Bailiwick Interior Design


Kitchen Re-Fresh OR Re-Novate? PART 2 

What to Keep? vs What to Change?

STOP right here if you did not read PART 1 of this blog! 

Seriously – I discussed the main element of a kitchen renovation – the cabinets!

If you read Part 1 – Read on! 

Since I’ve already reviewed the options of how to approach the biggest ticket item on the budget list – cabinets - let’s look at the other elements of a functional and beautiful kitchen. (Yes, folks this will be a 3 part blog – perhaps 4!) Some of you have been dreaming of this new kitchen for YEARS – why skimp on planning now?!


When you hire an independent kitchen designer, like myself, the difference may not seem clear at first – but it’s this simple - I am not committed to selling you new cabinets. I am committed to making your kitchen function better for you and your family. So once I’ve helped my clients determine how to best approach existing cabinets and whether they can reuse, add on or buy new, the next step is to ask the even harder questions;

What do you like or dislike about your existing kitchen – what works great now? What could use improvement? And what has always bugged the #%&! out of you about your kitchen?


This can be broken into 2 parts; Here are some sample questions to consider?

Meal Preparation: What’s your normal cooking process? Gathering, chopping, portioning, cooking appliance placements – is the current layout working for you?

Clean-Up: Is there a typical process of clearing plates and debris? Do you rinse before putting them into dishwasher or not? Do you hand-wash some items and use a dish drain?


This can be broken into 3 parts; Here are some more sample questions to consider?

Daily Lifestyle: How do I normally enter my kitchen? Who gets up first to make the coffee? Do you keep a night light on? Do you bump into each other when emptying the dishwasher or getting the milk out of the refrigerator?

Entertaining: We all know that no matter how hard we try – our guest are going to end up in our kitchen! How can we create a better space for the main cook/host or hostess to control the show? How can we offer an inviting experience for our guests?

The Big Picture: My experience as an interior designer AND as a kitchen and bath designer has paid off tremendously for my clients when considering the effects of a kitchen renovation on the adjacent rooms. As modern design trends embrace the
open concept” floor plan – careful attention MUST be paid to how the kitchen relates to the rest of the home. When you begin to take down walls you change the dynamics of how our living spaces FLOW with one another!


Of course functionality and flow go hand-in-hand, in my mind FLOW items are the ones where whole body or multiple bodies moving are concerned and FUNCTIONALITY is the details of should a door hinge left or right or where am I going to store my plates as I take them out of the dishwasher? OMG – the questions can seem endless!

Now do you see why I need more than one blog to get through this process? Done right, kitchen redesign is thoughtful and often emotional – be prepared! In Part 3 - I will address the other major areas of a kitchen refresh vs. renovation. This will show you why it’s a good idea to check out all your options and how hiring a professional can help you make smart decisions!


Carrie OesmannComment