The moment you’ve waited for has arrived, keys are in hand and your builder is eager to show off the finished product. You are flooded with a mixture of emotions, relief, joy, exhaustion and you can’t wait to finally move into you brand new home! Three months later, and for the most part you couldn’t be happier; well except for… We’ve all been there, whether it is our first car or picking a major in school; we wish we would have done something a little different. When it comes to building a new home, what we thought we wanted doesn’t always end up meeting our needs.
So, whether you’re building your first home or you are a recent empty nester looking to downsize, join us as we take a look at how to avoid making some common regrets in your dream home.
First up we take a look at the kitchen.
5 Areas to Consider When Designing Your Kitchen
Depending on where you are in life, can make a big difference not only with what you need in the kitchen but what you want as well. If you love to cook and you have a large family, you might want to double up on the ovens. Or you may be recent empty-nesters, and you are downsizing your collection of bowls and plates. Whatever the case, here are the 5 most important things to evaluate and pay close attention too.
- Size: Storage space, cabinetry, pantry
- Placement Sink & Appliances
- Colors, lighting (Not enough light)
As you begin reviewing options for your kitchen, keep in mind the following 5 areas to avoid any major regrets.
Kitchen Size & Storage Space (Cabinets & Pantry)
Getting the kitchen size right can go a long way to avoiding any potential regrets lurking around the corner. Nobody wants to start cooking in a kitchen and feel cramped, nor do you want to look around at your massive room and feel as though you missed out on an opportunity because of your gargantuan kitchen space.
Take some time before you sit down with you builder to discuss with your spouse what each of you is expecting out of your kitchen. You’ll be deciding the overall size as well as storage space. Do you want a corner kitchen pantry? How many kitchen storage cabinets will you need? Getting the size and space right is key to feeling happy with your finished kitchen.
How many dishes will you need? How often will you be entertaining? How many meals will you be preparing each week? Although it can be hard to hit the sweet spot when it comes to storage space, it is usually better to err on the side of too much storage space.
We all want to get the most out of the kitchen. One thing I hear often about building your own home is, “You don’t always get what you want but you get what you ask for”
I think there is nothing in the house more applicable to that as you are considering the size of this space you’ll want to think about the layout as well. Addressing simple questions such as functionality, design and placement of appliances, can help you get the most out of your kitchen. Especially if you are looking at one story home plans, this decision is even more important.
Take some time to really understand what you like and don’t like in the kitchen. If you’re like me and enjoy spending time in the kitchen, you’ve probably already been making mental notes of what you do and don’t like about your current kitchen. Don’t stop there! Write down any ideas you have, spend some time in your family and friend’s kitchens, and consult with your builder.
Sinks & Appliances
Sink location and the number of sinks in a kitchen has evolved considerably the last couple of years. As the beautiful sink above illustrates.
While you’re deciding on what type of sink to get, you may not be spending as much time thinking about where to place it. We recommend giving a lot of thought into where your sink will go. Deciding on the type of sink and placement of that sink should be a joint decision. Look at the positives and negatives of the positions you are considering and talk to family and friends about what they like and don’t like about their sink.
Ditto for your appliances! Dishwasher placement in kitchen design is often one of the biggest challenges. Getting applicance placement right the first time will help you avoid possible headaches down the road and help you enjoy your kitchen to its fullest.
Flooring & Countertops
We all have preconceived ideas on what we like and want. When it comes to kitchen flooring and counters, most of us probably have a preference, whether it is hard wood floors and marble countertops or bamboo floors and soapstone countertops.
Whatever your preference or preconceived ideas are, you should take some time to understand what kitchen flooring options are available to you and fit your budget. In most cases this will help you avoid regretting your floors and countertops.
Lighting & Colors
Far too often lighting is one of the last things new home builders worry about, especially in the kitchen. Invest additional time and research into understanding how the light fixtures will play in your space.
Over the sink kitchen lighting should be at the top of our list of design choices. You’ll find that most experts recommend using a mixture of fixtures to layer the light in the kitchen.
As you make your lighting decisions don’t forget to factor in the color of your walls, floors, cabinets and countertops. How will these colors affect the overall look and feel of your kitchen? How will they appear in each layer of lighting? While you can change the colors of our walls and cabinets on a whim, it can be more of a challenge when it comes to your floors and countertops.
Prepare Now to Avoid Any Possible Regrets
As you begin planning your kitchen, come prepared with your ideas. Know what you want and need. Don’t leave the decisions up to the builder.
Spend some time looking at the kitchens of your family and friends, and keep track of what you like and don’t like. You are building a home for you and your family, and the time you spend investing in understanding what you want and need, will pay off in limiting if not eliminating regrets and making you a happy new home owner!
Sooner or later after building a home you will say “I wish I had thought of that!” Sign up to our HER Home Thought of the Day to make sure you don’t say that (as often) after building your next home.
- 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Building a New Home
- 10 Design Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make in Your Kitchen
- Kitchen Flooring 101: Find Your Material Match
- Kitchen Countertops 101: Choosing a Surface Material