Forget Cookie Cutter Kitchens. Remodel for What You Love!
Updated 2020, originally published in August 2015:
Granite and quartz counters, islands, and stainless steel continue to be popular with homeowners remodeling their kitchens in Northern Virginia, Suburban Maryland, and Washington DC. While remodeling using design approaches, materials, and appliances that appeal to most people may help improve your home’s resale value, Metro Building and Remodeling Group thinks remodeling your kitchen should be based on your needs and what you like.
We believe the kitchen you’ll love the most will be the one designed around how you use your kitchen, who uses your kitchen, what you cook, the activities you love the most, and of course your own design sensibilities. Your kitchen should be designed around YOU.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
Marble countertops are ideal for kneading dough and rolling flaky pastry but they’re easily stained by berries, vanilla, and lemon juice. The solution? Create a marble work station that’s lower in height than the other counters (thus perfect for working with dough) and then use engineered quartz (like Caesarstone) for the rest of the counters. The quartz offers the same cool-to-the-touch baking advantages but it’s far easier to maintain than marble.
You may prefer island workstations with plenty of “elbow room” for rolling dough. Everyone loves the easy to use, heavy-duty, slide-out, swing-up shelves that can lift heavy appliances like a stand mixer out of a lower cabinet and up to counter level. And then, when you are done, lower the appliance back into the cabinet. No heavy lifting is required and you’ve saved valuable counter space.
Or, you may prefer a baking center where large mixers can stay out on the counter. While appliance garages pull-down tambour doors to hide the appliances when not in use are not as popular now, they are still available. For storing flours, sugar, and other ingredients in deep pull-out drawers offer easier access than deep cabinets. Still, it’s good to include some deep cabinets for organizing large baking sheets, muffin tins, and racks. There are even narrow pull out cabinets you can access from both sides and where you can easily reach what you store in them. A double oven lets you bake in large batches and at different temperatures, and new ovens with steam injection are perfect for crisp, yet tender loaves of bread and pastry crusts. Plus many new ovens also come with convection heat features to assure an even temperature throughout the oven.
Photos courtesy Rev-a-Shelf
Gourmet recipes call for chopping, simmering, searing and more! That’s why remodeling a kitchen for gourmet cooking requires multiple types of lighting, counter heights, and work surfaces. Butcher block may not be right for all your countertops, but it makes a perfect inset for a chopping station that’s also designed to keep knives handy.
You may want to plan the kitchen so several cooks have room to work but consider keeping the central prep area smaller so you can be most efficient when cooking alone. If you use lots of fresh ingredients, consider a bottom-freezer refrigerator that raises fresh food to eye level. These very popular “French door” models solve the problem of side-by-side refrigerators that may be too narrow to accommodate large platters and trays, while keeping the convenience of two narrow doors instead of one large door. An extra water faucet (aka a pot filler) at the stove makes filling heavy pasta and stockpots a breeze! And if you like to have blenders and food processors handy on the counter, there are ingenious new ways to make them “disappear” when not in use.
There are also many professional-grade and near professional-grade stoves, cooktops and ovens you can consider for your home’s gourmet kitchen as well as professional-grade refrigerator and freezers if you need more cooking surfaces, higher cooking temperatures, and the like.
Dreaming of remodeling a kitchen to be luxurious but cozy? You’re not alone! Stainless steel continues to be popular for appliances, many companies offer fingerprint resistant stainless steel as an option. To remodel the kitchen for a welcoming, “furnished” feel, leave room for comfortably upholstered armchairs around the table, consider a built-in refrigerator and dishwasher with cabinet-front insets, and set the kitchen island off with different finishes than the cabinets. Plus you can use furniture flourishes like table legs or display shelves. To keep your kitchen comfortable – and accessible – for everyone, consider including a variety of counter heights and workstations sized for adults, kids, and even friends and family with limited mobility or less-than-perfect eyesight.
Using “Universal Design” principles when designing your kitchen is always a good approach if you want your kitchen to be beautiful, comfortable, safe, and accessible.
Do You Dream of Remodeling a Kitchen That’s…
A Kitchen for Entertaining? A “Green” Kitchen? A Kid-Friendly Kitchen? Even if you’re not ready to remodel right away, we’d be happy to share some ideas and new products to keep in mind as you begin to think about how to turn “what you love” into a kitchen you’ll love for years to come. Just give us a call and we’ll talk about turning your dream kitchen into reality!