Tips for Remodeling Your Kitchen

      Interior Designer, and author of Interior Bliss, Jonathan Hopp shared tips for conquering a kitchen remodel with your sanity intact!

      1) Set a budget. - Everyone that does any home remodel experiences sticker shock. If you haven't shopped for appliances in a while do some homework to get a good idea of what things cost. A good rule of thumb is to expect to pay 15-20 percent of a home's current value. Be prepared for a budget that insures that you are buying quality. You will regret spending too little and getting a poor result. You can also easily overspend. And when creating a budget allow for surprises such as electrical upgrades, hidden plumbing issues and who knows what is behind those walls.
      2) Hire a professional. - With the complexities involved in doing a remodel a one size fits all approach doesn't always work. And you may lose to opportunity to get some features that will make a huge difference. And a professional can help to narrow down the multitude of options to a manageable amount.
      3) Size matters. - There are standards recommended for everything to a kitchen counter height to where to hang a range hood. If you're a little taller, you can run into some trouble. One quick tip - hoods will still work if mounted a few inches higher. The velocity of today's fans is much greater than in previous times.
      4) The right light. - In the busiest room of the house, you want to make sure you light it right. Recessed cans are great for overall illumination, pendants and chandeliers are a good choice for island and dining areas. Under cabinet lighting is one of my favorite sources to brighten dark counter top areas - but you want to think about the reflectiveness of surfaces. And make sure to switch different light sources separately. Always consider dimmers they make a huge difference and are more energy efficient.
      5) Fantasy island. - The kitchen island is one of the biggest innovations in the last 30 years, and is now a must have in most modern kitchens. You want to make sure that the island doesn't block traffic, and that it doesn't intrude on opening appliance or cabinet doors. An island is a great spot for a second sink if you think you will use it, but it will eat up a lot of prep space or may take up valuable space if you want more casual dining at the island.
      6) Landing zones. - In the effort to find space for cabinets or appliances you may over looks something very simple. You need counter space around each of your appliances. Think about taking things out of the oven, the refrigerator or unloading the dishwasher. And, of course, counter tops are priceless for food prep.
      7) Remember the backsplash. - This is one of my favorite features of a kitchen. Yet the choices are seemingly infinite. Choose a style that reflects your kitchen's and your houses design intent. That will help to narrow your options. Also, install a backsplash from the counter to the underside of the upper cabinets. Not only is it a better look, it gives you a surface that is easy to clean.
      8) Be real. - Think about the items you are putting in. You want to make sure your appliances are an appropriate scale for the kitchen. And a great big window overlooking a bad view isn't always the best choice. And if skylights are an option they are a smart way of getting daylight in the kitchen, but you may want to think of adding lighting to them so they don't fall dark at night.