Kitchen Design Tips 2021

Candice Sledd, Heaven at Hand’s interior designer, is in the middle of a kitchen remodel of her own right now. So we decided to pick her brain about how to design the right kitchen for the right price. 

Kitchen Design Tips 2021 1

So, Candice, how do I get a high-design kitchen on a budget?

Act your agemaybe you have an architecturally historic home and are pining for a modern, open floor plan, but making those kinds of modifications might not be possible without undergoing serious structural changes that eat up your budget. Instead, lean into the charm and history of your home and let the floor plan just be what it is. By creating a peninsula pass through rather than removing load-bearing walls, you can make the space a little more open for entertaining and spend that money elsewhere. 

What kind of countertop should I buy for my kitchen?

Technology has come a long way and there are a lot of affordable porcelain and quartz options that can give you that exotic stone look without the exotic stone maintenance or price tag. Keep in mind that while you can snag a porcelain slab at a fraction of the price of natural stone, the cost of fabricating it is anywhere between 30-40% more expensive due to its delicate nature. 

What’s the best way to save money on a kitchen remodel?

Consider a salvage title: If your cabinets are in good shape, opt for refinishing them and getting new doors and hardware. Also, you can always change out your fixtures (faucets, pendant lights, and cabinet pulls) for more expensive ones, but you can’t change your countertop easily, so invest more in what will be permanent, and save on the stuff you can upgrade later.

Does my kitchen have to be white to get the best resale on my home?

As a color, white is rather timeless. It makes a great supporting actress and lets the other finishes be the star of the show. After surviving the golden oak 90’s, and the tuscan 2000’s—it’s safe to say that the all white era was a trend that’s been overdone. 

Trends get worn out and reimagined every 20 years so the muted greens and wood paneling that’s having a moment today give the generation before me a sense of seventies nostalgia. However, it shows us that people are not as afraid of color (and paneling) as some might suspect. 

The trick to using color, is to use it the same way as you’d use certain spices; purposefully to spark interest, yet carefully to not overwhelm the palette. 

When I pick out appliances, how much should I care about their aesthetic? Should I use all the same brands?

The form shouldn’t be sacrificed in favor of function nor should the function be sacrificed in favor of form.  Your appliances can and should be equally beautiful and functional. And they don’t have to be the same brand, as long as they have the same lines and finish. 

What color should I choose for kitchen cabinets? 

My favorite colors are largely determined by the project at hand because each house has a different story to tell. Personally, I like contrast and wood tones and I’m not afraid to go bold with lots of black. When paired with the right materials, it adds just the right amount of drama and transcends many design styles. 

I like to mix up finishes because it feels more sophisticated when things belong together but are not all the same. Too much of a good thing can start to feel a little too matchy-matchy. 

How do I design a kitchen that is good for resale?

It’s important to go with a neutral design style rather than something too specific because you’ll only attract a specific buyer. So consider the make-up of the neighborhood.

Warm-toned whites feel really cozy and still give that “light and airy” feel that some home buyers are interested in, whereas cool-toned whites can feel a bit cold.  Break up the color with contrasting material or colors, then add texture. Wood accents, two-toned cabinetry, a textured finish, patterned wallpaper (preferably vinyl in the kitchen), or bronze hardware instead of cool-toned metals add personality to a space while still incorporating white. 

How much will my kitchen remodel cost?

Your kitchen remodel will be somewhere between 10% and 15% of your home value. Exceeding this may not give you a decent return on investment. If this is your forever home then that is not much of a concern. 

What is the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel?

Be prepared to spend about 40% of your kitchen budget on cabinets. The lumber and hardware are expensive as well the labor it takes to build the cabinets because it is a trade handed down by generations of skilled carpenters. 

What is the best tip you have for someone embarking on a kitchen remodel?

Contrary to popular belief, luxury is not in the finishes, it’s in the functionality. And a clutter-free counter is the reward for a job well done.  

Is there anything you wish I had asked you?

About lighting! Lighting alone has a strong impact on your mood and can make the space feel more luxurious when done correctly, but it’s something homeowners often overlook. Recessed can lights do illuminate the space, however, achieving a high-end look has a lot to do with where the lighting is placed and how it’s layered for both visibility and drama. When planning your kitchen it’s always good to consider a plan with different layers of light and areas of interest.

Live Blissfully

Contact us for a no-obligation design consultation today

Leave a Reply