kitchen imageRenovating your kitchen can be an exciting, but overwhelming, prospect. How do you start? How do you know what you need, what you like, or – even more perplexing – what the structure of your home will allow?

Professional renovators will encourage you to take your time in this fledgling stage when you think you want to take the plunge but don’t exactly know what or how. Most suggest doing research for information and inspiration. Some advise collecting your ideas into a folder.

There are lots of places to look. Surf the Internet. Go to home shows. Talk to others who have had their kitchens renovated. Watch “kitchen scenes” in movies or TV shows, but look at them with a discerning eye. Visit kitchen showrooms. Talk to the designers. Learn about the latest products and manufacturing methods.

Try to get a sense of the “look” you want to achieve. Will your kitchen be contemporary? Heritage? Funky? Will it suit the rest of your house? Will it match your personality and enhance your lifestyle?

How will you use the kitchen? Do you love to cook? How many cooks are in your family? Will the kitchen be a homework place for children? Will it incorporate an area for little ones to play or create? Will it have laundry facilities? Extra appliances? What about storage? What kind of cabinets? Will you have deep drawers for pots and pans, or will you hang them? Will there be a pantry?

Once you’ve got that more or less figured out, what colours will you have? Will your kitchen be all-white with a touch of bright colour, or will there be a theme consisting of several colours?

This is just the first step: the dreaming and “rough” planning, the list-making. The next step makes it start to feel “real” – when you find the best RenoMark® renovator for the job. Your renovator will tell you what you can do according to budget, structure and timeframe. Happy planning!

Writer Francie Healey is editor of Ottawa Renovates magazine