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Assessing Your Kitchen: What’s Good – What’s Bad?

“We need a new kitchen.” That’s where the conversation about a kitchen remodel usually begins. The reasons behind this statement are very important. What is it about your current kitchen that you don’t like? What are the missing features that you are looking for? Is it just about updating the looks, or are there issues with functionality that you would like to improve? Running through a kitchen assessment and answering each of these questions is important in order to get a clear picture of what it is that you would like to gain from your new kitchen. Since it’s easier to pick out what you don’t like versus what you do like, let’s start there.

What are the things that you would change about the way your kitchen looks? Is it too dark or too light? Do you prefer a different kind of counter top, just a different color or no change at all? What about the style of the cabinet doors? Do you want something totally different or do you want something similar to what you already have? You should ask yourself the same question about the cabinet hardware. Does it need updating? What about the appliances? Are their finishes out of date?

Now that we’ve talked about what it is you don’t like about how your kitchen looks, what would you like to see in your new kitchen finishes? What style do you want for your kitchen? Contemporary? Traditional? Casual? And what about color? Do you want a wood finish or a painted look? Or perhaps, you would prefer an eclectic combination of both? What do you want for you counter top? A natural looking granite? A sleek solid color? Or maybe a very creative stained concrete would be your choice?

And what about the flooring, the walls and the ceiling? Are you happy with the type of flooring you have in your kitchen right now, or would you prefer something different? What about the wall? Do you want a different type of backsplash, or some tile on the wall? Is the ceiling fine as it is, or would you like to dress it up with some decorative ceiling tiles or some cove molding?

Take some time, and answer these kitchen assessment questions. Actually write the answers down on a sheet of paper. It will help you sort through these things, and determine what you really want your kitchen to look like.

What are the things you would change about how your kitchen functions? This question is just as important, or maybe more so, than the first question. Do you need more space in your kitchen; is it too small? If you need more space, do you need more space for storage or more workspace? Do you need room for more than one person in the kitchen at a time? Are people always bumping into each other in your kitchen? Maybe the amount of space is not the problem; perhaps the issue is more one of the functionality of the space. The lifestyle of your kitchen makes a big difference in how it should be designed. How much you entertain, and what kind of entertaining you do, makes a big difference in how your kitchen should be laid out. Regardless of whether the issue is the amount of space or the functionality of the space, or both of these combined, a professional kitchen designer can help you solve both of those problems.

What are the things that would help make your kitchen function more efficiently? Do you need more drawers or less? Perhaps you need some deeper drawers or perhaps you need some drawers that are narrow or small. What items in your kitchen do not have their own proper place of storage? Would slide out shelves make some of your kitchen essentials more accessible? Do you have convenient storage for your small appliances? Are your pots and pans closely located to your range and oven? Are your dishes and silverware located close to the dishwasher? Do you want people to be served in your kitchen, or is your kitchen just for the cook? What about those appliances? Would you prefer your freezer side-by-side to your refrigerator or on the bottom or top? Do you want to go with a range or would you prefer a cooktop and the oven (or two) in the wall? And what about the lighting? Are there some dark spaces that need to be lit up?

As you answer these questions for yourself (again, we suggest that you write the answers down on paper), your kitchen designer will be able to help you discover how to accomplish these goals for your new kitchen. You don’t need to try and figure out how to achieve what you want in your kitchen; that is the job of your kitchen designer. Your job is to simply provide the kitchen designer with a clear picture of what it is that you don’t want and what it is that you do want, in your new kitchen. Sitting down and simply addressing the questions listed in this article will help you and your designer achieve the kitchen of your dreams.