The Inspired Kitchen Remodel-finding the style that reflects you!

The debate has always been on about what to prioritize in making our spaces reflect who we are, what we need to accomplish, and for how much. The kitchen remodeling project is an excellent opportunity to find kitchen cabinetry stylistic cues that add up to a kitchen design that reflects you.

The kitchen remodel may very well be the most complicated of any projects, putting together daily needs, family time, entertaining, food processing, cooking, cleaning, storage, and organization functions that help make your everyday activities more effective. Your own kitchen may actually seem like a lost cause, but a well-organized kitchen and thoughtful remodel allows the overall home to be healthier, less chaotic, and supportive of a more pleasant home experience.

The kitchen remodel’s complexity is by no means a reason to forego a remodeling project. By complex I mean it has the potential of achieving every goal you can think of, but it will take some savvy project management and thought. It has a number of variables to work with—and your solutions will be impacted by what you decide you can afford to invest in time and money, and what you can accomplish with the space. Analyzing the condition of your cabinets may result in being able to reface and reuse them, investigating professional services that can help make the experience less of a hassle, and considering what you can reuse, reface, and what must go—all are part of the strategy that can lead to accomplishing the most bang for your buck in your kitchen remodel.

Beyond the budget, style matters in a kitchen remodel. In addition to being the top investment in a home that you can actually get a return on that investment if you should decide to sell your home, it is also an opportunity to recreate your home in a way that feels right for you. Changing your environment has an uncanny way of helping to boost other positive changes as well—such as increased family and friends’ interaction, better meals, efficient food storage that minimizes waste, less chaos in daily activities, and increased efficiency.

How to make your kitchen remodel about YOU? Even if we can all agree this is an excellent opportunity to make home life more pleasant and effective, the bottom line is we all have certain design criteria that either speaks happily to us, or we find off putting. Working in the remodeling and kitchen design field for over 20 years I can tell you this—there is rarely a bad “style” per se, though there are bad combinations, and it is smart to become thoughtful on what that could mean. While the kitchen space must fit your needs, it is smart to also consider, even briefly, if you are considering this to be a long or short term investment, and how difficult, or how easily your choices are to adjust for a future owner.

So how can you get to a style for your kitchen remodel that supports you, and also is appealing in general?
Finding your clues in a sense of place

One such style driver clue can be taken from is experience—what you have seen, where you have been, and what sort of regional design emphasis or climate just ‘feels right’. These may be places that are not where you are living now in fact. Perhaps you attended a conference and the hotel had a wonderful contemporary Asian aesthetic. Take these cues seriously, because when you have been somewhere that feels really good, it is often a good starting point to incorporate these elements into your style and personal growth. Paint color, texture, wood species, shapes, that come from a place you love, all contribute to the essence of a space. These can be subtle or not so subtle design cues.
A respect for climate

Another style driver is your own climate and sense of place—strong stylistic regional emphasis is easily recognizable in the mountains, ocean front, plains, or countries of origin. Any of these regions can “feel” appropriate or not depending on color choice or material. For instance, Florida’s hot and humid climate is a natural for tile everywhere, in colder climates, without in floor heat warmth, tile, even in a warm home can often just feel cold.

Getting more specific on style cues can be as complex as you like—for instance—rustic French countryside aesthetic is likely to have elements and emphasis on materials a bit different than rustic Midwest countryside, or rustic mountain, or even rustic New England. You can start off with the general feel of “rustic”, but it will help to understand what can make it more specific. For instance, rustic could mean a door style that is “aged”, or paint worn through, or rustic could mean exposed knots in the wood on a stained door. Your kitchen remodel design process allows you to make the choice of deciding on a distressed finish on a highly ornate and molded door frame, or a very simply assembled plain door. Think of where you have been that felt good, pay attention to details like finish, shape, and detail, and that will likely open up options that help you quickly find a stylistic cue that works well for you.
Achieving Balance

The balancing act that is needed while planning a kitchen remodel is up to you and your designer and remodeler. You can pull these elements into your kitchen remodel and you will have a daily reminder of what exactly, in a profound way, represents the real you, your own unique style, interpretation, and perspective into the various choices available in the marketplace. Depending on your own plans and commitment to your home, this could be a strongly communicated sense of style, or an easily transformable sense of style. The great news that there are plenty of options out there and your kitchen remodel is a wonderful place to start now!

Be sure to research Kitchen Remodeling Costs: Get a Return on your Investment if you are thinking about doing a kitchen remodel project.