5 Secrets to Mastering the Perfect Kitchen Island
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5 Secrets to Mastering the Perfect Kitchen Island

Selling your house? A stunning kitchen is one definite way to make a first big impression on potential homebuyers.

It’s no secret kitchens sell homes.  When it comes to the kitchen, the kitchen island is a home renovation which never goes out of style.  Mastering the perfect kitchen island is another story.

That’s why we are giving you five, top secrets every homeowner should know in order to achieve the perfect kitchen island. 

Over the past twenty years, kitchen islands have continued to evolve with modern home designs.  Although kitchen islands continue to sell homes, many homeowners struggle to master the art of this feature.  Before we unlock our top, five secrets to achieving the kitchen island of your dreams, lets look at some reasons why many people fail at kitchen island renovations. 

Reasons for Kitchen Island Failures:

Not Enough Space

Be mindful of space when designing your kitchen island. Often homeowners are anxious to achieve the kitchen of their dreams, they forget how much of a difference a few inches of space can make when designing their kitchen. Industry standards recommend kitchen pathways to be at least 32 inches wide. Paths within a cooking zone should be 42 inches wide for a one-cook kitchen and 48 inches wide for a two-cook kitchen. It’s important to place the cooktop away from high traffic areas. You don’t want the younger ones running into any catch handles and causing dangerous spills.

Dangerous Setups

Once you have designed your kitchen with enough space for people to move around safely, it’s time to start thinking about where put all the appliances. Another common mistake homeowners make when designing their kitchen is not putting enough thought into determining a kitchen island’s function. Careful design decisions make recycling, cleaning, eating, meal prepping and cooking easy. Poor design decisions can cause the kitchen island to be used as a place to store sharp knives or dangerous cooktop placements.  Bottom line, be sure to make your kitchen island a place for both safe cooking and game-night entertainment.

Incorrect Use of Color

Another common mistake homeowners make while designing their dream kitchen island, is forgetting about the importance of color in room designs. Often homeowners drown out their design renovations with too many dark paint colors or design finishing. Make sure you take advantage of contrasting color designs. Use the top of a kitchen island as an opportunity for dramatic wood trimmings or bright color finishes. Brighter, contrasting colors create the illusion of a bigger kitchen.

Bottom line: kitchens sell homes.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, kitchens are the second most popular home renovation project behind bathrooms. It’s no wonder homeowners are so eager to install the perfect kitchen island, kitchens remain a staple in the American home.

Now that we’ve discovered three popular reasons homeowners fail to accomplish the perfect kitchen island renovation, let’s look at the must-have tips. Discover our top, five secrets for uncovering the kitchen island of your dreams.

5 Tips for Mastering the Perfect Kitchen Island:

Create a focal point

The eye typically reads from left to right and up to down. We can’t stress enough the importance of this basic human trait. The first essential tip is to create a focal point for your kitchen.  We recommend adding a suspended hood on top of an island cooktop.  Suspended hoods are an effective way to create a focal point for the room.

Dare to Be Unique 

You’re going to love our next kitchen island renovation secret. When designing your dream kitchen island, don’t forget to be yourself. Choosing to copy the latest design styles into your home are not always the best design decision. Wooden cabinets, floral wallpaper, and pearl white countertops which were once popular in the 1980s and 1990s have now become a design trend of the past. Adding your personal design touch to a kitchen island renovation sets your kitchen apart from the rest. We recommend using unique building materials, like recycled wood. Wooden panels and white bead boarding are two unique design choices which make the ultimate touch.

Design for Premium Functions

Don’t be afraid to knock down walls. Remember industry standards recommend kitchen pathways to be at least 32 inches wide. When designing your kitchen island do not force the structure into your kitchen design plans. The most stunning kitchen islands allow people to safely move around while the food is cooking. Opt for extra wall outlets for more electricity and double up on highly used appliances like microwave ovens and mini refrigerators in the kitchen. These extra features allow your kitchen island to remain a practical use of space while also keeping guests away from the cook in the kitchen.

Choose Custom

You won’t regret spending the extra money on custom-built island features. Cottage-style islands, for example, allow for both raised bar stool seating and cooktop working stations. Spending the extra money on custom island designs allows for more diverse activities. Custom design finishes, like flush-set sinks or matte, don’t show dirt as much as other glossier finishes. Don’t be afraid to choose custom features for your kitchen island renovation. The extra money will be worth the investment.

Keep it Simple

With so many different design choices it’s easy to get swept up into design confusion. Don’t forget the basics. Remember, people come into a kitchen for home cooked meals and conversations. Be sure to make the essential functions of the kitchen accessible. The refrigerator, for example, should have enough space for both the passersby and the person cooking. The last thing you want after spending the money on an expensive kitchen renovation is for your refrigerator door to hit your houseguests while they’re sitting in the kitchen.

Do you want to renovate your kitchen and change the layout and look? Contact our team today!

Our team offers a wide variety of services of all sizes including ongoing property repair and maintenance services committed to delivering excellent results.

The Realities of Home Renovation
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The Realities of Home Renovation

Our List of Realities

Considering taking on a home renovation? Make sure you’ve thought through these key points before you start knocking down walls.

Planning and budgeting for a home renovation can quickly go from exciting to overwhelming. By being prepared with ample research and planning, you can stay calm throughout the whole process. Here’s what you need to know to ensure smooth sailing:

1. True Cost

The quote or contract from your contractor may give you an allowance budget or you might just set aside what you think you need for fixtures, appliances, lighting, etc., but this is where detail becomes a necessity. Sure, it can be tempting to guess at these numbers when you already have your hands full with other renovation details but watch out because this is an area that can quickly break your budget.

For instance, you may have your mind set on a certain type of cabinet style and assume it’s within the allowance set by your contractor but find out the price is double when you go to the cabinet supplier. Having a specific list of all the allowance costs and actually making your selections before you start your renovation, is the best way to get a clear picture of your true costs, and steer you clear of disappointments.

2. Timeline

Obviously, everyone would like their project to go as efficiently as possible, which is why it’s important to have a clear understanding of aspects of the project that will ultimately affect the timeline:

  • Permits
  • Contractor availability
  • Supplier wait times

It took two weeks to obtain a permit for a project I recently managed in a city with many construction projects underway. Your contractor may have several projects to manage at one time, or only manage one project at a time. Knowing your contractor’s schedule will help to keep expectations realistic. Also, waiting on certain supplies can keep a project from moving forward. For example, a countertop template cannot be done until the base cabinets are installed. During busy times, it can take over two weeks for the countertops to be finished, and the rest of the project (plumbing, fixtures, etc.) cannot be done until the countertop is installed. Don’t let this happen to you!

3. Involvement

Do you enjoy managing projects? Do you have a hard time making design decisions or envisioning what a structural change will look like? Do you prefer to have someone else be the point person for questions? Having a realistic expectation of how involved you can be, or would like to be, is critical to your project going well and keeping your stress level low. Taking a step back, and thinking about this, will help you to decide if you need the help of an interior design professional and what type of contractor you are looking for.

4. Contractor

Finding a contractor, you are comfortable working with, and trust will produce quality work, is critical to the success of your home improvement project.  Start by asking for referrals from friends and family.  In addition, there are many online resources where you can check contractor reviews.  Next, I recommend meeting with several contractors to compare estimates and decide which one feels like the right fit.  Having that list of allowance costs, your desired timeline, and a clear understanding of your level of involvement, will help to ensure that you are comparing apples to apples with each contractor.  Remember: a written contract with as much detail as possible is one of the keys to a successful renovation.

Good luck with your home improvement project!

Do you want a home renovation professionally done and completed the right way? RenovateResidential offers a wide range of services of all sizes including ongoing property repair and maintenance services committed to delivering excellent results. Contact our team today to learn more about our services!