Don’t let joy turn to heartache when building your new home.
Building a new home should be an exciting, if sometimes stressful, time. You are creating a customized home, built just for you and your lifestyle. But if you’re not careful, the thrill may turn into disappointment.
Most people don’t build homes often, so it’s tough to learn from experience. It’s not until they’ve moved in and lived in their custom-built home for a while that they realize all the things they wish they’d done differently. To avoid “builder’s regret,” take time to consider every aspect of your home design.
One of the most important areas to think about is the kitchen. The kitchen plays a vital role in family life. It’s the heart of the home. It’s where we gather, connect, and renew. A well-designed kitchen that you love will bring you pleasure every day.
But there are probably more variables in designing a kitchen than any other part of the house. Here’s how to avoid feeling those pangs of regret months down the road.
Don’t risk making these common mistakes.
Size does matter
Starting with the basics, you need to figure out just how much kitchen you need. Do you love to cook? Do you have a big family? Do you love to entertain? Or are you down-sizing? Do you eat out often? Do you have more delivery menus than pots and pans?
Or course, you don’t want a kitchen that’s too small, but a kitchen that’s too big for you won’t work well, either. You need to design a kitchen that’s efficient, with plenty of storage space, enough cabinets and countertops, and a pantry to suit your needs.
It’s important for you (and your spouse) to have a discussion with your builder about the kitchen. Explain how much storage you need for cookware, cookbooks, and pantry items. Make sure that you and your spouse and/or anyone else using the kitchen understand each other’s wishes and expectations. In general, most people wish they had more storage space, no matter what size the kitchen is.
It all begins with a smart layout
No matter what size your dream kitchen is, you need a smart layout to make it work. Think about and discuss things like creating a second workstation in the island with a second small sink and garbage. Look at the physical relationship of sink, refrigerator and stove. You shouldn’t have to walk between countertop and refrigerator; you should be able to turn and reach the refrigerator door.
Think about and discuss things like spice and root vegetable storage. Do you want a special baking area? Many kitchen designers suggest making a baking countertop lower than typical. Consider your height and your family’s heights when designing cabinets, countertops and sink and faucets. Do you want a kitchen office, or a “family central”? Will your kitchen be separate from, or open to, adjoining rooms?
Smart layouts take full advantage of the space you have. Do you want an eat-in kitchen but you’re short of room? Consider a banquette, as they save space. Do you want a kitchen island with countertop seating, but don’t have room for many seats? You can make do with just two. Storage high up and out of the way is perfect for items you only use occasionally, but everyday things must be kept low and easily accessible. There are many creative storage solutions that can be designed into your kitchen.
Reflect on what you’ve had in the past that worked, and what didn’t work. Ask your family and friends how they’d design their kitchen differently if they could. The goal is to get it right from the start, so take all the time you need. Collect all your ideas, and go over them with your builder.
Appliances, Sinks, Backsplash, Outlets and Charging Stations
Choosing your sink.
It’s a basic item, but there are many things to consider. What kind of sink do you want, and where should it go? Do you want just one, or two? These days, many kitchens have a main sink and a second sink.
Consider what kind of sink you want, and where to place it (ideally, designers create a “work triangle” between sink, stove and refrigerator). Do you need a very deep sink to accommodate tall stockpots? Do you want a double sink? Of course, when it comes to style, there are an incredible number of choices, from country kitchen to modern stainless steel. You’ll be amazed at the variety of materials, shapes and looks that sinks come in today. There are functional differences to consider, as well. Make sure the people who will use the sink most can comfortably reach the handles, and consider an extendable, flexible faucet or swiveling stockpot filler. And do you want dish-soap, hand-soap, or moisturizer dispensers built-in? What about a sponge-keeper? Instant boiling water? Make these choices now.
Choosing your appliances.
Appliances are a major decision. Stove, oven, dishwasher, refrigerator and even microwave all have many factors to consider. Doing your homework is crucial. Ask your friends and family. Notice appliances you like. Go to appliance stores and look, and ask questions of the sales staff. Go online, and do some research. Figure out your budget first, then decide which features are most important to you. Amateur gourmet chefs who entertain will have different needs than two working parents who usually order in.
Creating a backdrop.
Backsplashes are both practical and beautiful. The range of materials available includes tiles of glass, ceramic, or metal; stones, steel, bricks; windows or even wood. Truly beautiful backsplash treatments create a kitchen like no other. To expand your mind about the possibilities, browse online, but beware: you can easily spend hours, lost in photographs of incredible kitchens.
Taking care of the details.
Don’t forget about details like outlets, charging stations, and access. Just as with storage space, no one laments having that one extra outlet. Will you have enough room for cleaning supplies? Do you want an area for recycling?
The icing on the cake.
Like a layer of icing, flooring and countertops create a smooth look which brings the whole kitchen together. The floor under your feet and the countertops you work on probably make more impact than any other part of the kitchen.
Again, there are so many choices, many of which were not available in the past. Flooring choices can include hardwood, tiles, bamboo or cork. Countertops are not only available in traditional stones and artificial stones like Corian, but in more unusual materials like soapstone, concrete, and high-tech acrylics. Innovative design options can include wireless charging points, integrated tablets, even induction heating and touchscreen features build right in. Less high-tech but useful options can include a built-in cutting board and/or scales, slide-out countertop extensions, built-in knife storage, etc. When you are custom-designing your kitchen, the only limit is your creativity.
Light the stage.
Lighting is a crucial but often overlooked part of your kitchen. Begin with a functional approach. You want to create good lighting in different areas of the kitchen: the sink(s), the stove, the countertops and the eating area, as well as any office/work area. Most experts use a combination of fixtures and lighting stations to meet these different needs, known as layering. There may be times when you need bright light for detail work, but then you’ll want softer, more muted light for socializing. Light comes in different colors, too. You may see bright, cool halogen lights used for kitchen islands or kitchen desks, and warmer lights used above the table or island bar.
Once you’ve thought about how much light you need, where you want it, and what kind of light you want, then you can start to think about style. You can get lost in lighting style choices! From modern to colonial, sleek to rustic, your lighting needs to fit into your total kitchen look. Whatever your budget, you can find the perfect fixture, if you take the time.
Color your world.
Much like music, color definitely affects our mood. The color and style you choose for your kitchen and your home are more than just an expression of your creativity. With your choices, you are creating an environment, one that you want to live in, and welcome others into.
Colors are not bound to design styles. For example, a rustic/rural/distressed kitchen look can have pale or dark cabinets and countertops. If you’re stuck about how to choose colors for your home, remember the connection between color and mood. Picture a place where you feel happy. Mountains? Seaside? City? Desert? Remember or imagine a place where you feel relaxed and calm, or energized and happy, and choose colors from the palette of that image.
Daydream now, to live your dream tomorrow
As soon as you’ve decided to build your home, you should get to work – daydreaming! Thinking about how and where you’d like to live, and what your imaginary house looks like will help you create the real-world version of that fantasy. Noticing what you like and what you don’t like in your kitchen and your friends’ and family’s kitchen will help you begin to make a list. You may want to browse online, but set a timer, or you may find that half a day has gone by!
Spend the time, take notes, make a list. Compare notes with your significant others. Daydream and envision and brainstorm. Be prepared to be flexible about some things, and stand firm on others. Knowing what’s really important, and understanding how to make it happen within your budget, can bring you a kitchen that will nourish your soul every day.
For more information on hiring the perfect customer home builder in Charlotte, NC, Contact one of the top choices in the area – Everett Custom Homes