Itchin’ to up­date your kitchen? Four steps to cre­ate the kitchen of your dreams

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Homespot - Broward East - - CONDO & H.O.A. LAW -

Re­mod­el­ingth­ek­itchen.

When you de­cide to tackle this daunt­ing un­der­tak­ing, you want to do it right. And, you’re not alone. Forty-nine per­cent of home­own­ers plan to com­pletely gut their ex­ist­ing kitchen and start with a clean state, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent survey by Houzz.com.

Re­gard­less of the scope of your project, if you’re itchin’ to up­date your kitchen, follow th­ese five steps to de­sign the space you’ve been dream­ing about. Step 1: Cre­ate a bud­get. Be­fore pick­ing up a sin­gle tool or seek­ing con­trac­tor rec­om­men­da­tions from friends, it’s im­por­tant to de­ter­mine how much you’re will­ing to spend to achieve your ideal kitchen.

Whether need­ing ba­sic up­grades or a com­plete re­model, set­ting your bud­get will help to cre­ate a re­al­is­tic plan from the start. There are a wide range of im­pact­ful up­dates to change the look of your space no mat­ter what the price tag.

Step 2: Think about what you need (and what you want).

Take a step back and think about how you use the kitchen. Are you an avid baker who needs more counter space for rolling out con­fec­tions? Do you like to make home­made pizza and the thought of a stone oven makes you drool?

No mat­ter what your dream space looks like, there’s one area that ev­ery­one should up­date—the kitchen faucet.

Be­cause it sees so much use on a daily ba­sis, think about ways to make tasks eas­ier, like in­stalling a new pull-down faucet. From pre­par­ing meals and wash­ing dishes, to wa­ter­ing plants and filling pitch­ers, you’ll quickly no­tice the dif­fer­ence made by this sim­ple up­date.

For a con­tem­po­rary look, try the new Moen Align or STo pull-down faucets. Both bring mod­ern style and su­pe­rior per­for­mance with a two-func­tion pull-down spray wand that al­lows you to switch the wa­ter flow from aer­ated stream to spray with the push of a but­ton.

Beyond a new faucet, here are some of the most popular— and most de­sired— items for the kitchen, ac­cord­ing to the Houzz survey:

Fifty per­cent said a chef’s stove was their dream ap­pli­ance.

Sev­enty-five per­cent of re­spon­dents want soft, neu­tral col­ors in the kitchen.

Sixty-five per­cent are look­ing to co­or­di­nate with stain­lesssteel ap­pli­ances.

A cus­tom pantry is the most popular kitchen stor­age item, fol­lowed by a uten­sil drawer.

Gran­ite is still the most de­sired coun­ter­top ma­te­rial. Step 3: Re­search and plan. Sources for ideas and in­spi­ra­tion are in­fi­nite—es­pe­cially on­line. Sites like Pin­ter­est and Houzz pro­vide end­less eye candy and de­sign con­cepts for your new kitchen space; Houzz can even pro­vide rec­om­men­da­tions of lo­cal pro­fes­sion­als to con­tact.

To vi­su­al­ize a few of the up­grades you’re con­sid­er­ing—not to men­tion touch and feel them— visit a lo­cal kitchen show­room as they have a num­ber of vignettes and “rooms” de­signed through­out.

Mag­a­zine ar­ti­cles and fea­tures can also pro­vide valu­able how-to in­for­ma­tion and de­sign ad­vice.

Just be sure to save any fa­vorite ideas in one place, mak- ing ev­ery­thing eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble when it’s time to get started.

Step 4: De­ter­mine your ap­proach.

Will you hire a pro or do most of the work your­self? If you’re go­ing to change the lay­out or re­move walls in the kitchen, it’s best to work with a pro­fes­sional con­trac­tor. Rewiring elec­tri­cal or adding new light sources are also jobs best left to a cer­ti­fied elec­tri­cian.

You can find a num­ber of pro­fes­sion­als on­line from sites like Angie’s List or Houzz, and you’ll be able to read reviews from pre­vi­ous cus­tomers, and in some cases, view sam­ples of their work.

If you’re an avid DIYer, you may feel com­fort­able in­stalling new cab­i­nets, floor­ing and coun­ter­tops. But there are cer­tain projects, like the demo, paint­ing and in­stal­la­tion of a new faucet that any­one—and any skill level —can eas­ily tackle.

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