“The key to designing and remodeling a kitchen that fully accommodates you and your family’s lifestyle, is aesthetically pleasing, and seamlessly flows with the rest of the home, is to have important discussions with your kitchen designer on specific aspects of the design and construction process,” said Jennifer Earhart, Designer with Callen Construction, Inc. in Muskego. “More specifically, homeowners need to thoroughly discuss functionality, materials, style and color scheme, home design, and budget with their kitchen designer well ahead of construction.”
Functionality is synonymous with purpose in terms of kitchen design, but this component can be especially difficult to define as every family has different needs, preferences, and expectations when heading into a kitchen remodel. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the elements to be incorporated into the kitchen serve a family’s unique way of living. “For example, if your family prefers to regularly prepare home-cooked meals, then a kitchen equipped with high-end appliances, large food prep areas, a sizeable island, and ample storage space would be most beneficial,” Jennifer said. “Alternatively, if your family is one to frequently order out, but utilizes the kitchen as their primary dining space, then it’s best to maximize counter space and comfortable seating areas. For instance, a banquette or dining nook would work well in this type of situation.”
Material selection is another crucial step in the design and construction of a kitchen, but it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of options available. Rather than feel intimidated at this stage, simply express all your questions and concerns with your kitchen designer. “A professional, experienced, and knowledgeable kitchen designer is happy to educate you on the pros and cons of all available options,” she said. “Moreover, a kitchen designer can guide you towards the materials that have long lifespans and require minimal maintenance as well as those that will complement the overall look and feel of the space that you’re aiming to achieve.”
Style and color scheme ultimately come down to personal preference. “From modern kitchens with bold colors to a traditional style kitchen sporting a muted color palette, and everything in between, a homeowner can really express themselves in the kitchen,” said Jennifer. Modern kitchens are generally defined by horizontal lines, simple hardware, and frameless cabinets. They also embrace minimalism, so think bare countertops and slick surfaces, such as stainless steel. On the other hand, traditional kitchens are all about warmth, quality, and the details. Often times, traditional kitchens are constructed with rich flooring materials and various wood elements throughout as well as sophisticated details, such as raised panel cabinetry and crown moldings.
Although style and color are based on preference, it’s generally advised to take the design scheme of the rest of your home into careful consideration before embarking on a kitchen remodel. “This is because many homeowners and designers alike make it a point for the new kitchen to become an extension of the existing home,” Jennifer said. In other words, the newly remodeled kitchen should match the overall design, style, and color of other areas of the home. “It should be noted you can still choose to have your kitchen be a bold statement room in your home, but whatever you’re leaning towards, it’s important to discuss your vision with your kitchen designer first,” she said.
Budget is also a necessary discussion to have with your kitchen designer. The smartest approach is to be candid about the amount of money you’re willing to or are able to spend on a kitchen remodel. “A kitchen designer will know how to effectively balance your budget with the scope of the project,” said Jennifer. “They can give an accurate cost estimate of the remodel and provide suggestions to ensure you stay on track, whether this includes, for example, a change of layout or less expensive material options.”
The kitchen often serves as the center of a home for families. It’s the place where families cook and bake, gather to dine, and entertain friends and family. “It’s important this space properly suits your family’s personal lifestyle. To achieve this, you must have purposeful and thorough discussions with your kitchen designer, who will help you to achieve your objectives,” Jennifer said.