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Things to do before you start a kitchen redesign

An extensive upscale kitchen redesign project can easily top $70,000, depending on the size of your kitchen and the products -- cabinetry, flooring, fixtures, countertops, backsplashes and appliances -- you choose, according to the National Kitch...

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Cindi Kouba, left, talks about different combinations of tiles and flooring with Reagan Thompson at Welcome Home by Design in Grand Forks, ND on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. (Joshua Komer/Grand Forks Herald)

An extensive upscale kitchen redesign project can easily top $70,000, depending on the size of your kitchen and the products - cabinetry, flooring, fixtures, countertops, backsplashes and appliances - you choose, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Because it can be such a big investment, the thinking you do in advance will go a long way toward achieving the look and function you want and prevent costly errors. When considering a kitchen redesign, your first step should be to make a list of the things you don't like about your kitchen, said Reagan Thompson, designer and owner of Welcome Home by Design in Grand Forks. Alissa Larson, an interior designer who owns and operates Slate Interiors in Grand Forks, agreed. "If you hate that Lazy Susan in the corner, that's good to know," she said. Follow that with a list of the things you would like in your kitchen. "Make a wish list," Larson said. "Maybe you want to add pantry storage or a small-appliance storage space or a double-oven and cooktop." More of her clients are choosing to sacrifice their dining rooms in favor of expanding their kitchens to allow for the addition of a peninsula or an island, with seating, or other space where families can eat together and kids can do homework. It's also important to consider what you do in your kitchen, Thompson said. "What do you cook? How often do you entertain? Who uses your kitchen? Do your kids cook?" This information will help you and your designer get a handle on how the room is used and how it should be designed to function best. "I tell clients to save pictures or something they've seen in a magazine that they like," Thompson said.
His aim is to understand his client's personality and "the overall look they want - is it contemporary or traditional? Do they like oak or would they prefer a painted finish?" Those kinds of insights "can make a difference in how we measure things, and how we (as designers) look at their space," he said. Remodel vs. face-lift If the cost of a full-blown remodeling is out of reach, a face-lift - with new countertops and new hardware - can be a more affordable option. "For about $2,000, you can get new countertops and hardware," Larson said. "You can save so much money and still have a refreshed-looking space." The Internet and TV home design shows have "completely changed the industry," exposing viewers to many more options in kitchen redesign, Larson said. "People may make a (design) decision but won't stop looking. They're educated, but it leads to a little bit of indecisiveness." [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"2409212","attributes":{"alt":"Different types and tones of kitchen cabinet handles are shown at Welcome Home by Design in Grand Forks, ND ","class":"media-image","height":"320","title":"","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"480"}}]] The amount of money you spend also can vary considerably. "How long are you planning to be in your home?" Thompson asks his clients. "If they say, 'It's our forever home,' I say, 'Well, you better get what you want.' "If the clients expect to move in the next five years, well, then, we don't want to get too crazy." In such cases, a face-lift may be the best option. He may suggest limiting the project to new countertops, hardware, paint color and flooring, he said. An interior designer can walk you through the process and the choices you'll need to make. "A design professional - someone with experience to help you along the way - can see things that are an issue but that the client doesn't see," Larson said. Quite often, the designer presents ideas and suggestions the client has not considered. A designer also can manage the work of plumbers, electricians, carpenters and others needed for your remodel. "Find a designer you trust and who will take time to get to know you," Thompson advised. "There are so many choices (in products), it can be stressful. I think people can get overwhelmed," he said. "That's why we started this place 11 years ago, to just say, 'Calm down, have fun; nothing we're doing is life and death. It should be fun picking out things for your home.' "An extensive upscale kitchen redesign project can easily top $70,000, depending on the size of your kitchen and the products - cabinetry, flooring, fixtures, countertops, backsplashes and appliances - you choose, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Because it can be such a big investment, the thinking you do in advance will go a long way toward achieving the look and function you want and prevent costly errors. When considering a kitchen redesign, your first step should be to make a list of the things you don't like about your kitchen, said Reagan Thompson, designer and owner of Welcome Home by Design in Grand Forks. Alissa Larson, an interior designer who owns and operates Slate Interiors in Grand Forks, agreed. "If you hate that Lazy Susan in the corner, that's good to know," she said. Follow that with a list of the things you would like in your kitchen. "Make a wish list," Larson said. "Maybe you want to add pantry storage or a small-appliance storage space or a double-oven and cooktop." More of her clients are choosing to sacrifice their dining rooms in favor of expanding their kitchens to allow for the addition of a peninsula or an island, with seating, or other space where families can eat together and kids can do homework. It's also important to consider what you do in your kitchen, Thompson said. "What do you cook? How often do you entertain? Who uses your kitchen? Do your kids cook?" This information will help you and your designer get a handle on how the room is used and how it should be designed to function best. "I tell clients to save pictures or something they've seen in a magazine that they like," Thompson said. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2407431","attributes":{"alt":"Grey tones are a popular pick at Welcome Home by Design in Grand Forks, ND on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Photo by Joshua Komer","class":"media-image","height":"1333","title":"","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"2000"}}]] His aim is to understand his client's personality and "the overall look they want - is it contemporary or traditional? Do they like oak or would they prefer a painted finish?" Those kinds of insights "can make a difference in how we measure things, and how we (as designers) look at their space," he said. Remodel vs. face-lift If the cost of a full-blown remodeling is out of reach, a face-lift - with new countertops and new hardware - can be a more affordable option. "For about $2,000, you can get new countertops and hardware," Larson said. "You can save so much money and still have a refreshed-looking space." The Internet and TV home design shows have "completely changed the industry," exposing viewers to many more options in kitchen redesign, Larson said. "People may make a (design) decision but won't stop looking. They're educated, but it leads to a little bit of indecisiveness."
The amount of money you spend also can vary considerably. "How long are you planning to be in your home?" Thompson asks his clients. "If they say, 'It's our forever home,' I say, 'Well, you better get what you want.' "If the clients expect to move in the next five years, well, then, we don't want to get too crazy." In such cases, a face-lift may be the best option. He may suggest limiting the project to new countertops, hardware, paint color and flooring, he said. An interior designer can walk you through the process and the choices you'll need to make. "A design professional - someone with experience to help you along the way - can see things that are an issue but that the client doesn't see," Larson said. Quite often, the designer presents ideas and suggestions the client has not considered. A designer also can manage the work of plumbers, electricians, carpenters and others needed for your remodel. "Find a designer you trust and who will take time to get to know you," Thompson advised. "There are so many choices (in products), it can be stressful. I think people can get overwhelmed," he said. "That's why we started this place 11 years ago, to just say, 'Calm down, have fun; nothing we're doing is life and death. It should be fun picking out things for your home.' "An extensive upscale kitchen redesign project can easily top $70,000, depending on the size of your kitchen and the products - cabinetry, flooring, fixtures, countertops, backsplashes and appliances - you choose, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association.Because it can be such a big investment, the thinking you do in advance will go a long way toward achieving the look and function you want and prevent costly errors.When considering a kitchen redesign, your first step should be to make a list of the things you don't like about your kitchen, said Reagan Thompson, designer and owner of Welcome Home by Design in Grand Forks.Alissa Larson, an interior designer who owns and operates Slate Interiors in Grand Forks, agreed."If you hate that Lazy Susan in the corner, that's good to know," she said.Follow that with a list of the things you would like in your kitchen."Make a wish list," Larson said. "Maybe you want to add pantry storage or a small-appliance storage space or a double-oven and cooktop."More of her clients are choosing to sacrifice their dining rooms in favor of expanding their kitchens to allow for the addition of a peninsula or an island, with seating, or other space where families can eat together and kids can do homework.It's also important to consider what you do in your kitchen, Thompson said. "What do you cook? How often do you entertain? Who uses your kitchen? Do your kids cook?"This information will help you and your designer get a handle on how the room is used and how it should be designed to function best."I tell clients to save pictures or something they've seen in a magazine that they like," Thompson said.
His aim is to understand his client's personality and "the overall look they want - is it contemporary or traditional? Do they like oak or would they prefer a painted finish?"Those kinds of insights "can make a difference in how we measure things, and how we (as designers) look at their space," he said.Remodel vs. face-liftIf the cost of a full-blown remodeling is out of reach, a face-lift - with new countertops and new hardware - can be a more affordable option."For about $2,000, you can get new countertops and hardware," Larson said. "You can save so much money and still have a refreshed-looking space."The Internet and TV home design shows have "completely changed the industry," exposing viewers to many more options in kitchen redesign, Larson said."People may make a (design) decision but won't stop looking. They're educated, but it leads to a little bit of indecisiveness."[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"2409212","attributes":{"alt":"Different types and tones of kitchen cabinet handles are shown at Welcome Home by Design in Grand Forks, ND ","class":"media-image","height":"320","title":"","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"480"}}]]The amount of money you spend also can vary considerably."How long are you planning to be in your home?" Thompson asks his clients. "If they say, 'It's our forever home,' I say, 'Well, you better get what you want.'"If the clients expect to move in the next five years, well, then, we don't want to get too crazy."In such cases, a face-lift may be the best option. He may suggest limiting the project to new countertops, hardware, paint color and flooring, he said.An interior designer can walk you through the process and the choices you'll need to make."A design professional - someone with experience to help you along the way - can see things that are an issue but that the client doesn't see," Larson said. Quite often, the designer presents ideas and suggestions the client has not considered.A designer also can manage the work of plumbers, electricians, carpenters and others needed for your remodel."Find a designer you trust and who will take time to get to know you," Thompson advised."There are so many choices (in products), it can be stressful. I think people can get overwhelmed," he said."That's why we started this place 11 years ago, to just say, 'Calm down, have fun; nothing we're doing is life and death. It should be fun picking out things for your home.' "An extensive upscale kitchen redesign project can easily top $70,000, depending on the size of your kitchen and the products - cabinetry, flooring, fixtures, countertops, backsplashes and appliances - you choose, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association.Because it can be such a big investment, the thinking you do in advance will go a long way toward achieving the look and function you want and prevent costly errors.When considering a kitchen redesign, your first step should be to make a list of the things you don't like about your kitchen, said Reagan Thompson, designer and owner of Welcome Home by Design in Grand Forks.Alissa Larson, an interior designer who owns and operates Slate Interiors in Grand Forks, agreed."If you hate that Lazy Susan in the corner, that's good to know," she said.Follow that with a list of the things you would like in your kitchen."Make a wish list," Larson said. "Maybe you want to add pantry storage or a small-appliance storage space or a double-oven and cooktop."More of her clients are choosing to sacrifice their dining rooms in favor of expanding their kitchens to allow for the addition of a peninsula or an island, with seating, or other space where families can eat together and kids can do homework.It's also important to consider what you do in your kitchen, Thompson said. "What do you cook? How often do you entertain? Who uses your kitchen? Do your kids cook?"This information will help you and your designer get a handle on how the room is used and how it should be designed to function best."I tell clients to save pictures or something they've seen in a magazine that they like," Thompson said.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2407431","attributes":{"alt":"Grey tones are a popular pick at Welcome Home by Design in Grand Forks, ND on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. Photo by Joshua Komer","class":"media-image","height":"1333","title":"","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"2000"}}]]His aim is to understand his client's personality and "the overall look they want - is it contemporary or traditional? Do they like oak or would they prefer a painted finish?"Those kinds of insights "can make a difference in how we measure things, and how we (as designers) look at their space," he said.Remodel vs. face-liftIf the cost of a full-blown remodeling is out of reach, a face-lift - with new countertops and new hardware - can be a more affordable option."For about $2,000, you can get new countertops and hardware," Larson said. "You can save so much money and still have a refreshed-looking space."The Internet and TV home design shows have "completely changed the industry," exposing viewers to many more options in kitchen redesign, Larson said."People may make a (design) decision but won't stop looking. They're educated, but it leads to a little bit of indecisiveness."
The amount of money you spend also can vary considerably."How long are you planning to be in your home?" Thompson asks his clients. "If they say, 'It's our forever home,' I say, 'Well, you better get what you want.'"If the clients expect to move in the next five years, well, then, we don't want to get too crazy."In such cases, a face-lift may be the best option. He may suggest limiting the project to new countertops, hardware, paint color and flooring, he said.An interior designer can walk you through the process and the choices you'll need to make."A design professional - someone with experience to help you along the way - can see things that are an issue but that the client doesn't see," Larson said. Quite often, the designer presents ideas and suggestions the client has not considered.A designer also can manage the work of plumbers, electricians, carpenters and others needed for your remodel."Find a designer you trust and who will take time to get to know you," Thompson advised."There are so many choices (in products), it can be stressful. I think people can get overwhelmed," he said."That's why we started this place 11 years ago, to just say, 'Calm down, have fun; nothing we're doing is life and death. It should be fun picking out things for your home.' "

2407429+032216.F.GFH_.KITCHENREDESIGN_1.JPG
Cindy Kouba, left, and Reagan Thompson talk about interior design layout at Welcome Home by Design in Grand Forks, ND on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. (Joshua Komer/Grand Forks Herald)

Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at pknudson@gfherald.com or (701) 780-1107.
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