Top 5 Tips for Making the Most out of Your Kitchen
21 July 2021
A Guest Blog in partnership with Norelco Cabinets
When designing a custom home, it’s easy to get excited about the customization options for your kitchen. To simplify the options available, we suggest paying a visit to a great cabinet designer like Norelco Cabinets. Through education and inspiration, the Norelco team will give you sound advice and help you to personalize a kitchen that really sizzles.
Here are 5 top tips to get started:
1. Find a Trusted Professional
First and foremost find a reputable company with credibility and the ability to service and stand by their product. Having a trusted professional to support you through the entire journey will solidify the selection of your kitchen cabinets based on your needs and budget. The best way to find a trusted supplier for your kitchen cabinets is to research and find out who your local builders recommend.
Here are some questions you can consider when doing your research. Are you looking for a local solution? Do you know where their products are being made and if they are manufactured locally? Does that company contribute to the local economy? Do they import and assemble, or do they fully manufacture locally and hire locally? Even if that company is in town, it doesn’t always mean you’re buying local.
2. Determine your Functionality
Kitchens are the hardest working room in the house, along with the highest return of investment. Since the kitchen is the heart of the home, it is quite easily the one space that is the most overwhelming for homeowners. Our advice? Start by discovering what you need in your kitchen. Truthfully, you can put any face on the kitchen, so figure out how you are going to use the space and determine if you need a working kitchen or a showcase kitchen.
When you customize a kitchen, you have endless options. Take your time and walk through your current kitchen. Really study the space and discover what you’d prefer to change. Good designers will study your habits, while also highlighting design elements that will help you continue to grow in the home for years to come. They will want to know whether you are right or left-handed? When going to the sink does the dishwasher make more sense to be on your right or left side when rinsing off the plates in the sink? When you go to your stove, how far is your spice rack? The height of the wall oven… standard height is 18”, yet some prefer 24” or 28”, while others prefer that it’s lower. A good designer will customize your space and accessories to fit your terms and lifestyle.
For example, A recent Dilworth client who chose Norelco Cabinets is 4’9” tall and an avid baker. She wanted to customize the height of her countertop to help her perform better in the kitchen. The main cooking area needs to be 36” as per code, and Norelco was able to lower her prepping area so it could be more suited to her height.
Take your time and thoroughly discuss and ask questions about how a kitchen should properly work and function for you and your family.
3. Plan your Budget
Budget can be one of the most daunting topics. It’s the one aspect where it’s important, to be honest, and realistic. This will help the designer guide you to the materials and features that won’t take you out of your comfort zone.
Trust your designer and be realistic when creating a list of your dream items. Start with function, and consider what you want, versus what you feel you need. You may not realize it in the beginning, but you do not need it all. That is why it’s best to start with function. We all want stuff, but we don’t always consider what we need. Focusing the budget on the rooms that matter the most is going to help maximize your budget and allow room for more of your dream items to come into place.
When considering your kitchen budget, make sure to consider your appliance package. If you are prepared to spend $20K on your appliances, you should be ready to spend $40K on your custom cabinets, while also considering additional funding for countertops.
Well-built constructed cabinetry should last for over 20 years, so consider that when budgeting what your priorities are regarding the longevity of the space.
4. Select your Materials
It’s time to select your material! Once you have shared your budget, trust that a good designer will bring your quote as close as possible to match that price range, and educate you on your purchase.
Painted cabinetry is the most popular finish for cabinetry, and many clients gravitate towards Paint Grade Maple. Paint Grade Maple is a living entity – a living species. With this product, you will commonly see fine hairline cracks with painted cabinet doors. This may also occur due to the shrinking and humidity of the home as well. Norelco Designer, Sukh Kaila highly recommends MDF cabinets, for it is a manufactured product that is meant to be painted to eliminate shrinkage and expansion.
If you are looking for a more budget-friendly product, Melamine and Foil are the perfect products for you. Melamine is incredibly durable, scratch-resistant, family-friendly, while also having a uniform colour consistency. Foil is an excellent material for bathrooms and laundry rooms since they are also durable and will maintain their colour throughout the years. Both materials are great cost-effective alternatives to painted and stained cabinets.
If you are wanting painted or stained cabinets, take into consideration the custom finishes in your budget. We suggest if you are price conscious to pick a supplier stock colour that requires no additional fee. Pricing can add up quickly depending on the material, as there is quite a price range with the different door profiles, species, colours/stains that are in a higher custom category. Different wood species mean there is a difference in pricing. For example, Walnut vs Maple/Oak. Therefore, picking a budget before selecting the material and door style will not only help determine what finished product and style will fit your lifestyle, but what will work within your budget.
5. Finalize the Design
After doing your research and feeling confident with your decisions, now comes the fun part, the aesthetics – the icing on the cake! This is when you will bring all materials/samples together and see what works and doesn’t work for your space. Test out different hardware, countertops, moldings, paint samples, and more. Discover what will benefit you and what will not. If you feel you are getting overwhelmed in this process, take advantage of your designer. Ask them to educate you on these products so you can gain the added benefit of their knowledge. They will help give you direction, while also helping you stay in line with your budget.
Dilworth’s Norelco Designer, Sukh Kaila highly recommends that the beauty of the design should be the last thing to consider. During this process, it’s easy to get carried away and lose sight of the functionality. It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘pretty’ features of the design. Continue to take a step back when you feel like you are starting to lose sight of your main goals and objectives of the project.
Lastly, don’t be rushed into making a purchase. Purchase from the person you feel most connected and trusted with and has your best interest at heart. It’s important to trust the company you have decided to work with that will be taking you on the journey of designing your dream kitchen, and hopefully your next kitchen cabinet purchase will be fun and memorable!