Welcome to Kitch Sitch*!! My latest blog series showcasing everything you’ll need to know when it comes to planning a kitchen renovation and beyond. No question is too big or too small, and no countertop shall go unturned. I’ll be hashing out topics such as renovation planning, honing in on personal style, cabinet organization, DIY’s that’ll save a dime, and so much more!
Are you dreaming or on the verge of a kitchen renovation, but feel completely overwhelmed and have no idea where to start? Well, my sweet frond; fear no more. You’ve come to the right place. I’ve got nine steps to planning a kitchen renovation that’ll help clear out the mental clutter and get you on the path to living out your ultimate kitch sitch dreams.
Let’s just call a spade a spade. There’s a lot of moving parts in every kitchen renovation. That being said, the most common problem is prioritizing! Whether it’s figuring out your style or who to hire or how to design/organize the overall space; the barrage of second-guessing is bound to wreak havoc!
Let’s start here: with the nine actionable steps you can take to set you up to reap the rewards of your hard work and make your money/time well spent. AKA kick ass and take names.
Make a List of Everything You Regularly Use
Take inventory on the kitchen items you use regularly use. This list can include, but is not limited to, pots, pans, drinkware, plateware, serveware, flatware, cooking utensils, baskets, small and large appliances, tabletop linens, pantry items, cookbooks, entertaining supplies, etc.
Whether you’re gutting a kitchen or revitalizing an existing space, this comprehensive list will help you narrow down what to keep, what to discard, and how to design a space with storage solutions that suit your needs.
Like I really wanted a cabinet to hide my step stool. BOOM. 💥
Finding Your Kitchen Style
Feeling unsure about your kitchen design direction? Begin by collecting inspirational images on Pinterest or Instagram. Make sure to set aside enough time to research this part for yourself and it will benefit your design plan in the long run. Quite frankly, that’s what I call self-care right there. 🙌🏻
Once your kitchen inspo feels complete, pick out three to five images that speak to you the most. What do you love about them? The mood? The colors? The lighting? Artwork? Are they minimalist or maximalist? Narrow it down to three definitive styles (yes, just three!) to clarify the look and feel you seek to accomplish in the space.
For example, my Green Kitchen Glamazon can be broken down into: modern – deco – glam. This exercise will undoubtedly help you feel clearer when researching your kitchen design or rehab.
Draw Your Concepts on Paper (or Online For Free!)
Now that you’ve nailed down what you need to function AND the kitchen style you’re going for, it’s time to put pen(cil) to paper. List out your dreams and and scribble a few fresh doodles, even if they’re pure chicken scratch. This will build confidence and clarity in your kitchen design.
If it’s a full-on gut job: take meticulous measurements (as in check them like 4x times) and bust out some graph paper (available at any arts and crafts store). Identify the dimension of a single square (e.g.; one square equals ½ foot). Utilize a ruler to mark out your ideas, taking those simple doodles to the next level. Here’s what my kitchen doodle turned into:
If you’re like, “girl, I can’t effin draw!!” there is a solution. Several online kitchen cabinet companies offer a kitchen design and drafting service, and guess what? It’s 100% free, too! Cabinets.com, Cliqstudios.com, and KitchenCabinetKings.com are just three (of many) available right at your fingertips.
PRO TIP: For this free service, you are fully responsible for the measurements. I cannot urge enough to check several times. Do not hesitate to phone-up your assigned designer and pick their brain on how to measure properly.
If you’re revitalizing: print out a handful of photos from different angles. Grab colored pencils or felt tip markers start playing around with your ideas.
Determine Your Budget
Why dream and then determine budget? ‘Cause once you’ve figured out where you’re trying to go, now it’s up to you to figure out how to get there. Things to consider are tradesmen and supplies, who’s doing the demo, structural repairs (if needed), countertops, cabinetry, appliances, lighting, decor, etc. Once you’ve broken down all the expenses, let your thrifty side unleash itself.
PRO TIP: The Green Kitchen Glamazon is rather large. The two biggest money savers were taking on demolition and painting the cabinetry. I saved roughly $5K by demo-ing the kitchen with my husband. It was astronomically expensive to invest in custom green cabinetry. I opted to buy new and paint them myself. The savings added up to approximately $10K.
Assemble Your Tradesmen
Contractors, electricians, and plumbers, oh my!! It’s 100% critical to hire people you can trust and are excellent communicators. Ask around for trusted referrals and check local sources (such as Next Door or HomeAdvisor) with comprehensive reviews.
Schedule a consultation with your top three picks for each category to get a feel for their professionalism and process. I like to ask for an honest renovation time frame and highest monetary ballpark when I meet with tradesmen on-site.
This is Going to Get Electric
You will be amazed at how many outlets are required in the modern kitchen. Not only outlets, but certain appliances may require a 220-amp to operate. Take note of the electrical requirements of the appliances you buy, and make sure to relay that information to your electrician.
What’s more, if you’re gutting to the studs and you have the desire to add new forms of lighting to the room, this would be the time to invest in that dream. Like them sexy sconces below!!
Make a Detailed Renovation Timeline
With so many moving parts, assembling a detailed renovation timeline will clarify each step of the process. It’s super important to research product delivery timeframes (i.e.; cabinets, appliances, countertops, etc.) to ensure items arrive on time to avoid any setbacks.
Create a spreadsheet with renovation goals. Be sure to consider kitchen concepting; tradesmen consultations; pulling city/town permits; scheduling a dumpster; demolition; structural repairs; electric and plumbing; insulation, drywall and trim; installation of tile, flooring, windows, exterior doors, cabinets, appliances, countertop, sink, cabinet hardware, open shelving; DIYs; and finally, the home decor touches to make it your own.
Furthermore, I recommend presenting this document during a consult. You’ll know right then and there if they’re the real deal.
List Out and Track Necessary Purchases
In addition to a detailed renovation timeline, it’s imperative to keep track of the necessary purchases you’ll need to make for two reasons. First, to make sure the items have been ordered and will be delivered on time; and second, to keep track of your expenses.
During Renovation, DO THIS
What was one of the best things I did during our kitchen renovation? Printing out digital renderings of the future kitchen design for every tradesmen to see. Cabinet placement for the contractor; electrical box, switch and outlet placement for the electrician; and the addition/adjustment of the vent hood, sink and range for the plumber.
Printouts are an effective way to review the day’s tasks before work begins. If everybody knows what they’re doing, I promise ya, it’s gonna work out A-OK.
Thanks for Tuning In!!
Thanks so much for popping in to this first rendition of KITCH SITCH*. Tune in next time where I answer all of your sent-in kitchen questions! Let me know what you need the most help with in yours in the comments below.