Local designer gives nine essential tips for remodeling your kitchen

Friday, August 01 2014 1:54 pm by Erica Jackson

2014_0801_kitchenRemodeling a kitchen is a big job, but if you take it piece by piece and put thought into a few key features, you’ll be well on your way to creating a kitchen that will work for you and your family, according to local interior designer Dee Ann Federico.

Federico, who owns Dee Ann Design in Riverhead, recently sat down with RiverheadLOCAL to talk about the nine most important things to think about when designing a kitchen.

Decide How You Will Use Your Kitchen

“Not everyone is a fabulous cook, so you have to be realistic about what you are going to be doing in your kitchen,” said Federico.

Remember: your kitchen isn’t just for cooking.

“It is the heart of your home and where you will be spending 90 percent of your time,” said Federico.

If you’re the type to do a lot of entertaining, keep in mind that you are going to want to design your kitchen much differently than someone who considers themselves an amateur chef.

Write down a list of what you envision in your kitchen, including every detail you can think of – cabinets, appliances, and even seating.

Break Down the Costs

Once you figured out what your needs are, you will next need to set up a budget and seriously put thought into costs. On average, she said, a new kitchen will cost conservatively $35,000, depending on the size of the kitchen.

But there are things you can do to cut down costs. One cost saving measure is to pay careful attention to plumbing when you’re planning your new kitchen. Giving your kitchen a face-lift while keeping all the pipes under the surface the same will cut down on costs.

“Using a layout that is the same as your old kitchen in terms of plumbing will save you a lot of money,” she said.

Create a Lighting Plan – Wurth LIGHTING

Federico stressed that lighting in a kitchen is very important and should be at the top of your list in your re-design.

“You need a mix of lighting,” she said, from utilitarian for performing various tasks, to decorative lighting and under the counter lighting.
Pick a Color Scheme

When designing a kitchen, picking a color scheme is very important said Federico,

“There is a trend toward using grays and sand colors,” she said, especially when it comes to cabinetry.

“You also don’t want your kitchen super dark. It really limits you,” she said.

Pick Your Cabinetry – 

When renovating your kitchen, its important to remember to update your storage spaces. Whether your dream kitchen is large or small, there are cabinets to meet your needs, said Federico.

“You really don’t need a big kitchen to have great storage anymore,” she said. “It is amazing how they configure cabinets for the max amount of storage now.”

“They have full pantries that are really tall and narrow, roll out drawers and inserts.”

Top off Your Counters

Countertops are very important to a kitchen and can cost a lot of money, especially if you are eying up granite, the most popular countertop material.

If you are not dead-set on granite, Federico suggests looking at other man-made materials, including Caesarstone Quartz Countertops, which are made from recycled materials.

Splash the Back

To tie your kitchen together, Federico highly recommends carefully selecting a backsplash.

“You want to unite your cabinets with your countertops. A backsplash can really set the whole tone of your kitchen,” she said.

Federico said there are a variety of ways to design a backsplash, including using mosaic tiles, which she tends to incorporate in her kitchen designs.

“I like to use the mosaics that feature glass and Mother of Pearl in them so they have a little shine to them,” she said.

Federico said Subway tiles, which provide a clean and classic look, are also very popular.

Educate Yourself on Appliances

If your kitchen re-design calls for new appliances, Federico said the most important thing to do is to educate yourself on the various brands. According to Federico, all the popular brands offer a variety of models, from reasonably-priced ones right up to expensive top of the line models.

But with so many brands and models, it can be hard to make the right choice for such a large investment. To offset this, Federico suggests picking up a copy of Consumers’ Digest.

“They are non-partisan and have honest reviews,” she said.

She also recommended thinking carefully about which type of appliance you buy for your kitchen.

“Most people don’t realize that if they choose a 6-burner stove they are going to also need to think about proper ventilation.”

Finish it off with hardware – Wurth DECORATIVE HARDWARE

Finally, Federico suggested looking at hardware for your cabinets to put the finishing touches on your new kitchen.

While often overlooked, small details like hardware on your cabinetry can add just the right amount of style to your new kitchen.

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