Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The chicken, because it had to find a place to store the egg–no, you can’t just leave that on the kitchen counter and walk away! Kitchen renovation may well be the original home of the chicken-or-the-egg riddle. Ultimately, your choices of cupboards, cabinets and closets is determined by the items you have to put away. Although the renovation process centers around doing what you want and need, storage is an area where determining exactly what you want and need can be time-consuming and frustrating. Decisions about storage are also decisions about work space. Cabinetry and counter-space interact to create the final shape of your kitchen and the total workspace available.
Fortunately, KB can offer options that suit even the complicated storage needs of your family and its activities. Financial and home-improvement advisors tend to agree that storage choices are likely to cost roughly 1/3 of your overall kitchen renovation budget, so the decisions you make about storage will have a big impact on what you do now and what you do later. KB’s integrated approach to work- and storage-space mean more space for less money, no matter what your needs.
Large parts of a major renovation will last a long time—10 to 15 years or more. That means planning for change as well as for current needs. Young children grow. Older ones grow up and establish homes of their own. Although it’s comforting to regard your house as where you’ll live forever, retirement, climate and other considerations may mean a sale and a move in your future. Looking ahead can add help you add resale value as you improve your present lifestyle. You may not be able to see the future, but reviewing what you hope and expect to happen can be a very helpful planning tool.
Here are some strategies that will help you plan storage for both now and later.
1. Pare down. So much easier to say than to do, but honesty really is the best policy. Given the interactions between cabinets and counters, your grandmother’s chicken fryer, those traditional but ugly Derby Day julep cups and the popcorn maker with the scorch-spot may be standing between you and the small office space you’ve longed for year after year. New tip-out recycle bins can replace the collection of containers that would let you store a full year’s worth of leftovers.
2. Pass along. You are about to make your congregation’s White Elephant sale the best ever! Families stretching food budgets will be particularly happy to shop through donated kitchen equipment. Keep the best and share the rest. Find new homes for cookware that gathers dust because it is too big or too heavy to use comfortably. Make a new neighbor a pie in that cute ceramic you got as a gift, and ask her to keep the dish.
3. Look around. Lifestyle changes affecting meal-planning, food-preparation and hospitality are everywhere. One of the strongest categories of evidence may be the accumulation of new appliances on your old countertops. Single-cup coffee makers, sous-vide cookers and countertop “instant” pressure-pots have joined the crowd of small appliances already making big impacts on family and company meals. If you spend lots of time getting small appliances out and putting them away, if they take counter-space away from other necessary tasks, or if you’re constantly moving things around, this may be a specific storage problem to solve. Consumers can expect to see more small or counter-sized appliances that do single-focus tasks for at least the near future.
At the same time, work areas need to accommodate major shifts in shopping and food processing at home. Two trends lead in very different directions, and some kitchen designs will need to make room for both. Whether you call it local-sourcing, farm-to-table or just plain organic, some foods arrive in homes needing more counter space and storage space than results of an old-style trip to the grocery store. Countertops need to provide space for washing more leafy greens, cleaning more vegetables and handling larger cuts of meat. In other homes, increased enthusiasm for meal-kits means that counters are used more for unpacking and assembling ingredients than basic prep for storage. A third trend—delivery of already-prepared food—dictates more cupboard and counter space for hospitable serving and sharing. Homeowners who regard the kitchen as a center of conviviality will want to be sure there is plenty of space for guests to relax and enjoy time together.
Look ahead. Good planning for renovation anticipates what homeowners will want at a different stage of life and even what new owners may want someday. Prospective new owners are very much like you. They want living space to have good “bones” but also space for potential change. Working with experienced designers like those at KB will let you express your individual wishes, add value to your property and lay the way for future change. Classic materials and pace-setting products at budget-friendly prices let you have it all, now and in years to come.