Anyone who has been through a home renovation knows that the decisions that need to be made are seemingly endless. During our kitchen renovation, I expected many of the decisions that needed to be made. For example, what color cabinets did we want. That was easy. I knew I wanted white. Some decisions were out of our control because they were influenced by structural limitations. Others seemed so small and inconsequential, I couldn’t even believe I needed to think about them. Like when our contractor asked me where I wanted the toilet paper holder hung in our powder room. My response was “wherever you think it should go”. Literally, there are hundreds of decisions to be made. It is exhausting. Luckily, some of the best decisions we made during our kitchen renovation were ones that had a big impact on both the look and function of the room.
1. Full size trash and recycling cans
It is hard to get excited about trash and recycling. But this was absolutely one of the best decisions we made. My parents have a beach house with pull out trash and recycling. However, they aren’t full size. Granted, when we are there it is usually with house full of people but those cans need to be emptied several times a day. I knew I wasn’t going to tolerate that kind of inconvenience in my day to day life. Sacrificing a small drawer was well worth the full size trash cans.
2. Island Microwave
This decision was influenced more by style than function. I knew that I wanted to have a pretty hood above our oven. It was a non negotiable for me. In fact, I would have gone without a microwave all together if necessary. If it wasn’t for Young House Love, I’m not sure I would have even known that having the microwave in an island was even possible! Just like YHL, we went with a traditional undermount microwave as opposed to a drawer microwave. This decision was based largely on budget — those drawer microwaves are not cheap! But I have not once regretted it.
3. Broom closet
Our architect’s plans included a preliminary layout for our kitchen cabinets and appliances. Style might trip me up sometimes but I feel confident in any decisions I make regarding function. Her plans had a “coffee station” at the furthest point from both our sink and refrigerator. I knew right off the bat I’d never put our coffee maker far away from the sink. But it wasn’t until after we picked out our cabinets and met with the kitchen designer that I realized another glaring issue. The plans, even those from the kitchen designer, didn’t include a broom closet. I wasn’t about to spend tens of thousands of dollars and need to stick my broom behind the basement door. Luckily, we had a space that was ideal for the broom cabinet. And it did end up being a cabinet as building an actual closet would have been more expensive!
Envisioning a new look for your kitchen can be both fun and overwhelming. When picking out colors and styles, don’t forget about function! Styles change but needing a water source for your coffee maker or a discreet place to store a broom won’t!