The Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) was released last week by the Joint Center, indicating a positive growth in this year’s home remodeling market. The question is; why are people renovating now? Research Analyst for the Joint Center, Abbe Will comments that “lean inventory levels of homes on the market seem to be helping the home improvement industry… coupled with an aging housing stock and deferred expenditures during the recession have owners catching up with delayed remodeling projects this year.” But where does one start when one forgets? Let’s start with the heart of the home, your kitchen.
The Island of your dreams is in your kitchen
The allure of the kitchen island is the promise it holds in its functionality. It sits at the center of the kitchen where the action takes place. A kitchen island has proven to be not only a convenience, but an essential part of kitchen design. It provides a casual dining area for a quick breakfast or replaces the dining room for family dinners. An island compliments the overall layout of your kitchen and works as a central piece to your daily routine.
Knowing what your specific kitchen needs are can save you money when it comes to a full kitchen renovation. Here are some tips on what your new kitchen can do for you, in style and on a budget.
What are your Kitchen needs?
1. Determine how much eating space you want. Are you replacing or cutting square footage in your dining room for an island? Answering this question helps determine the functionally of size. Keep in mind small designed islands can be just as functional larger ones.
2. Determine if your island will include large kitchen appliances such as a stove or dishwasher. This will help you determine if your island needs to be food preparation efficient, as well determine cabinet functionality.
Functionality and Style for less
1. Two level islands work when dividing the eating area from the preparation area, but a single level is less costly and just as functional.
2. Adding a small sink for food preparation is not expensive if it’s on the smaller side. Nickel faucets have a large design variety and are justly priced.
3. Frameless cabinets have a clean sleek look and are less costly than most framed ones. (Bady) Islands reduce overloaded counters by adding cabinetry at the bottom.
4. Consider quartz instead of granite for a clean look with less patterning. (Bady) Stone with a leather finish is better than honed granite the leathered approach leaves the stone’s pores sealed, so stains are less of an issue.
5. Professional Builder contributing editor, Susan Bady says that setting 42-inch cabinets as standard and running them all the way to the ceiling looks expensive but cost less than placing them at different heights.
6. Putting shelves and doors at the end of the island work well to store cooking books, magazines or any additional décor.
7. Install matching panels on appliances to give them a build-in look without purchasing build in appliances. (Bady)
8. Go porcelain or ceramic tiles for your flooring instead of wood. Porcelain tiles can handle more wear and tear.
For pictures of great stylish on budget kitchens take at look at the National Kitchen & Bath associations 2013 design competitions winners and 2014 winners.
Bady, Susan. 2013. High-Style Kitchens On A Budget. Professional Builder, 36-42.
Banyay, Laurie. Finally, Functionality. For residential Pros.com.
Fields, KJ. Fresh Twist. For residential Pros.com.
Will, Abbe. 2014. Favorable Financing Costs Not Impacting Remodeling Activity During Recovery. The Harvard Join Center for Housing Studies.