Today's kitchen is the home's processing center and the focal point of the house. The redesign of a small kitchen means creating a practical space which includes solving a combination of puzzles for this area that has become the central gathering place in the home. Moreover, you will want to create a kitchen design that you, your family and guests love to be in. All of the basic functions of a kitchen, a prep area, a cooking and clean-up area and presentation of appliances all must find their way into your new small kitchen design layout.
One should not be under any illusion that a great deal of work will lay ahead in the implementation of remodeling a new small kitchen. Begin simply by setting up a place to collect photos, magazine clippings, and lists of items you want to see in your dream kitchen. Visit kitchen showrooms, kitchen centers and take note of your preferences and tolerance for color, texture, design style, type of cabinets, etc. Set some goals for the use of your new small kitchen. Why are you undergoing a renovation? What does and does not work in your present kitchen? The average kitchen design lasts about 15 years so your choice in finishing materials should have longevity.
Your budget will drive the scope of your new small kitchen design. As a general rule one should not spend more than 10% of your home's value on a new kitchen. Expect to recoup 80% - 90% of your original investment upon resale. Choose everything on your wish list to define your budget and compare to available resources. This will give a reality check to determine any limitations to the project. Add an additional 10% to the upper range of the budget for the unforeseen and note which items you are willing to compromise on to stay within budget. Pay attention to labor intensive design features such as laying small ceramic tile on kitchen countertops.
Increase your budget to involve the right professionals. Do your research to find professional contractors and/or architects if structural work is needed. Check for referrals from professional affiliations, recommendations from friends, and home improvement store reps. Set up a well written contract to help prevent costly mistakes and misunderstandings. The professional you hire should be familiar with the building codes in your area. Once they are hired, communicate well with your sub-contractors to help them understand your space constraints and allow them to better plan their installations to be more effective with their time and your money.
Before the work progresses, express consideration and alert your neighbors to your plans as this will help them endure the temporary inconveniences ahead. Clear out the kitchen. Set up a temporary kitchen elsewhere with microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, and a water source. While packing up the kitchen, clearly label your boxes to make restocking easier. Meanwhile, discuss the daily routine with your contractor; establish storage areas for deliveries, the designated work areas, and usable bathrooms for workers. Be available for questions either on-site or by phone from contractors.
In the final days of the renovation, note items to be completed, set a date for final walk through, and make a punch list of to-dos before final sign off. Have realistic expectations of the overall result. Ideally, the project will finish within budget and the allotted time frame. Final decisions should be based on value and quality, not price. The completed small kitchen design should complement your home and fit seamlessly into your lifestyle for years to come.