Kitchen Workbook: How to Find Your Kitchen Style
If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen, you’ve got to start somewhere: Here’s how to find inspiration and start narrowing it down:
When most homeowners embark on a kitchen remodel, they send endless hours collecting inspiring kitchen photos. But this doesn’t necessarily help a person figure out what they want, and can even cause confusion. Most people don’t have a favorite single look. If you’re like most people, you suffer from multiple personalities in the design department. The tough part of the process is learning to narrow down the options and hone in on what you want YOUR dream kitchen to look like.
Here are some tips to help you through Step 1:
Collect images at random.
Collect images that speak to you emotionally without thinking about why (at least for right now). There is a pattern there – you may not be able to see it at first, but a pattern will show itself. You may find that a whole bunch of your kitchen inspiration images may need to be added to an idea book for a future farmhouse or weekend getaway, but don’t skip over them just because they don’t relate to this project, save them for later.
Don’t edit yourself (yet).
Don’t make yourself nuts from the get-go by trying to edit as you collect. Collect with reckless abandon first, and edit later. Editing yourself while you gather inspiration is certain death for creativity.
Organize (but only if you want to).
It’s OK to be unorganized and even a little messy – this is creativity after all! So what if your collections are a bit of a mess with no rhyme or reason. If you are fabulously organized, then you’re a step ahead of us, but for those who aren’t, don’t sweat it. There’s time to go back over all this stuff and label it later.
Start looking for a pro.
This can be a great time to start looking for a design professional. For some homeowners, the right thing to do is hire a professional out of the gate and have him or her help you through this inspiration-gathering phase. Some homeowners even hand this off completely to a designer, and it’s the designer’s job to listen, interpret, and collect inspiration for the client and bring it back for approval.
Once you have a fair number of inspiration images to work with, go back through them and put them into loose categories. You can categorize by style: Maybe you seem to fall on the fence between vintage and modern or maybe you find that you have a bunch of images of kitchens with dark wood floors. You can create a collection dedicated completely to islands or kitchen banquette seating. For now don’t think about why you like things, just that you do or don’t.
Go back through those folders and idea books and see if you still respond emotionally to the images. If it’s been a while since you starting gathering inspiration and you’ve looked at hundreds of spaces, your taste might have changed without you even realizing it. Ruthless editing can really help clarify things…you’ll look at a room ad say “Why on earth did I save that photo?” If you can’t remember and it doesn’t speak to you any longer, ditch it. See how easy that was?
Collect images with intention.
Now that you’ve collected at random, categorized and edited, go back through all your saved photos, and visit all you old online haunts – and search images for specific items. Look only for glass-front cabinets, industrial hoods or island lighting…not at the image as a whole. You might not like an overall room at all, but one element could be exactly what you want. Pull inspiration images and say to yourself, “Don’t look at the wall color or the cabinet style; just look at the hood” or “look at the way the crown molding transitions around the beam and hood” or something very specific like that. Then edit again. This is where we really get down to details. It is also a great time to enlist the talents of design professional.
Author Bio: The Author is a kitchen designing expert working with Express Kitchens for more than 5 years. He specializes in custom kitchen cabinet installation and guides clients with the look and feel of the kitchen before installation.