10 Frequently Forgotten Kitchen Remodeling Ideas
Your kitchen no longer serves your needs, but you can’t decide where to start redesigning it. You need it to provide more than just a food preparation area, yet you lack the design skills to know how to add the family gathering area you desire, the beauty care refrigerated storage, or how to clean up after a major project. We’ve assimilated ten forgotten kitchen remodeling ideas to help you come up with the right projects to transform your kitchen from outdated to ultra-modern.
1. Taking Design Inspiration From Unexpected Places
Believe it or not, the places where you find yourself wishing you had “such and such feature” offer a wealth of forgotten kitchen remodeling ideas. Let’s say you visit your local aesthetic spa and adore its refrigerated skincare line. You could never store your skin care products in your home fridge though, because your kids and spouse would potentially destroy them, albeit accidentally, or throw them out to make room for leftover pizza. You can add a mini-fridge to your kitchen, either making use of the corner cabinet you never use anyway or choosing a tabletop design.
Museums use the best lighting, and perhaps while visiting one, you notice you need better kitchen lighting; you lack the funds to rewire the kitchen. Purchase tap-on LED lights that run on batteries or LED strip lights that charge using a solar panel. You attach the charging panel outside your kitchen window and run the line along the sill’s edge.
If you do have the budget for an electrician, consider track lighting. It disperses light across an entire area of a room using five or six bulbs in a row. Typically used on ceilings, install a smaller three or four-light strip over your sink and under the kitchen range top.
2. Planning for Maintenance and Cleaning
Has cleaning the kitchen become more of a chore than you ever imagined? Instead of fighting with your children to get them to help or hiring a maid service, revamp the kitchen to make it simpler to clean. Turn to restaurants for forgotten kitchen remodeling ideas that make cleaning a breeze.
Every restaurant kitchen features at least one drain on the floor, which makes mopping it simpler. When you can simply mop the water to a floor drain rather than needing to mop it up, you save time. The drain also takes care of liquid spills, since liquid flows toward and into it.
Contact your local drain tile services provider to have such a drain installed. Put in two, one near the sink and one near the fridge to make cleaning up super easy. Although restaurants usually use utilitarian drain grates, you can choose one that matches the color of your kitchen flooring to preserve the room’s attractive aesthetic.
3. Consulting an Architect Before Making Dramatic Changes
So far, we’ve addressed small changes, but if you want to make a major change in your kitchen, consult with an architect before you set up an appointment with a demolition company. Even if you have significant do-it-yourselfer skills, major changes require a professional architect. They need to create builder’s plans before you can shop around for contractors. Those plans, and the final architectural plan, will require certification by an engineering firm and building permits for the overall projects and their pieces, such as plumbing or electrical work.
Although you probably feel quite ready to start revamping your kitchen, plan for planning time. The architectural and engineering consultations and drafting of plans take weeks, sometimes months. In some cities, the building permitting process may move quickly, but in others, the time from application to approval can take months, too. Doing things the legal way matters because your municipality can make you undo the changes and can charge you a fine for illegal work.
Where do you start on this process? If you reside in a city or town, phone or email the code enforcement office. Check the municipal website for the phone number and email. If you reside in an unincorporated area, contact the county or the state to find out about permits.
4. Adding Quality-of-Life Features
Many quality-of-life improvements you don’t see in a remodel or renovation project. These items simply make things work better or make life more convenient. For example, a hot water heater replacement, such as a tankless water heater, provides unlimited hot water.
These projects upgrade the habitability of your home instead of its appearance. Think of them as the backstage actions of home improvement. Let’s consider some other examples of this type of design.
You would not see a new set of plumbing pipes or would you see an updated septic line, but these renovation projects seriously upgrade your home. Both items reduce toilet problems like stopped-up toilets or overflowing sinks. Upgrading your septic and plumbing can help keep your yard cleaner by reducing septic backup.
Your landscaping doesn’t have to get destroyed either when you upgrade your septic lines. Although that was once true, today’s septic line replacements use hearty liners that installers put in using trenchless methods. They flow the line in, then inflate it inside the existing pipe to create a newly reinforced septic line.
5. Switching Fuel Types
Perhaps your home uses a mixture of electricity and natural gas, but you have tired of paying exorbitant bills every month. You can switch your fuel type from natural gas to the more price-stable propane or butane. Yes, the gas that fictional character Hank Hill uses and the stuff you fuel lighters with also work to power your home. Propane and butane power heaters, ovens, refrigerators, air conditioners, and much more.
Other options exist for alternative fuels for heating homes, such as biomass, wood stoves, and pellet stoves. If you want to replace your source of electricity, consider switching to solar or wind power. Solar can work almost anywhere; even in areas like Alaska, homes can use solar power to provide up to 50 percent of their electricity needs.
Your first step in switching fuels actually involves your utility company, although you’ll be getting rid of it. Utility companies in the U.S. offer free consultations that determine the energy needs of your home. These consultations also provide you with a list of items in your home that you need to address to improve its energy efficiency.
Once you have this report in hand, use it as a renovation starting point. If the utility company’s report says you need to update your windows to reduce drafts, start there. Also, address items like insulating your attic or crawlspace. After you finish those items, move on to interviewing installers for the type of fuel to which you want to transition your home.
6. Handling Essential Project Logistics
Some renovation companies handle their own construction debris and cart it off the site for you. Others do not, so make this a question to ask when you interview potential contractors. If they do not clean up after themselves, you’ll also need to interview construction debris removal services.
Perhaps you think you’ll just pile the construction debris in a trash can for your city to pick up. It doesn’t work that way. The weekly city services only apply to regular household trash. Items like construction debris or limbs, twigs, and other yard debris, they leave on your curb. Most cities provide a pickup day every year for yard debris, but for construction debris, you either hire someone to handle it or you haul it to the dump yourself.
7. Upgrading to Modern Appliances
Another renovation item, appliance upgrades, rides the fence between backstage and on-stage renovations. People see some of the appliances, but others, like a tankless water heater, they never know you installed. Your refrigerator, freezer, stove, and oven they see when they visit your home. Updating appliances, especially in the kitchen, forms a core tenet of remodeling.
8. Consulting an Interior Designer
Oddly, one of the most commonly forgotten kitchen remodeling ideas comes from people skipping an interior designer’s consultation. One of the core custom home services, an interior designer can pull together other areas of the home into the kitchen’s new look. The interior design industry consists of more than choosing the right throw pillows and rearranging the furniture. The field also comprises the creation of new structural elements, such as built-in bookshelves for cookbooks or a breakfast nook for quick morning dining.
To find an interior designer that specializes in kitchen design and renovation, start by asking family and friends who they recommend or who did their kitchen. Once you’ve got a short list, head online to check their reputations. Look at the most recent year of reviews on a platform that only allows confirmed customers to leave reviews. That lets you avoid fake reviews posted by other companies.
Once you’ve reduced the list to only those with ratings of four to five out of five in the past year, explore each company’s website. Review their portfolio of projects and read their statements of service. This lets you know what type of work they do and see examples of before and after photos of their recent projects.
9. Adding Smart Home Features
Another upgrade for your home involves transforming your home into a smart home. Sure, you could buy converter plugs for your outlets, but upgrading your electrical outlets works better in the long run. If you choose the appliance upgrade, work it into the smart home update. Choose smart refrigerators, freezers, HVAC, and thermostats.
Help your pets out with a specialized electronic enclosure accessed by a dog/cat door in the kitchen. This area provides them with a place to play that you can open and shut with voice commands. Install misters to keep them cool in summer and a mini-split or outdoor heater so they can remain warm while playing outdoors in winter.
Although you should still provide them with regular flea and tick treatments, installing an electronic pest deterrence device in the enclosure helps drive away fleas and ticks. This makes the enclosure more enjoyable for them and the family who plays with them in the yard. Purchase automatic feeders and waterers, so your animals can feed themselves while outdoors when you need to go to work or run errands.
10. Making Necessary Repairs
The often-forgotten necessary repairs can make or break your renovation. You might not think of plumbing repairs or new electrical outlets when you renovate, but they decide the success of the renovation. Think of it this way – what good is a snazzy new built-in desk if all of the outlets in the room are located on the opposite wall? How would you plug in your laptop, printer, or cell phone?
Examine your home thoroughly and make a list of what repairs it really needs. Prioritize structural items since these ensure your home remains habitable. The second priority projects reflect utility, as in how useful the kitchen remains. Finally, the third priority items reflect the look of the kitchen. If you only focus on priority three items, your kitchen might look pretty but work poorly.
Update Small Items
Sometimes, the smallest things make the biggest difference. Buying a new electric can opener or mixer doesn’t transform your kitchen. Choosing a set of small appliances that all match and go well with the new wallpaper in your breakfast nook transforms the kitchen. These sets of small appliances often cost less than $300 to $500 and include mixers, can openers, toasters, toaster ovens, or microwaves.
Change out the ceiling fan or put one into the kitchen to make it feel and look better. Another small upgrade that updates the kitchen’s appearance comes from the cabinet and drawer pulls and handles. Updating these items costs less than $100 but makes the cabinets appear newer. Repainting them also works wonders.
Update Your Kitchen Today
You can create a great kitchen for yourself using these forgotten kitchen remodeling ideas. Start with what you can easily afford and make changes a little at a time. Take advantage of the free consultation from your utility company, so you can target renovations that reduce your utility costs and make the home more comfortable.