Cottages & Bungalows


Starting your own kitchen remodel can be daunting, but builder and designer Chuck Hart says it doesn't have to be. He's developed a three-step guide about how to rethink renovation to make it a more manageable and enjoyable process:


• Step 1: Focus on the layout. Chuck recommends starting with a “big picture” approach to determine the overall flow and design of your kitchen. “It comes down to how the client is going to use the space,” he says.

He suggests considerin­g questions such as how many people are in your family, if you like to cook (or not) and how you entertain. “It becomes important if you have a larger family, because you need good egress ways for people to get in and out of the space without tripping over each other,” he says.

• Step 2: Look at the functional details. Chuck says it's now time to zoom in and look at all the ways you'll use your kitchen on a daily basis—including where you store your pots and pans and cutlery and where you'll store your alcoholic beverages. “I have the client take their space apart and put it back together again,” he says.

• Step 3: Have fun with aesthetics. Setting the framework and knowing how the space will be structured frees you up to complete the last step: figuring out all the finishes and flourishes in your new kitchen.

Chuck recommends checking out Pinterest or looking at magazines to collect images of the look and feel you're wanting to create. “You can dive into the fun part—the aesthetics—because you have all those other things off your mind,” he says. “When you break it down that way, you only have to focus on a few things at once and not be overwhelme­d by decisions.”

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