Ask yourself the following questions and you’ll get a better picture of what you already have, what you need, and what you want from your kitchen. If the kitchen is used equally by your spouse or partner, answer the questions together.
- How much time do you spend in your kitchen?
- What are you doing when you’re there? Are you eating meals, reading, relaxing, or working on projects? Do you use the phone or computer there
- Who’s in the kitchen with you? Children, friends, family, or colleagues?
- How does your kitchen make you feel when you’re in it? How would you like it to make you feel?
- If you wrote “A Day in the Life of My Kitchen,” how would it read? Would it be different on weekends or holidays? Would it be different three to five years from now?
- Do you cook alone? If you cook with others, how many share the space?
- What do you cook? Elaborate, all-day dishes or simple, quick meals?
- How many people do you regularly cook for? How often do you cook for a different number of people?
- Do you have special cooking interests, such as baking or grilling?
- What large and small appliances do you use? Are they sufficient? Any special storage needs?
- What appliances do you use simultaneously?
- Do you have plenty of workspace for your kitchen activities? Is this space where you’d like it?
- Is your storage space for equipment and ingredients adequate and in a place that works for you? Can you find everything easily?
- Is your kitchen comfortable for you to work in? Why or why not?
- Does your kitchen’s arrangement cause you physical strain? What adjustments would be most helpful?
- Does your kitchen work well for everyone who uses it? Do you have any children or other family members with specific height requirements or other needs?
In almost every kitchen begging for an overhaul, an asset or two is waiting to be appreciated. Let this question simmer for a few days as you discover the best aspects of your kitchen space. Do you have a high ceiling or a roomy floor plan? Do you have access to a great view, even if it’s limited by a tiny window or none at all? Are your appliances in good shape? Do you have spaces, such as closets or small rooms, near the kitchen that are underused and therefore offer potential for a kitchen expansion? Your answers may present opportunities for your kitchen that you’d never imagined possible.
Creating your dream kitchen is in the details. In addition to determining your basic needs, give yourself permission to write a wish list. With careful planning-particularly when you work with a design professional-you may be surprised at how many of your dreams can become reality while you remain true to your budget. What makes a kitchen ideal is highly personal. Keep in mind the overall size of your kitchen. You may better achieve your dream by going with standard materials and appliances and spending extra money to annex space from an adjoining room. Finally, consider upgrades to surface materials, cabinets, and appliances.