Kitchen Renovation Questions

Updated on August 08, 2014
J.M. asks from Melrose, MA
12 answers

How did you get your vision of what your new kitchen would look like? I can't seem to get inspired from houzz. Also, do you like granite countertops? We have been advised by several people that for not too much more money, quartz is more durable and doesn't need to be sealed. Any thoughts on durable products that won't be destroyed by kids!! (i.e. will stainless appliances look gross with fingerprints?) Thanks so much.

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answers from New York on

I've been hearing that very detailed granite is on it's way out. So why not try something else? Don't worry at all about stainless getting grubby. It's not hard to clean at all and is so pretty.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Spokane on

We just had our house built a few years ago so I started from scratch! Our cabinets are rustic hickory, our counter tops are corian (I don't like granite and didn't want the upkeep of it and really like my corian!), and all our appliances are black. My countertops have black flecks in them so the appliances go nicely with them. I have a very "country kitchen" with the rustic cabinets, black/red/brown.
I knew there were 3 things I absolutely wanted when starting to design my kitchen ~ 1. a big window above the sink 2. an island 3. a lot of counter space/storage. So that's where we started with the layout. Then everything fell into place from there.

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answers from Washington DC on

i need a lot of input to get a good feel for what i want, so both online things like pinterest and those 3-D programs help, but i also like to go to showrooms and stand in mock-ups so i can really envision what cooking thanksgiving dinner would be like, as well as convenience for the daily chores.
i like granite okay, but i don't like the price. we didn't have money for granite when we upgraded our kitchen, so it's just got the best grade of formica available, and while it's not beautiful, it's SO easy. our next ones will be something *better*, but probably not granite. there are so many lovely options available now, that have the beauty of granite without the upkeep.
my appliances are black, and while sleek and modern-looking when just cleaned, get grubby-looking with depressing ease.
please don't get caught up in 'resale value.' it's a losers' game. you don't know what the trend will be when you sell (unless it's going on the market next week) and you don't know what your particular buyers will want. in the meantime you want to LIVE in your home, not rent it from the future. make it a place you love to be.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

We are just about finished with our kitchen remodel!! It has been a labor of love. We purchased our cherry cabinets through Home Depot. Our consultant was very helpful and was able to put our vision on paper.

We have done all the work ourselves. We only contracted out the gas and electric. We did everything else. We took it down to studs, reconfigured the layout and put it back together. I'm pooped!!! =)

I have stainless and I love them. I have granite and I love it! I'm so happy with our choices. I had the vision in my head so I'm so happy it turned out better than I thought!!!

PM if you have any questions!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I haven't given it tons of thought, but when I remodel my next kitchen, I want a nice counter area near the frig to allow for a place to put things when having a party. There is something like the three triangles for a quality kitchen.. It's all about flow while cooking. I'd love a prep sink too. My brother has one, and it really comes in handy when you have a full house. A walk in pantry is essential to me too.

We have quartsite in our kitchen. It's like granite, not man-made, but with tons of natural quartz. It's gorgeous.but it's a light color and it stains!!!!! Never again will I go light with a counter top. We only did it with resale in mind...I have granite in my bathrooms. Hate it. I have to clean it nonstop. Next time, I'm going to try recycled glass or something else truly man-made. I'm sick of cleaning my counters two times a day :-) but I'd probably go with quartzsite agains or granite as long as it wasn't light or polished and it want a kids bathroom :-)

I LOVE stainless. It is a pain to clean. And in my next house I want a microwave drawer, another Bosch, and then I think we might put the frig behind wood. But I love the industrial look. We cook a lot, so I actually would love a professional kitchen! I recently even saw one with a stainless island with awesome storage. It looked amazing to me. Not sure I'd like cleaning it....the frig is awful to clean. The hand marks are always on it, and I clean it daily! But I like the look. Black is even worse, and I can't stand white. I don't like white cabinets either, though. I like white walls.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

You really have to go with your likes and tastes. We have Corian counters, which a lot of people will tell you are bad, but we love them. We have a couple of black appliances left still, but have been changing to stainless steel. Yes, they look gross with fingerprints, but our kids are top to not put their hands on them like they wouldn't the wall. We have stainless steel wipes (maybe $4) and those work like the kids like to use them.

Honestly, I would recommend going somewhere that does remodeling and have them show you some options and how it might look.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

We haven't fussed much with our granite. It's held up so far and I still like it. I knew I wanted better counters and more space and to remove the wall oven and have an oven/stove unit. Beyond that, I didn't have a grand plan and it's still evolving. We got a Bosch dishwasher b/c the ILs liked theirs but I think our ancient Kenmore or whatever it was had more room, even though it was very loud. I didn't want to go too "trendy" because I don't want to feel like we have to redo it again in a few years. Our fridge will go black when it's replaced, to match the stove and dishwasher. Stove front and trash can are the only bits of steel and I'm not obsessed with fingerprints so they probably have a bunch right now.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I'm a cherry fanatic so that part was easy...we got the cherry cabinets. I have Corian counters. My island is a dark color and the rest of my counters are creme. It took me a while to find the tile I wanted for the backsplash but I eventually did. I got the design idea from a kitchen book. Our builder only had a few tile samples for the floor so with a limited selection, it was easy to pick because only one floor appeal led to me. If I was starting from scratch, it would be so much harder to decide.
Good luck and have fun!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

I would stay away from stainless appliances, they are always getting marked up and that makes them look dirty. I am not a fan of granite counter tops too much maintenance. I like the look of quartz but I don't know what is involved in taking care of them either.

Go to a home improvement store and look around at the different types of counters, cabinets, etc. it might help you find what you like.



answers from Chicago on

I am currently addicted to HGTV. watch some of the shows on tv you will find a lot of good ideas. And there is a magazine out every other month also.

I'm with Gamma on the stainless steel. Hate it reminds me of a commercial kitchen. I am also apparently really old because my next set of appliances will be shiny white. I have black right now and hate hate hate them. they show every speck of dust. I don't have a dirty house but if a bit of dust settles it is on the stove which has a beautiful ray of sunlight on it all day long lol. I also like lighter cabinets. We have a light maple and they are beautiful. Dark cabinets are beautiful to me if you have a huge kitchen but if you have a smaller kitchen they can make it appear really really squeezed.

tips: I have been watching a lot of hgtv lol so here goes. make sure you utilize all space. if you have corners put lazy susans in. if you have space put in a cabinet for cookie sheets / cutting boards to stand up in. make sure your microwave is either high enough above the stove to still fit a good size pan under it or mount it somewhere else. (our current house had the microwave barely 2 feet above the stove. I couldn't fit a stock pot in and cook in it. but when we redid the kitchen I had that one cabinet raised up higher than the rest it looks really good. try to fit a row of drawers in. I have 2 cabinets with drawers. 1 has 4 drawers and is only about 8 inches wide right next to the stove. it holds utencils, towels / rags etc. the other one is 36 inches wide and has 3 drawers the top is the silverware drawer. it is only about a few inches deep. the next drawer is about a foot deep and I keep all the tupperware / gladware etc in there. the last drawer on the bottom is at least 15 inches deep and it has pots and pans that don't hang on the pan rack up above. it is so nice to just pull out a drawer and have all the bowls / lids, pans / lids together.

Counter tops. I hate granite. It is always cold. I really don't like any of the stone counter tops at all. Floors. Make sure if you put solid wood that you don't spill. If you go with a stone tile make sure it is sealed and don't let anything pool up in the grout or it will stain and never look clean again. I am old lol but love a shiny linolium which I don't know if I can even get anymore. we went with a tile that looks like stone but don't have to worry about the grout as it clicks together. got it at fca.

my last tip is for something to make sure of before adding it. We have a window in our kitchen over the sink. used to be just a regular window but it now is like a mini greenhouse sort of thing. goes out about 30 inches. has a glass shelf. you can put herbs / plants etc in it. make sure this is something you really really want. I hate mine. I don't really grow herbs and it is hard as hell to clean. it is just a catch all for junk.

good luck.



answers from Oklahoma City on

As I looked a kitchen remodel pages I came to realize I wanted white cabinets, dark countertops, and maybe a medium gray/dark gray floor.

I like the starkness of it and the clean look. I don't care for stainless steel at all. I'm not one that has to have that. I like black appliances to be honest and if the appliances were included in a home I was purchasing chances are I'd go buy what I wanted. I've never bought a house with appliances included and I think that's odd.

I don't like a lot of wood in the kitchen, I know how hard wood is to clean after several years of cooking going on around them.

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