Tips for Redesigning Your Kitchen
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1. Think ahead

“When redesigning a kitchen, put function first,” says interior designer Jacqui Hargrove. “There’s no ideal kitchen shape,” she says. “Whether it’s a galley or U- or L-shaped, plan for the sink, fridge, and cooktop to form a triangle, with no more than 6 feet between each for ease of movement.”

2. Make room for storage

The biggest mistake people make at the planning stage is not allowing for enough storage,” Jacqui says. “Use every nook and cranny. Put overhead cabinets right up to the ceiling, rather than leaving a gap on top that collects dust.” Consider deep drawers for easier access to pots and pans, and include enough storage for appliances that otherwise would clutter up countertops.

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3. See the light

Unlike in other rooms of the house, overhead lighting can be insufficient in kitchens. In the kitchen, you don’t want the light behind you, casting a shadow on the workspace. You need it positioned to fall in front of you. Under-cabinet lights are a good way for light to shine directly on a countertop.

4. Power play

Be sure there are appropriate power sources for relocated or new appliances. Many people realize too late that they don’t have the right gas or electric lines. Measuring appliances is a good way to ensure that they fit comfortably into allocated spaces. If a dishwasher is crammed in, it could push up against the hose and this will cause draining issues.

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5. Space and surface

There’s no such thing as too much counter space. Choose a surface that’s easy to work on and care for. But keep in mind that grout between tiles is hard to maintain and that stainless steel will scratch very easily.

6. Start fresh

Don’t reuse appliances or items from the old kitchen. It may seem as if you’re saving money, but an old appliance will stick out like a sore thumb in a new environment. Find other ways to economize.

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7. Safety first

Make your kitchen as safe and family-friendly as possible by planning for good visibility to the backyard and indoor play areas from the cooking area. Also consider such safety-conscious elements as rounded countertops, slip-resistant flooring, and ovens located at an adult height to minimize the chances of accidental burns.

8. Clear the air & plan for trash

A range hood helps ventilate cooking odors. Buy one that’s efficient, quiet and vented outside. Don’t forget to plan for garbage and recycling bins. Do you want built-in bins cleverly disguised behind a cabinet door, or a sleek, stainless-steel garbage container that’s positioned out of the way?

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9. Look out below

When it comes to flooring, consider slip-resistance, ease of maintenance and porosity. Hardwood floors are beautiful, but be aware that they wear out faster by the fridge, stove, and sink than other areas. Hard, natural stone works wonderfully, and the earthy look and feel of it is very popular.

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