Industry Advice on Creating the Right Kitchen

No matter where you fall on the cooking spectrum, you want to end up with a nice kitchen. Nearly 100% of all kitchen remodels are attempting to result in either more space or better use of the same space. However, not everyone is a good cook or even cooks that much, yet they still want a great kitchen. So we found a few folks in the industry who had some interesting things to say.

Dennis Brackley of Creative Laminates in Syracuse, NY

“The kitchen is one of the few rooms in a house that is open to everyone. We all gravitate toward the kitchen at a gathering, no matter how much the host tries to shoo us out. Even if you aren’t particularly a good cook or don’t like to cook, the kitchen has to serve several masters: utility, entertainment, and artistry. It needs to be as much about handling multiple people at the same time doing multiple things, as it does to create an efficient work environment, provide space for people to hang out, and look cool. That’s a tall order for any room. Don’t skimp on the kitchen. It means more to your home and enteraining life than you might recognize.”

Jenn Smira, Real Estate Agent, Washington, DC

“Without question the kitchen is THE most important room in the house when it comes to resale. Potential buyers have a gravitational pull to great kitchens and feel repelled by bad ones. Buyers will forgive a lot in other spaces in the house that aren’t up to par if the kitchen is great. And vice versa. Where homeowners often make huge mistakes is that they wait until they are going to sell to remodel their kitchen, then they only get a few months with the new kitchen before it’s gone. Don’t make this mistake. Remodeling a kitchen can offer so much reward while you live in a home that it might convince you not to move. The room has power over people. Never forget that.”

Matt Myers, Quality Seafood Delivery, Denver, CO

“I’ll start with the best advice we got from our neighbor, good friend, interior designer. We were looking to remodel our kitchen, and she told us to find an AirBnb in the area (or wherever) that had the kind of kitchen that we thought we wanted. We rented the home for the weekend across town in Wash Park. We cooked all weekend and had friends down. We ended up doing this one more time, as it helped us live and work in a kitchen that we different from ours and what we thought we wanted. Turns out we were about 80% right, but seeing our space from a new angle gave us the perspective to tease out hidden issues and really validate our instincts. Part of what we discovered is that, now this may surprise you, we eat a lot of fish and shellfish. Because of that, we have a decent set up with a contained trashcan inside a contained cabinet (by accident, wasn’t our design). When we cooked at the rentals, the houses both smelled like fish way worse than our own after we were finished because they didn’t have the right set up for seafood and in particular disposing of seafood parts when finished, as they are quite stinky. This specific example rings true on a more global scale: set your kitchen up for the kinds of meals you already prepare. Whatever your preferred, regular cuisine, set your kitchen up so that is easy for you. If you saute a lot or are always using a skillet, maybe you have a hook rack above the stove so that it’s just a reach up to grab the skillet instead of bending down under the island and reaching to the back. If you cook a lot of big pasta meals, get a pot filler. That kind of stuff. They have everything now. It is expensive. But if you acutally cook a lot and don’t just want a nice kitchen because everyone tells you you’re supposed to, set it up so that life is easy on you not just to cook today, but as you age.”