Three Renovation Decisions That Affect Your Long-Term Use of the Kitchen

A kitchen renovation is a major undertaking, and the result must be something you can use easily for years. How you arrange appliances and which types you choose play a huge role in how well those renovations work out over time. Remember, you're not just giving your kitchen a new look; you're also preparing for when you eventually have to replace items. Your choices also affect your ability to keep the kitchen clean enough to not feel embarrassed if someone visits on short notice.

Freestanding or Fitted Fridge?

Fitted appliances are the norm in a lot of areas, with refrigerators and other gadgets placed in spaces that perfectly conform to the size and shape of the appliance. You'll often find that there's even a door that fits over the refrigerator and freezer doors to hide the refrigerator. Freestanding refrigerators are seen more in older homes that haven't been renovated. Yet you're not limited to having an exactly fitted refrigerator in your renovation, and in fact, you might consider a freestanding fridge instead.

When you have a fitted appliance, you have to replace it with one that is exactly the same size if you want it to remain well fitted. And if you have cabinet doors over the freezer and fridge doors, you'll need to find a replacement fridge with the same door configurations. It's much easier to move the fridge space away from the cabinets as any replacements you need in the years to come don't have to meet such detailed cosmetic standards.

Cooktop and Oven or a Combination Appliance?

Another appliance to look at is the stove and oven. Do you want to have a combined unit with the stove and oven in one appliance, or do you want a cooktop embedded in the counter while the oven is in the wall? Making them separate does have an advantage in that, if one breaks beyond repair, you don't have to actually replace both of them. If a combination stove/oven breaks, both get replaced because they're one unit. On the other hand, the oven in the wall faces the same issue as the fitted fridge; if you need to replace it, you have to be very careful about getting a new oven that's the same size and that will fit in the space in the wall.

Cabinets or Open Shelving?

Look at home design blogs and social media accounts, and you'll see picture after picture of kitchens with open shelves. Bowls are stacked strategically between knickknacks with pans hanging off hooks under the shelves, for example. The open shelves look very clean and neat in the pictures, but think of the dust that can gather on plates you don't use often; open shelving requires a lot of care. But the shelves are easy to access, unlike some cabinets in which the spaces in back are inaccessible unless you also install racks that roll out.

These might not seem like the biggest decisions at first, but they affect the usability of the kitchen and how nice it will look years from now. When you design your kitchen renovation along with representatives from the renovation company, keep the long-term use and your ability to care for the kitchen in mind.

For more information on kitchen renovations, contact a professional near you.