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As a kitchen designer I routinely walk into kitchens that are in great shape, functional, and completely dated by a style that is no longer “in.” Oftentimes when I am designing a kitchen for a client, one of their major concerns is making sure this problem doesn’t happen to them 10 years down the road. Most of us have seen those wonderful avocado green or pink Formica cabinets leftover from the 70’s. Although there were all the rage then, they are so out of fashion now that homeowners routinely remove them based on aesthetics alone. So how do you keep this from happening to you? Luckily there are a few basic rules that can be followed to prevent this.
Keep Colors Neutral
Color is important, especially in a kitchen or bathroom where you want to express yourself. However, when selecting colors there are certain areas where it’s oftentimes best to keep it neutral. Specifically, any finish that cannot be easily (and inexpensively) replaced, should be kept to a neutral color. This includes cabinetry, counter tops, tile, and flooring. Things like paint, wall decor, and certain lighting and plumbing fixtures can be easily and inexpensively replaced. Feel free to go wild in these areas, but it is best to keep things neutral when they are difficult or expensive to replace. While keeping your colors neutral won’t make your home immune to style changes, it will certainly make it easier to adjust with them.
Form AND Function Are Important
In most homes it’s important to keep a balance between form and function. Just remember that regardless of how great a room looks, if it doesn’t work well for your use then you won’t enjoy it. This is especially true in a kitchen. Work with your designer on the flow of the space and how you actually use it as opposed to simply how it will look. Remember, at some point you will actually have to cook in it! The best remodel projects are those that integrate form and function and are designed specifically with you in mind.
Avoid Trendy Styles, Finishes, and Fixtures
At just about every point in time there is a style going on that is “hot.” These trends can vary from region to region, but they all have one thing in common: Soon enough they will be gone. What is “in” today is out tomorrow. This is most evident in kitchens and bathrooms with cabinetry, tile, and light fixtures. Instead of allowing a designer to talk you into whatever the current cutting edge style is, select a classic style and finish that you love but that has also stood the test of time.
Built-In Appliances and Electronics
As a kitchen designer quite often I walk into kitchens that have built-in appliances or electronics, such as televisions, radios, and intercom systems, that are hopelessly obsolete. Unfortunately, when items like this are built into the cabinetry it is very difficult, or sometimes impossible, to replace them or even remove them without leaving a gaping hole in your cabinets. The same is true for appliances with non-standard sizes. These items can date your home and are hard to replace without also replacing the cabinetry they are built into. This is true for any sort of cabinetry, including kitchens, entertainment centers, and offices, featuring built-in electronics or appliances. It’s best to use standard size appliances and avoid built-in electronics altogether.
YOUR Home is for YOUR Enjoyment!
The one thing we always stress to clients is that they need to love the finished product of any remodel. Don’t get caught up in a design you don’t like just because it’s popular or the current style. Unless you are planning to sell your home in the near future, base your design on what you like, regardless of whether it fits in the latest trend or not. Here at Stewart Construction we love happy customers, and the happiest customers are the ones who still love how their remodel project looks 10 years down the road. Thanks for reading!