enjoyment of your home. Will splurging make you smile every time you use or experience the item? Will you add value to your home? Will the item help reduce stress or solve a recurring nuisance? Will the item make your life easier?
Doing a cost-benefit analysis with your kitchen designer can help you prioritize where to spend and where to save. Our experience indicates that the components of a kitchen that are used most often are where the most investment should be made. Cooktops are generally used four times as often as wall ovens. However, if our client is an avid baker, she may be more interested in a higher quality oven.
Form Versus Function
Functional questions may involve one dishwasher versus two or one sink instead of two. Functionality also involves the design of the kitchen. Placing dual ovens at eye height horizontally eliminates the need to bend over to use them if they are placed vertically. The placement will depend on available space.
The trade offs of form versus function typically are also impacted by how the kitchen will be used. A client that doesn’t cook or entertain frequently, but who wants a beautiful aesthetic, may be more interested in semi-custom or custom cabinets and allocate smaller budgets for appliances.
Whatever your priorities a good designer can work within your budget to create a fantastic space.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
We realize that it can be difficult living in a home where your kitchen is not usable, and any delay is unwelcome. That’s why we discuss lead times for all products specified so we order them in sufficient time to meet the construction schedule. Semi-custom and custom cabinets for example take more time to produce than stock products. The same rules apply to custom finishes on faucetry, some types of tile, countertops and cabinet and door hardware.
If you would like to discuss how to prioritize your budget for a kitchen remodel, please give us a call at (610) 262-7235 or visit us 24/7 at www.directkitchen.com.