11 Kitchen Remodeling Ideas to Add Long-Term Function and Value to Your Home

For most Indiana families, the kitchen is the home’s nerve center. Essential discussions, conversations, laughter, cooking and nourishment all go on in this room—more so than any other room in the house. It’s a place to cook, eat, work, socialize, play games and entertain.

So, if you’re considering a kitchen remodel, consider how you use your kitchen now, and how you’d like to use it in the future. A well-designed kitchen not only helps improve functionality, it can also significantly boost your home’s resale value.

In fact, looking at the 2018 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, almost half of participating homeowners said something like: “I can’t stand the old kitchen anymore.” And 36 percent reported they would jump into kitchen remodeling once they had the means.

If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen soon, list all the things that bother you, or that you’d like to improve. Then, talk with us about smart kitchen upgrades to improve functionality and value. These are the top eleven remodeling features that promise both in today’s housing market:

Smart, Spacious Kitchen Storage

We can’t even count the number of homeowners who complain about utterly wasted, poorly-thought-out storage spaces, i.e., cabinets that are too shallow, or drawers that are too small. Some cabinets are so deep that people can’t reach some items without unloading others. We can make it better! Storage design is one of the first line items we discuss when talking with homeowners who want a kitchen remodel. Here are some great kitchen storage design ideas we suggest:

  • Drawers with custom-designed dividers for cutlery or small kitchen tools
  • Kitchen cabinets with smooth pull-out trays to easily organize and access everything from spices and bottles to pots and pans
  • Separate, hide-away waste and recycling cabinets
  • Extra deep drawers for storing larger food containers and kitchen tools or appliances
  • Sturdy, adjustable shelves you can customize to your needs

As you go through your day, make note of your kitchen storage “pain points” and we can come up with great solutions!

New, Energy Efficient Kitchen Appliances

The kitchen draws a lot of energy, so incorporate new, Energy-Star certified appliances right into your new kitchen design. Beginning with the appliances in the design saves time and money from the start: they can be incorporated seamlessly into the whole kitchen design itself, and begin saving energy as you use them.

Also, think about ergonomics when you’re designing your kitchen. As you go through your day in the kitchen, think about appliance placement and workflow so the new design can boost efficiency and ease-of-use.

Stylish, Functional Kitchen Islands

Covington Contemporary Kitchen Remodel 1

Kitchen islands increase your work surface and storage capacity, as long as the cabinets are intelligently designed and organized.

If you’re adding a kitchen island, think about function and dimensions. An open living and dining island requires space for chairs and should accommodate convenient eating. If you’re creating an eating island in the kitchen, we recommend about 36 inches high, so it can be used both for casual dining and food preparation. If you’re adding a breakfast bar, then 42-46 inches high is about right. The countertop overhang for sitting should be about 12 inches.

Durable, Gorgeous Kitchen Countertops and Finishes

Durability is absolutely essential for hard working kitchen countertops. Evaluate your kitchen lifestyle to narrow down your choices for the right countertop material. For example, an active home chef teaching kids to cook may want to avoid marble countertops. They look superb, but they etch and stain easily under frequent use and require more maintenance.

Instead, a hard-working kitchen with a busy family could consider the many beautiful granite countertops or some of the newer, durable laminates that look like your favorite stone instead. Other options for busy kitchens include engineered quartz or Cambria natural stone. Quartz countertops, for example, are tough against scratching and staining. They’re incredibly durable and require little maintenance while also coming in a wide variety of patterns, colors, and edge treatments. They’re a smart, long-term investment that will work for you while boosting your kitchen’s resale value.

Fantastic Faucets and Fixtures

There are so many new, functional and beautiful kitchen faucets and fixtures to choose from these days, that it can be hard for many homeowners to choose which they like best when they’re remodeling their kitchens. High-tech touch features that make it easy to switch a faucet on or off… sprayers that make clean up quick and easy… consider some of the following fixtures:

  • Faucet mounting options—Sink mounted (the faucet comes right out of the sink assembly), deck-mounted (from the countertop itself, rather than the sink), or wall-mounted (easy to clean, but need extra insulation in our cold Indiana winters).
  • Faucet handle options—Single handle (twisting one handle to dial between hot and cold), double-handle (one for hot, one for cold), and “hands-free” (you simply nudge the faucet with your free elbow to turn it on, but you still need to adjust the side handle for temperature).
  • Faucet Finish options—Stainless steel, nickel, brushed nickel, chrome, oil-rubbed bronze, polished brass, black, white… those are just some of the more common options.

Fabulous Flooring

As always, consider how you use your kitchen to get the right flooring option for your needs. For example, hardwood floors never go out of style, but they need a bit more maintenance than some of the engineered hardwood and laminate options that look just like hardwood. But real hardwood can be refinished and refurbished, whereas damaged laminate needs to be completely replaced. You can also use reclaimed hardwood that looks amazing in many kitchen designs.

Today’s high-quality laminates can stand up to a lot of hard use, though, so it’s still an excellent, lasting investment. You also have more choices for design with laminate: think wide planks and exotic textures like Brazilian cherry.

And don’t forget tile. Porcelain and ceramic floor tiles are huge right now. They can be engineered to look like anything (even wood or fabric), they’re incredibly durable and easy to clean (but a bit more of a challenge to install).

Spectacular Backsplash

A backsplash protects your walls from stains and splatters, but they can also be fantastic focal points. It all depends on the materials and designs you choose—and there are so many options: wood, metal, glass, ceramic, stone, tile and more.

“Consider changing a tile backsplash to modern glass, mosaic tile, or a classic white subway tile, which never goes out of style,” says Riverside Construction owner, Andy Haste. “These now come in many sizes and shapes and can be laid in a herringbone or soldiered pattern for an updated, fresh look.”

Remember: neutral colors make your kitchen space feel bigger and brighter to you and to potential home buyers who may have different color tastes.

Natural and Artistic Lighting

Think about all the ways you can incorporate natural light into your kitchen from windows and skylights to light tubes. In addition to saving energy costs, natural light makes kitchens look brighter and bigger. Great, functional under cabinet lighting options brighten countertop workspaces while vintage chandeliers or brightly-colored pendants to add pop and focus over your kitchen island.

Neutral Colors Create Value

Neutral paints and finishes in shades of ivory, white or gray are the smartest colors, both for design flexibility and resale value. You can add personal color accents with accessories, light fixtures, and other design elements to tie other areas of your home together with the kitchen, but keeping the colors neutral also attracts potential homebuyers, helping them “see the possibilities” rather than being jarred by style choices that may not match theirs.

Clever Kitchen Sinks

One of Riverside Construction’s incredible interior designers, Kelly Grish, advises homeowners to consider the sink as both functional, and as a showpiece. Beautiful, apron-front farmhouse sinks are generous, functional and, as she says, they feel “custom and thoughtful”, demonstrating the long-term value of your home’s design, right from the kitchen.

Chef-Worthy Range Hoods

Grish also says that installing a new, stainless-steel hood over the stove says “chef’s kitchen” in a split second to any potential homebuyer, adding literally thousands of dollars in value. It also expands your kitchen’s functionality. You don’t even have to add extra ductwork if you don’t want to—you can use recirculating filters instead—while still enjoying the range hood’s benefits.

If you’re ready to remodel your kitchen, Riverside Construction is prepared to share the knowledge and experience we’ve collected over the years to help you create your perfect kitchen design experience. Schedule an in-home consultation to get the ball rolling with your own personal design consultant, or attend one of our monthly, complimentary kitchen remodeling seminars. Reserve your seat now as demand is high and space is limited! Let’s create the kitchen of your dreams!

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