6: Is your kitchen too trendy?
Open shelving is hot right now, but is it practical?
We’ve all seen in magazines beautiful open shelving with all of the white bowls and cups stacked so perfectly. Pretty to look at, right?
“Let’s be realistic, people. How often can you keep it organized and perfectly stacked,” said Nielsen. “Too much open shelving, if unorganized, can create clutter and dust, three things totally not worthy of display.”
7: Is your kitchen functional?
Everything should have its own place. Nielsen advises taking inventory of what you have and how you can store it.
“Think about all of your pots, pans, plates, spices, cutting boards, gadgets, serving platters, baking equipment, trays, wine bottles, and even think about where to store your appliances and garbage can,” she said. “Use simple dividers to get organized and consider using deep pullout drawers instead of lower base cabinets for everyday pots and pans.”
Nielsen even said that she often receives random “thank yous” from clients for installing deep drawers in their kitchens. Someday your lower back and knees may thank you as well.
8: Are you maximizing headroom?
Consider how much you want to spend cleaning the dead spaces between your ceiling and cabinetry.
Nielsen says that it always best to take your cabinetry all the way to ceiling.
“Having a dead space creates clutter, dust and outdates the kitchen,” she said. “Filling in spaces, even with false cabinetry, will make the room look bigger even if your ceilings are low.”
If you want your home to hold its value, function in the real world and look good at the same time, investing in a pro can be the way to go. Calling in designers and real estate agents may seem like a costly undertaking, but we think earmarking a percentage of your redesign budget is worth it, especially when it comes to lighting.
“Lighting is everything, and make sure you have enough in your budget at the end,” said Nielsen. “A designer or lighting specialist can help you figure out the correct size, quantity and spacing for pendants to go over an island, for example.”
10: Are you playing it too safe?
Unless you’re selling your home soon, don’t be afraid to infuse your kitchen with color and personality.
When Benjamin’s clients’ kitchen needed an upgrade, he convinced them not to turn it into a Stepford kitchen until they were sure they were ready to sell. The Atlanta family of five with a penchant for the eclectic assumed their space would need a complete sterilization if they ever wanted to sell.
“They brought me in to advise on ‘maximum resale’. I laughed and said we will deal with that after your last kid hits freshman orientation, which is in 10 years,” said Benjamin. “They redid their kitchen with super fun colors that match their [wackier] tastes.”
Nielsen agrees that your kitchen should not be bland and that not everything needs to match.
“Hardware, faucets and lighting do not need to be in all of the same finish,” said Nielsen. “Mixing materials and textures can create warmth and interest. Have fun it.”
After all, the party always ends up in the kitchen.