As you all know, I am often asked questions regarding what I do for a living. There are always many great ones to wite about but I have to choose which to answer while I am free to do so. I choose the ones I feel really deserve to be answered sooner than others. I thought I would share them with you.
Here’s a great question from a friend that asked about her kitchen:
I want to update my kitchen layout. The house is relatively new so I don’t want to renovate but I really don’t like the layout. I really like my tile, cabinets and appliances and I would prefer to not go through the expense of starting over. The problem is that I have no idea how to do this. I need a kitchen that works. Can I just replace the cabinets with new ones? What do you recommend?
Thank you for asking about this wonderful and important topic. The question you have asked is one that I really wish homeowners would take the time to reflect on. The answer is going to come from a place of No ( which I try to avoid but sometimes can’t 🙁 ) In order to re-organize a fixed-finish room you have to apply new materials. What is a fixed-finish room? It’s a room where you can’t update the layout or move things around without applying new materials because you like what’s already in place and it’s all built into the house. Allow me to re-iterate: It’s not that you can’t move things around, it’s that you subconsciously don’t want to because you like the way it looks but not the way it works. This leads one to believe that changing the look will solve the problem when it’s temporarily hiding the problem, instead of resolving it.
This is a new trend in the design-consumer end of the industry. It’s when someone believes that they can keep the same non-functioning layout but spend money on new and different color cabinetry, counter-tops and tile believing it will solve the dilemma when the issue is the layout of the kitchen, not the finishes.
The Issue is the Layout of the kitchen, not the finishes.
The layout is how it works, how it flows and leads to how you function. It’s not as simple as “Let’s put this here and this there”; it’s so much more! It’s the foundation for how you feel when you are utilizing your kitchen and how you feel about your kitchen! This trend right here is now the biggest consumer-end cover up ever known to man: keeping the same layout will not improve how your kitchen works. It’s applying concealer to a blemish: You know the one I mean, Anne. You dab a bit of concealer and it looks a lot better and then it eventually wears off as the day progresses? You go about and finally catch up to a mirror and see that the blemish is still there? It was temporarily hidden but you subconsciously know it was there all along, didn’t you?
You must change the layout to improve the functionality of the kitchen.
I have designed kitchens for years and the qualm is the same: How can I make my kitchen better without moving things around; It doesn’t work the way I want it to. It’s a half marathon to make a meal. Come the holidays, I’m cooking for days and it’s exhausting. I don’t have enough storage. All of these things – and much more! – are at the core of a non-functioning kitchen layout. I mentioned before that the answer is simple: a kitchen remodel is in order. Your layout will be re-organized to work for you and make meal prep easier, add storage and improve functionality. I know it may not be what you want to hear but that’s my best recommendation, Anne. I wish there was more I could offer that was less costly but existing kitchens are not an easy fix when it comes to improving the way you work in them. Your kitchen layout is non-negotiable. Take a look at the featured image above. Same kitchen, different layout. Upcoming Remodel for one client that realized what she needed was an entirely new kitchen because she hated the way it looked and worked because when you have to stop cooking in order to let someone open the refrigerator door, it costs you time and that ounce of frustration can make you really hate your kitchen.
Regards and best of luck. If you need my help with a new design, I’d be happy to speak with you about it and look for the upcoming posts about the remodel. You can follow it step by step to see how it works in real life.
Carolina Moncion Design
Kitchen and Bath Designer, Member NKBA [National Kitchen and Bath Association]