The kitchen is one of the most significant living spaces of a house and it needs to be functional and user-friendly. It serves as an area for meal preparation and interaction, but it should also fit in the user’s way of living, cater to a modern busy lifestyle, and combine quality and style. Remodeling a kitchen is a big undertaking that requires careful planning, as the kitchen is the area where one of the most important parts of the daily domestic activity takes place and the main focus must be on functionality without forgetting aesthetics.
The first and most important stage is to identify the owner’s objective and requirements. Other issues related to custom-built elements and equipment need to be discussed as well. Then, the budget is determined, and basic design principles, such as morphology or rhythm, and aesthetic concepts are addressed. Collecting images from magazines and home decoration websites with all the things that we would like to include (style, layouts, surfaces, materials, colours and textures, white kitchen appliances, etc.) can be extremely useful. Special attention must be paid to the choice of working surfaces because they are the ones that are most frequently used. Hard and solid surfaces are good coverings as they withstand use and last in time.
For the success of the overall project, it is essential that a project study (detailed architectural plans solving all technical issues), and a precise estimate of costs and of the duration of works be made available, in writing, before the work begins. Expertise and supervision of works are a protection against any wrong decisions which may look like affordable solutions at first but will end up increasing costs significantly.
One must be extremely diligent when comparing offers to ensure that the items or services compared are exactly the same. For a tender to be considered complete, it needs to include a detailed schedule of the works to be performed, the materials to be used, and, of course, labor costs. The quality of materials has a bearing on costs.
Once detailed plans have been drawn up, kitchen remodeling works can be grouped into two phases. During the first phase – structural part- all works of a technical nature will be conducted. Demolition and removal work, and reconfiguration of spaces (removal and replacement of plumbing and electrical systems, cabinets, and application of the first layer of paint). The second phase is when all the rest (furniture, appliances, etc.) is placed. If the owners live in the house during the renovation, it is essential that appliances have been ordered and kitchen furniture has been produced in advance so that they can all be installed immediately upon completion of the construction work.
A more detailed description of these stages can be found in the section “DESIGN STUDIES”.