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7 Helpful Tips to Start Your Kitchen and Bath Remodel Design

Kitchen and bath areas are prime targets for upgrades aimed at increasing the value and livability of your home. And while it’s true that making changes to the core functions of a household can be challenging, there are ways to manage the kitchen and bath remodel design process that make it more efficient and enjoyable. With that goal in mind, let’s get started.


1. Know your home

The most important decision you will make throughout the process is whether to expand the existing kitchen and bath areas or work within their limits. You simply cannot make that choice without understanding the structure of your home. So if you don’t know which walls bear a load or what’s underneath your flooring, your first step is consulting a professional about your home’s construction.  

2. Get inspired

Once you know what’s possible, you can start dreaming. Make a list of things you don’t like about the areas to be remodeled then spend time browsing the Internet, magazines and showrooms for solutions. As the most used rooms in your home, kitchen and bath areas are about functionality first and foremost. Is the lighting sufficient? Are there ways to improve air flow? Address these issues up front for a result you’ll love later. This is also the time to get input from everyone who shares the home, and be sure to consider how changes will impact those who can’t speak for themselves. . . namely young children and pets. 

Make sketches. Collect photos on Pinterest. Share ideas. Have fun!

3. Organize your options

Successful kitchen and bath remodel design is all about making good choices, so get good at making them. Sorting through the thousand-and-one ideas that inspired you to settle on what will work and what you can afford is easier if you organize them by theme. Ask yourself what it is about a particular design that appeals to you. Is it the floor plan, the cabinet style or something as simple as the color combination? Pay attention to basic elements like texture and scale. Once you know what you like about a design and why, you’re in a position to customize your own version and achieve the same results with a more efficient use of resources.

4. Move around & envision

There’s only so much you can accomplish from the comfort of a chair. Moving through each area slated for remodel with an idea in mind and a tape measure in hand will help you eliminate the impractical. Imagine yourself using the new room with the changes in place.

Can doors open freely? How many people can use a workspace at the same time? Is there adequate room for waste receptacles and recycling bins? This is also a good time to take photos and measurements to share with design consultants and your contractor later in the process. 

5. Say it loud / Say it proud

You know you’re done with the above steps when you can communicate your vision with confidence. This includes the overall look (sleek modern? casual country?) as well as important details such as fixture and appliance upgrades. Uncertainty wreaks havoc on the kitchen and bath remodel design process.

So, although you must be open to change, knowing what you aim to achieve and being able to explain it to the professionals who will help you get there is a critical milestone. 

6. Get Real - Make a budget

Turning your dream kitchen or bath into an itemized spreadsheet that works is not the most fun step in the process, but it is critical for success. Since budgeting usually involves letting go, it’s best to start with improvements that matter most while keeping in mind that investments in quality appliances and fixtures provide a lasting reward while trendy statements can get old, fast. If you simply must have that whirlpool tub, put it and the cost to install it as budget item number one, then work with what remains to get the counters and cabinets that best meet your design criteria. 

This means working with professionals to get price quotes and construction estimates. And before you commit to any appliance, fixture, cabinet, counter or floor treatment consult independent resources like Consumer Reports to learn how well those items performed under testing. 

Finally, when it comes to budgeting, allow for contingencies. A 15% cushion will cover unforeseen expenses (or allow for a well deserved mini-vacation if you manage to control costs). 

7. Go with the flow

Arriving at a remodel design you like and developing a plan to create it on a reasonable budget is most of the work; but you should be prepared to accept changes along the way, even up to the very end. Despite your best efforts, things will happen. When they do, take a breath, smile, and embrace other options. With everything you’ve learned along the way, chances are good that you’ll arrive at something better the second time around.

71-1661 Puu Napoo Kitchen-6

The kitchen and bath remodel design process is all about choices you have to live with, and while professionals have an all important role to play, don’t underestimate the contribution that can be made by those destined to enjoy the new spaces. . . namely you, your family and even your friends. 

When you're ready to start your kitchen and bath remodel,
contact an HPM Home Design Consultant today.



Kitchen photographed designed by Peggy Benson, HPM Kona Home Design Center

White 1900 Bellmont Cabinets, Coronado door style
LG Viatera Quartz countertops in Rococo color
Kohler 36" apron front sink 

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