*This post is done in partnership with Premier Surfaces, but all thoughts and opinions are 2LWithIt’s*
So as many of you may (or may not) know, we’ve been in the process of a home renovation for quite some time. To say it’s been overwhelming would be an understatement; but at the end of the day, it’s been one of the best learning experiences. I’ve wanted to share more about the home design process and what we’ve learned “behind the scenes,” so to say, but I wasn’t really sure where to start. But now that our renovations are wrapping up, we figured it was a good time to start sharing everything we knew going into this process . . . as well as things we had to learn along the way.
The kitchen, for us at least, was a focal point when it came to how we remodeled our home. It’s the place where you’ll make all of your meals (the tasty ones, as well as the burnt ones). It’s where you’ll gather with friends and family and share said tasty (and burnt) dishes. It’s where you’ll make memories that will last a lifetime . . . which is why we put more time and thought into this room, more so than most of the other rooms in the house.
Some important questions to ask yourself before diving into a kitchen remodel would be the following:
WHAT’S YOUR BUDGET?
Removable sliding cutting board sink. Image: Premier Surfaces
This is kind of a no-brainer question, but if you have a fixed amount of money you’re working with, you’re going to have to pick and choose what’s most important. For some, that’s having top of the line appliances that have all kinds of smart functions. For others, it’s all about having quality countertops that will last generations. For us, we cared more about durable countertops rather than fancy appliances, so that’s where we allotted most of our budget.
My mom joked when we started this renovation that our budget would likely be double (or triple) what we were quoted . . . and boy was she right! This is something to keep in mind if you’re thinking about starting a renovation – it gets expensive fast, so focus on what’s important to you and be flexible about everything else.
One of the issues we ran into with our kitchen happened about halfway through construction. The engineers who were working on our project told us they’d have to put a giant beam through the center of our kitchen island, which, even though it was a necessary structural support, was something I did not want to have because it’d obstruct the entire look and feel of the room.
Fast-forward to today, and there isn’t an unsightly pillar going through our kitchen island . . . but it did end up costing a lot to rework the engineering to make that possible, which meant we couldn’t splurge on other things inside the house (not a huge deal, but there’s something to be said about having extra savings or room in your budget to accommodate for unexpected issues).
WHAT’S YOUR AESTHETIC?
Even if you’re more focused on function over frills, it’s a good idea to keep a general theme or even just a color palette throughout your home. I tried to keep things simple, so all of our countertops and flooring are pretty much the same throughout the house, give or take a guest bathroom with an accent mirror and pedestal sink (all of our other sinks are built into countertops). This kind of continuity not only looks good, but it helps with resale value if you’re looking at selling your home in the future.
The aesthetic we went with was white and silver, so all of the countertops and cabinets are shades of white, and the hardware on the cabinets and kitchen appliances are all brushed nickel/silver in color. You should also consider what you’ll be using the kitchen for: parties and entertaining (hence bar sinks and wine fridges), or more along the lines of family dinners (so maybe a breakfast nook or other cozy dining area).
WHAT ARE YOUR NON-NEGOTIABLES?
Pot filler shown on the back wall above the stove. Image: Premier Surfaces
For me, this was not having a giant pole through our kitchen island. I also really wanted to have an open kitchen concept, so our appliances are along the back wall of the kitchen and the island faces towards the living room. This way when we have friends or family over, we can cook in the kitchen but still hang out in the same room. Some other things we added to our kitchen (things that you have to think about before you order countertops and cabinets) were:
-a pot filler (it sits above the stove so you don’t have to move pots to the sink to fill them with water)
-outlets on a kitchen island (you can have them built-in or pop up; we opted for pop-ups so they’re discreetly flush with the island when we’re not using them)
-a bar sink (this is separate from a big kitchen sink and great for washing veggies or converting into an ice bucket for drinks for a party)
-two ovens (not a necessity, but an added convenience if you do a lot of cooking and want to have the option for different temperatures; great for holidays or parties when you’ve got entrees and desserts cooking at the same time)
-a pantry (so old-fashioned, but it’s nice to have a space to tuck away all of the boxes and containers you don’t want on your countertops or shoved into cabinets; personally this is one of my favorite nooks in the house because the shelves aren’t deep like cabinets can be and it’s easy to put different cooking things together (e.g. all the baking essentials on a shelf, or ingredients for a specific dish so you don’t have to scour the kitchen for everything).
-storage space (even if you think you’ll never need it, it can’t hurt to add a cabinet in some dead space so you have the option later on; I’m so glad that we added extra cabinets underneath the island (instead of leaving it untouched), so now I have a place for my cookbooks).
If you’re looking for ways to improve your kitchen, be sure to check out Premier Surfaces. They have locations all across the United States and offer a variety of countertops, including: granite, marble, quartz, stainless steel, copper, and tile. It can be overwhelming to design a kitchen, but the knowledgeable staff at Premier Surfaces can help you put it all together. On their website, you’ll also find more information about specific materials, like the pros and cons of granite sinks. Remodeling a kitchen is a big deal, so be sure to give yourself enough time to find something you truly love and will enjoy using every single day.
Let me know if you like talking home renos or have any other questions about the process! It’s been a long time coming, but well worth the wait!