The kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s not only where your family cooks meals but also where it comes together. For this reason, it’s often the first room homeowners look to remodel, plus there’s the added bonus of fabulous resale value.
Zillow reports that homeowners can see a 54-81% return on their investment for upscale to minor kitchen remodels. Even if you’re not planning to relocate any time soon, this should give you confidence that you’re putting long-term value into your home while also creating the kitchen of your dreams.
So, how do you plan the perfect kitchen? We’ll walk you through the major steps of the process, from setting a budget to purchasing top tier appliances like Sub-Zero refrigeration units, Wolf ovens, or Cove premium dishwashers.
DEFINE CLEAR GOALS AND SET YOUR BUDGET
Most kitchen remodels will start with a budget. Before you dive in, you’ll want to understand what’s feasible for you to spend before designing your kitchen or picking out appliances. Ask yourself, “What can I afford?” Understand and write down:
- What you must have (non-negotiable features)
- What you’d like to have (negotiable features)
- What you’re willing to pay
For reference, an average kitchen remodel can cost more than $80,000. It doesn’t have to, but it can. Since this isn’t petty cash, you should do the math to decide what you’re willing to spend. Consider how much you’re comfortable spending and how long you plan to live in your house.
These considerations will allow you to understand how to prioritize your wants and stick to your budget. Keep in mind that premium appliances are the best investment for your kitchen.
CONSIDER HOW YOUR DREAM KITCHEN WILL SERVE YOU
Every homeowner uses their kitchen differently, so when you’re remodeling, you’ll want to consider the diverse functions of the space and how you use them. Think about your stage of life and how a kitchen remodel can serve you best today and where you’ll be tomorrow.
Are you newly married with a new home and enjoying planning your dream kitchen? Do you head to work early in the morning without making breakfast? Do you like to entertain on the weekends? Do you have kids and you’re the resident chef on call 24/7?
For each stage of your life, the kitchen’s function can be entirely different.
While all homeowners use their kitchen, the way it’s used will dictate a lot of its design features like, size, seating, appliances, lighting, and more. Most importantly you should consider the long-term needs of your kitchen. Since remodeling projects are meant to last for a long while, make sure to consider your current stage and also how you see yourself using your dream kitchen 10 years from now.
CHOOSE YOUR DESIGN PREFERENCES
For most homeowners who are planning a dream kitchen, design is the exciting part and what makes it feel “real”. Choosing your design preferences is when you get to decide the style of your dream kitchen and color palette.
Are you a fan of modern styles with stainless steel appliances or honoring the traditional look and feel of a kitchen with wood cabinets covering appliances? Do you prefer island seating or a kitchen table or both?!
In this stage of design, you’ll look at paint colors, countertops, backsplashes, cabinets, and floor patterns. Remember to use bold accents in moderation.
Many homeowners find it helpful to view Clarke’s Pinterest boards or Houzz profiles and save our designs for reference. It can help you understand what you like or don’t like. Eventually, a visit to one of Clarke’s New England Showrooms can really help Homeowners make final decisions on appliances & aesthetics.
From design to demo to build, kitchen remodeling isn’t easy, especially with custom cabinets and high-end Ovens, Refrigerators & Dishwashers. It’s worth bringing in a professional to make sure the job gets done correctly.
Keep in mind that high-end appliances and cabinets are typically built-in, which means you would require help with the design and build anyway. You can reference our Design Inspiration Gallery as a resource. Knowing these details ahead of time can also help you evaluate your budget accordingly.
Although you’ll want to design based on your personal preferences, it’s also essential to consider the future. If you plan on selling your house eventually, then some of your choices can make an impact on the resale value, especially if you have bold taste.
SELECT YOUR APPLIANCES AND CUSTOMIZE YOUR SPACE
One of the most important parts of your project is selecting your appliances. Your trade professionals will need to know the sizes of your appliances before designing the kitchen, so choosing your appliances may be an earlier step than you imagined.
Customizing your kitchen with Sub-Zero refrigerators & wine storage, Wolf ovens & cooktops, Cove dishwashers & workstations like The Galley are what truly make your dream kitchen the “WOW” factor for your home.
Here are just some of the features you may consider.
Legendary, custom appliances
If you’re a home chef working with pre-2000 appliances, then it’s time for an upgrade. Attractive appliances will instantly improve the efficiency and quality of your kitchen. Sub-Zero full-size food preservation systems, Cove dishwashers, and built-in Wolf ovens are high-end appliances that will last. Once installed, you’ll never look back.
Clever storage solutions
Is your kitchen lacking storage options? In most cases, this makes it reasonably non-functional and frustrating when cooking. Installing features like a pull-out pantry, pot rack, walk-in pantry, Sub-Zero under-counter refrigerator or Sub-Zero wine storage, and Galley workstation can help to make your kitchen more comfortable and more practical. Create a kitchen you’re excited to cook in!
If you’re planning to install high-performance cooking units, you’ll likely need high-performance ventilation to go with it. For example, Wolf’s dual-stacked, sealed gas burners provide precise high-Btu heat for fast boils and quick sears. And all that cooking power requires proper ventilation and make up air to go with it.
Lighting can be the highlight of a kitchen, especially when cooking or entertaining after dark. You should consider general, task, accent, ambient, decorative, and natural lighting features you can add to your kitchen.
Strategically placed electrical outlets are an often-overlooked aspect of a kitchen remodel. This is truly where function comes in, but it also impacts style. Being thoughtful about where you want outlets will help you hide cables, minimize clutter on common space like an island, and will have you enjoying your kitchen for years to come.
UNDERSTAND THE BEST LAYOUT FOR YOUR DREAM KITCHEN
Depending on your dream kitchen design plans, the layout of your existing kitchen may change. Perhaps you don’t have enough counter space and would love a kitchen island. Maybe the island you have right now is taking up way too much space and crowds the kitchen when you entertain. The great news is that today, there’s a lot more flexibility with a kitchen layout than there used to be.
While the typical kitchen layout has relied on the “kitchen work triangle” since the early 20th century, innovative solutions like The Galley workstations can provide much more flexibility for prepping, entertaining, cooking, and serving, and even cleaning.
If you’re looking to entirely reinvent your space and do something different, then you have the freedom to do so.
When you’re determining layout, it’s wise to have your appliances selected ahead of time. If you’re working with a professional designer, you may be prompted to do this very early in the process as we mentioned above. Selecting appliances early on ensures that all your kitchen elements will fit together perfectly. When it comes to larger appliances like refrigerators, this is especially important. A Sub-Zero refrigerator can be a slim 18 inches or a full 72 inches. Using this example alone, it’s easy to see how your kitchen layout could differ depending on which end of the scale your refrigerator lives.
Planning and building your dream kitchen should be an adventure—not a nightmare.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or uncertain, don’t hesitate to reach out to experts in the industry. Visit our showrooms in Boston and Metrowest Massachusetts, and South Norwalk, CT to take a look at all your options, see several full-size kitchen displays, from the region’s top designers, featuring Sub-Zero, Wolf and Cove appliances, and speak with our expert consultants to help you plan your perfect dream kitchen.