Planning a kitchen renovation? Take note of these “most wanted” features and handy checklist

Durability, beauty and ease of use are always on the renovator’s wish list and modern kitchens offer more of that than ever. Here are some ideas to add to your kitchen renovation wish list that are expected to be popular this year:

Cool Cabinets

No longer simple boxes, cabinets today offer a wide range of configurations designed to maximize storage and plain usefulness, and can be customized with deep drawers, vertical sheet-pan slots, sliding shelves, pull-down high shelves, built-in spice storage, appliance garages, and under-counter trash and recycling containers.

Modern looking cabinets

More Contrast

Cabinet installations get a fresh look with coordinating colors. For instance, a painted island pairs with wood-finish wall units.

Engineered quartz countertop for kitchen renovation wish list

Engineered countertops such as quartz are becoming popular due to their classy look and durability.

Solid Countertops

Natural stone surfaces such as granite remain popular, but designers say engineered quartz is coming on strong. Engineered quartz, available in an impressive array of colors, is made from about 95 percent ground natural quartz and 5 percent polymer resins. The result is incredibly tough and doesn’t require sealing, although cooks should use trivets to protect it from excessive heat.

Sinks of Steel

Stainless steel, that is. These sinks are easy to maintain and offer outstanding durability. Plus, they look sleek and match stainless-steel appliances.

Quick Tip

Calculating Value

How much does an investment in a kitchen remodel return at sale? According to the experts at HGTV, you should see at least a 70 percent return on investment. Until then, of course, you can enjoy it yourself, which is its own payoff

Premium Appliances

Commercial-style stoves remain popular, and kitchen additions now include elements such as warming drawers and under-cabinet coolers.

Island Time

Doesn’t everyone want their own island, even if it’s in the kitchen and not the Caribbean? Food prep, cooktop, casual seating — a well planned island can end up the center of a home.

Kitchen island for kitchen renovation wish list

Kitchen islands are great for aesthetics and utility alike.

The Temporary Kitchen

Planning a big kitchen remodel? You’ll still have to eat! Before the work’s underway, think about…

Creating a temporary workspace

Depending on the scope of the work, either cordon off a part of the existing kitchen or set up a temp kitchen somewhere else entirely, with a microwave, a table and whatever else you can move.

chicken dish in crock pot

Slow cooked, pre-made meals are great when in “kitchen transition.”

Getting back to basics with meals

Think slowcooker suppers, cold cuts and big salads.

Borrowing a kitchen

It’s a great time to get a little more social. Ask family and friends if you can cook in their kitchens, and invite your hosts to share the meal.

Dining out

A kitchen renovation may be the perfect excuse to try interesting new restaurants and revisit old favorites.

Kitchen Renovation Checklist

A kitchen renovation takes careful planning. Questions to consider include …

Plumbing

Are there major plumbing issues in your existing setup, and how will any design decisions you make affect the plumbing structure in place? Do you want new pipes and fixtures? Do you need to re-route the plumbing in order to move the sink, refrigerator or dishwasher to a new location?

Electricity

Are you moving light fixtures, installing new lighting elements or re-wiring parts of your kitchen? Do you want a more elaborate scheme with dimmers, chandeliers, under-cabinet lighting or other electrical elements?

Dishwasher for kitchen renovation wish list

While it’s not recommended to stack your kitchen with unnecessary accessories, purchasing the best quality appliances within your budget will increase the value and longevity of your kitchen.

Appliances

Which appliances will you replace? It’s a good idea to buy the best you can afford. Don’t break the bank on that built-in coffeemaker or wine cabinet, but do as well as possible within the confines of your budget.

Cabinets & Countertops

Are you willing to invest in an entirely new set of cabinets or would you prefer to reface your current cabinet boxes? Are you interested in distinctive cabinet hardware or glass doors? Are you planning to explore cabinet color options, straying from the traditional wood hues? And what about the countertop? Plastic laminate, granite, quartz, solid surface, cement, stainless steel or a combination of surfaces, such as pairing a stone working counter with a wood-topped bar for quick meals and entertaining?

Paint

Are you willing to invest in an entirely new set of cabinets or would you prefer to reface your current cabinet boxes? Are you interested in distinctive cabinet hardware or glass doors? Are you planning to explore cabinet color options, straying from the traditional wood hues? And what about the countertop? Plastic laminate, granite, quartz, solid surface, cement, stainless steel or a combination of surfaces, such as pairing a stone working counter with a wood-topped bar for quick meals and entertaining?

Flooring

It needs to be built to last. But make sure your choice matches the look of the rest of the kitchen and the house.

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