Kitchen Design: What’s New? What’s Old?

So, you want to remodel your kitchen, and you’re looking for ideas. You’ll soon find there are millions of them. Perhaps, so many that the exercise of research just makes the decisions more complicated. There are no hard and fast rules. The kitchen you want has to suit you. Well, it all looks so good! Traditional cabinetry with ultra-modern appliances and accoutrements—and visa-versa—is fast becoming a trend. The mixture of past, present, and imagined future design elements can be melded to create an eclectic whole. Stainless steel and distressed pine together—natural stone and backlit acrylics—bold-colored islands and stained perimeter cabinetry. Seemingly incompatible forms can work to create your eclectic whole. Often, this demands the eye and skills of a professional kitchen designer.

                                                                                            Old world meets new:

Before                                                                                                                                                  After

Kitchen remodel beforeKitchen Remodel




 NLR Kitchen remodel


The kitchen work triangle of the past has given way to the new kitchen polygon. With the advent of multiple work stations, multiple sinks, pot fillers, mixer lifts, multiple ovens, warming drawers, refrigerators, and cooking surfaces, your kitchen can be as functional as a commercial enterprise. However, this is your kitchen—in your home. You want it to reflect who you are, as well as perform the way you want it to for you, your family and guests. If you intend to go all in with your kitchen remodel, you may need to reconfigure your space. Walls may have to go. You may, at least, need an architect. An experienced kitchen designer can make sense of the endless options, and once the designer understands you, your style, budget, needs, and wants, he/she can begin to shape your kitchen remodel. Of course, if you happen to be one of the fortunate few, the sky’s the limit. However, if you’re like most mortals, you will have a drop-dead budgetary limit to how far you can go. A budget doesn’t have to limit the artistic expression included in your kitchen remodel—just the cost of the components used. A tight budget is very likely to lessen the points of your kitchen polygon, however.

Before-NLR Kitchen


After-NLR Kitchen



When you are confronted with budgetary sacrifice and compromise in your kitchen remodel, there are areas for which sacrifices are less painless than others. There are usually cost-saving alternatives all around you. It is, however, often difficult to let go of ideas with which you’ve become attached. Just about every piece of your kitchen has a rock-bottom minimum cost, but unfortunately, no such limit exists at the high-end. Fixtures, for example, can be purchased at a home center or discount house, and may suit you fine for some time. Cabinetry can be purchased with less expensive particle board boxes, maintaining genuine wood faces. Much modern-style cabinetry is built with composites, or sustainable hardwoods such as bamboo or cork, which are less expensive than those made with wood from ever-declining forests. There are laminated counter tops available that are nearly indistinguishable from natural granite—and more maintenance free as well. There are many options with backsplashes—far too many to mention here. It’s safe to say that for whatever backsplash you have in mind, there is a less expensive alternative without sacrificing art. Appliances are expensive, and probably is not an area you want to skimp on. Generally, you get what you pay for in appliances; however, there are deals, packages, scratch and dents, clearance buys, and even reconditioned appliances that can help. You get the idea. Do your homework, look around.

NLR Kitchen Remodel


If you’re really willing to stick your neck out, you can even save money by acting as your own general contractor. Hiring, and coordinating all of the trades and material deliveries can be a whole lot to handle—a whole lot. This is recommended only if you have some experience in this area, or if you know and trust someone that does.