The following are the decisions the homeowner will need to participate in as part of the overall kitchen design process. The earlier in the design process these decisions are made the greater control you will have over the budget and avoid expensive compromises. As with anything you purchase, the more time you have to shop & compare the better chance you have of finding the best price. The necessity to make an urgent decision during construction to “keep the schedule on track” will, in most cases, cost you more money.
- Appliances, a final design plan can not be completed until we know which appliances will be used. The work triangle and traffic flow will be dictated by the kind of appliances that are selected. Cook top & wall oven or free standing range, 30” 36” 42” cooking surface?? Are just the beginnings of choices? The earlier you shop the greater control you will have over your budget.
- Plan layout, work triangle, traffic flow & circulation are the most critical factors in a well designed kitchen. This is the first thing that has to be “gotten right” A poorly designed kitchen will not ware well and will not stand the test of time.
- Counter top material and color, the most limited choice in terms of selection options are counter tops. Natural stone and synthetic stone all have limited choices. Other materials such as tile, paint & cabinet color offer infinitely broader choices in terms of colors and textures. Select your counter tops first and build on that.
- Wood specie and finish, cabinets cannot be ordered or accurately priced without knowing which specie and finish will be used. The cost difference between “Clear Coat” and “Stain, Glazed & Distressed” is easily 3 – 4 times the cost of finishing.
- Back splash material, solid surface, natural stone or ceramic tile will need to be selected early in the process to coordinate the overall color pallet to be used in the project. While lead time is generally not a problem, some imported products can take up to 8 weeks to arrive.
- Plumbing fixtures, hundreds of choices can make this easy or overwhelming. If this important to you the shear number of choices will take time to research and compare.
- Lighting fixtures, while most of the task lighting will be dictated by layout and lumen formulas, specimen or accent lighting will be a decision you will have to make. Unlike recessed can lighting, where there are only a handful of choices, accent lighting has thousands of choices and can be expensive. In addition the way or various ways a room will be used will impact the way lighting is switched or “ganged” together.
- Color scheme, color is an important choice; it defines the mood or feel of a room. While this final decision can be left for last the overall decision of warm tones or cool tones will have already have been decided by the other choices made that involve color. i.e. counter tops
- Wood trim, what will be done with existing trim in the kitchen, eating area & adjoining rooms? Are we going to match, complement, harmonize or contrast it?
All of these choices will take time to consider, compare and shop for “best value”. The amount of time you allocate to making these choices will be proportional to the control you have over the schedule and most importantly, the budget.