Summertime brings many a kitchen renovation – and if yours is on the smaller side, you could face some tough decisions about how to update it. Regardless of its current size and features, getting the best out of your small kitchen reno requires a solid plan. Make sure you’ve included the following four factors to transforming your cooking and eating space into your new favorite room in the house.
1. What’s your budget?
Before anything, determine how much your household has to comfortably spend on renovations. A good reno budget has room for incidentals (around 10% of the total budget) and takes the following into account:
- Who will be doing each subproject (DIY vs. hiring a pro)
- What material quality/sources you’ll be using
- When your kitchen reno must be finished
- Where you can save by refinishing or upcycling appliances, fixtures, etc
- Why you’re renovating (more storage, more prep space, easier entertainment)
- The cost of any special supplies, electricians, appliance removal fees, etc.
Depending on the extent of your transformation and the money-saving measures you take, giving yourself a new kitchen can run anywhere from $4,000 to $25,000. A safe kitchen that is easy to use may be worth sacrificing a bonus detail or two.
Pro Tip: Renovations may be more affordable at the end of summer, or in the off-season (fall and winter). Get quotes from trusted contractors in your area to find out how much you can save!
2. Kitchen pain points
Though you may be ready to gut your kitchen and get all new everything, focusing one 1-3 pain points can help you create a cohesive design. These are some of the most common concerns when updating a small kitchen.
One of the biggest concerns for small kitchen owners is a lack of storage. How do you solve this? By getting creative! See which of these options for kitchen storage will work in your space.
- Stackable mixing bowls and cookware
- Rolling carts or islands
- Pull-down shelves
- Magnetic knife holder
No matter which storage options you choose, taking inventory of your kitchen items and donating, disposing of, or reorganizing items you seldom use can give your pans, spatulas, and forks more elbow room.
For a luxury modern kitchen design in a smaller space, invest in one or two items as the focal points that draw the room together. Dress up your space with cozy neutral mats and towels, and give your cupboards new drawer pulls and a fresh coat of paint.
A big focus of your small kitchen reno should be taking the clunky out of cooking and preserving or increasing valuable real estate on your countertops, and the number and location of your kitchen outlets greatly impacts how you can use the space. Count and inspect your kitchen outlets, determining which ones are dead, and how a trained professional can repair, relocate, or add outlets to eliminate reaching behind appliances or relying on a power strip in your kitchen.
When planning for your new kitchen, ask yourself the following questions:
- How many outlets do you have?
- If I have a portable dishwasher or crockpot, where will I plug it in?
- If I’m able to add an island, will it have another source of electricity?
Pro Tip: In many cities, installing a kitchen island also requires adding an outlet or two to meet code. Check your local building code and consider which appliances you use the most to determine the best outlet configuration for your space.
As you seek opportunities to marry storage, electrical safety, and seamless design, where will you splurge? How will you save? For a modern way to enjoy more phone-free meals, electronic drawers keep your devices safe while quietly charging them out of sight (cost: $200-$600).
If you’re not looking to make that investment just yet, there are more immediate solutions:
- Outlet covers for the ones that are out of commission
- Power strips that you can fasten to the underside of cupboards or against a wall
- Rearranging appliances for easier movement through your kitchen
How will this impact other spaces?
Changing the flow in one room in your home can highlight other needs. Do you want to expand your kitchen for more entertainment space away from the quiet bedrooms? Would you like the laundry room to double as a mudroom to spend less time cleaning the floors?
Asking the other members of your household what they hope to get out of the space could shed some light on easy opportunities to fix items that may have been overlooked.
3. Kitchen cleaning and maintenance
You deserve a kitchen that’s as easy to care for as it is to look at. Ask yourself the following questions to easily keep your new favorite room ready to go.
- Which materials can be cleaned with the solutionsI already use?
- Do I have enough natural or artificial light to clean appliances safely?
- What will ventilation look like in the updated space (fans, filters, and windows)?
- Can I maintain my kitchen appliances all in one go?
Though fancy is fun, so is avoiding spending hours cleaning meticulously with expensive cleaners that may not get the job done.
4. Resale value / Resale ROI
Whether you’re looking to sell your home in the next couple of years or you just moved into your forever home, considering the resale value of your planned upgrades can help if there’s a sudden shift in your household size or mobility needs, or if you need to sell.
If you’re in the market for something niche, there are several temporary design hacks that look permanent, while still coming off easily. The internet is a well of helpful ideas on this topic!