Lori Gilder

Lori Gilder is an award-winning Architectural Interior Designer known for her clean, architectural lines and comfortable California Modern style.

How To Avoid Those Expensive Kitchen Mistakes

Whether you’re doing a major kitchen renovation or a moderate upgrade, planning a kitchen remodel can create an extremely stressful and challenging environment for everyone in the household.  So before you hire the contractor or pick up a hammer consider these valuable insider tips to help you make the best choices when tackling your kitchen re-design and avoid costly mistakes.

Do Your Research.

  • Do your due diligence and educate yourself on what’s out there in the design world and marketplace. There are an endless array of cabinetry, countertops, backsplash, appliances and flooring materials on the market – so get to know what works best for you.
  • Grab some kitchen design magazines, and focus on the styles of kitchens and interiors you’re drawn to. It doesn’t matter if it’s a window style, a cabinet detail, or a paint color you’re in love with. Just tear out the pages and make notes indicating what you specifically love about it. Is it the 6-burner stainless steel stove, those gorgeous French doors, or the overall kitchen layout?
  • Create an inspiration file and use this as your starting point.  Once you know what you like you will be more decisive in the planning stage and that will save you time and money.

Resist The Latest Fads.

  • Fads in products and interior design don’t have the longevity of an established style – or even a new trend – which could have a long-term influence.
  • For example: the glossy photo of the turquoise French Oven that you fell madly in love should stay on the pages of the magazine.  Ask yourself: Will you still love that range in 10 years? A color like that will instantly date your kitchen – so opt for more timeless neutral colors and finishes.
  • Keep all the big-ticket items such as cabinetry, appliances and countertops more elegant and timeless – but dress up the backsplash for punch.  If it’s that green apple-tini color you’re craving, paint out a wall or two and install some accent pendant lamps over the island  to give your kitchen the color infusion you need.

Efficiency Is Key.

  • Design your kitchen for the way you really live and don’t sacrifice function for design. 
  • Of course your new kitchen should look spectacular but not at the expense of overall efficiency.  Make it a working kitchen.
  • Your kitchen layout should be top of your list of priorities and should be designed with precision planning and great attention to detail – making every inch count.

Don’t Do It Yourself.

  • I know, I know.  You always hear that if you DIY you’ll save a lot of M-O-N-E-Y. 
  • The reality is that DIY projects typically take 3 to 4 times longer than a highly trained contractor to do the job – and eventually 20% of ambitious home re-modelers will need to call for some professional back up – not just to complete the work, but repair the damage that the homeowners themselves have caused.
  • If your kitchen renovation is more than staining, re-facing or painting your existing cabinets (and you’re not that handy) then hire a professional to do the job.

Hire The Right Contractor.

  • I’d highly recommend you give serious thought to hiring a General Contractor (GC) when your kitchen projects are more complicated than simply refinishing or painting.
  • If your job involves tearing down walls, building new ones, or relocating and supplementing any plumbing and electrical systems, then you should definitely consider hiring a general contractor. While most general contractors do fabulous work and come highly recommended, I’ve found there are still a lot of unscrupulous characters out there! So be careful – get references and check out their work!   The last thing you want is to get ripped off by the very person you entrusted to deliver your ultimate dream kitchen.
  • Do your best to find the right contractor for you, so all the time and money you spend planning, budgeting, and designing your kitchen will be put into the right hands.

I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation”

Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.



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Lori Gilder is an award-winning Architectural Interior Designer known for her clean, architectural lines and comfortable California Modern style.
©2014 | Lori Gilder Interior Makeover