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Interior Designers Share Their Favorite Tips For A Successful Kitchen Remodel

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Use remodeling tips from interior designers to transform your kitchen. Image: Pickell Architecture

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It’s not hard to see why undertaking a kitchen remodel is one of the most discussed topics in interior design. These projects—while worth it in the end—can get to be a little costly and time-consuming. It goes without saying that, if you’re going to do it, you want to do it the right way.

With that in mind, we decided to take this topic to the experts. We asked interior designers to share their favorite kitchen remodel tips. Read on to see their no-holds-barred answers. With any luck, their experiences can help you redo your kitchen with ease.

Know your kitchen

Pay close attention to how you use the space without making changes. Image: R.P. Morrison Builders, Inc.

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1. Know How You Use Your Kitchen

“The first step in remodeling is to know what is important to you when cooking. Are high-end appliances a requirement? Do you prefer gas or electric? Do you cook lots of curries or other items that use strong spices and want a hood for ventilation? Would you like your knives to be on your left or right while you cook? Do you bake a lot and need to keep that equipment close to the oven?” – Sara Chiarilli, owner of Artful Conceptions, an interior design firm in Tampa, FL
Before starting the renovation, make sure you have a solid plan in place to ensure that your new kitchen will meet your needs. As you cook, walk yourself through your routine while asking questions like the ones Sara offered above. Make note of any favorite details or annoyances that you have about your current space and include any necessary changes into your design plan.
existing layout

Whenever possible, leave the existing layout. Images: Alinda Morris Interior Design LLC

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2. Consider Leaving the Layout As-Is

“Keep the appliances and plumbing where they are. A good rule of thumb is to add $5,000 each time you move a section of plumbing or any appliances. If my clients are on a tight budget, I tell them to work with the current layout whenever they can.” – Justin M. Riordan, LEED AP, the founder of Spade and Archer Design Agency, which has multiple locations in California and Washington

Home improvement show fans can attest to the fact that TV magic makes it seem like changing you kitchen layout is a breeze. In reality, that’s definitely not the case. Out of dozens of submissions for this article, this was the most frequently mentioned tip. Obviously, your budget will dictate how creative you can get with the layout, but if you’re trying to save, do not underestimate this cost. Make sure you meet with multiple designers and get quotes so that you can go into your remodel with a realistic idea of the final cost.

Contrasting colors

Choose contrasting colors for a huge punch of visual interest. Image: Smith & Smith Kitchens

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3. Incorporate Contrasting Colors

“Using contrasting colors on walls, counters and floors helps with depth perception and provides a clear line of sight when navigating throughout the kitchen, especially in working areas.” – Wanda E. Gozdz, B.S., A.S., founder of Golden Age Living, LLC in Hutchinson Island, FL

Choosing contrasting colors—or at least tones, if you’re not into the monochromatic look—will help you add a huge amount of visual interest to the kitchen. When you’re putting together the color palette, go with either one neutral shade and one bold color or choose a warm and cool shade. Additionally, focus either on the contrast on a single item, such as an island, or allow an element to continue throughout the entire space.

backsplash focal point

Let your backsplash make a statement. Image: Evelyn Eshun Interior Design

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4. Invest in Your Backsplash

“Take the backsplash tile to the ceiling, especially when they are only 8 feet. This is common in a lot of older homes. Taking the tile up creates visual height and an especially polished look because you don’t have a break where tile meets drywall (particularly around a window). It’s a great look for minimal cost compared to the whole project.” – Brad Little, of Case Design/Remodeling in Charlotte, NC

The second unspoken bonus for this tip? A dramatic backsplash will draw the eye with ease and make an excellent focal point. Consider this one if you’re searing for a way to truly make a dramatic impact.

fresh accessories

Fresh accessories can give the room a totally different look. Image: MGM Builders

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5. Sometimes Small Changes Matter Most

“Sometimes it’s not about doing a total remodel. I updated my own kitchen last year by simply swapping out bar stools and pendant lights, and replacing a cabinet with open shelving. I was inspired by the BoHo trend, so I gave my contemporary kitchen some …read more      

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