There are many reasons to consider updating a kitchen. People spend countless hours organizing, preparing, and serving foods (and then cleaning it all up). A kitchen is essentially a workstation, and must function as one, allowing people to operate tools in a practical and convenient manner.
The Use of a Kitchen
The kitchen space is often consumed by the senses of smell and taste. Cooks work hard to make sure food is appetizing and safe. The kitchen is a workspace, a food laboratory, and a place to enjoy friends and family. Sometimes it is helpful to improve the kitchen for practical and aesthetic reasons. A pleasingly designed area can add value to the house and the lives of its occupants.
Working Within a Budget
Kitchens are usually the most expensive part of a house to remodel, and considering the current economy, spending beyond what is practical could be money down the drain. It is possible, however, to attack remodeling from with a small budget.
Identify the elements most in need of improvement. If appliances are not functioning properly, or are on their last legs, it would wise to start here, replacing the necessary items first. These are fairly big budget items, and it is easy to go overboard. It is not necessary for the average home cook to have the biggest freezer at the store or a top-chef quality stove. Always keep in mind the overall house value, and don’t add the most extravagant choices.
Natural stone, such as granite, marble, travertine, soapstone, engineered stone, and solid surfaces are all very elegant, but consider the whole design and function; a more affordable countertop, such as laminate, may be just as useful and may fit in better with the house overall.
Adding Space to a Small Kitchen
Which elements of the kitchen cause the most difficulty or awkwardness while working? Do doors open in a direction that gets in the way of movement? For instance, maybe a closet or appliance door is always in the way, and just moving it would make the space roomier and more comfortable.
There is also the question of storage. Could any area, within the kitchen or adjacent, be converted into better-functioning storage of appliances and food? Added shelving can take advantage of unused space in existing cabinets. Keep things as simple as possible, eliminating little-used kitchen gadgets and appliances that take up precious space.
Updating a kitchen can be a very good idea, both as a house value investment and as an aesthetic improvement. Stay within the budget, consider storage, counter space, and energy-efficient appliances, and never expect carpenters to finish on time.
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