All about you: designing a personalized kitchen

Shannon Lee | Improvement Center Columnist | February 27, 2014

Creating a more personalized home is often the goal of a good home remodel. You spend time choosing the right elements for the bathroom, planning out the patio setup, and choosing the most comfortable bedroom options possible. So doesn't it makes sense that when it comes to the kitchen, the most personalized design elements are the right way to go? If you'll be in your home for the foreseeable future, then stop worrying about designing for future resale and focus on designing just for you.

If you're not sure where to begin, no worries -- we've got kitchen remodel ideas that can jump-start the personalization of your space. So grab a pen and paper, envision your cooking life, and consider what it might look like with these nifty upgrades.

Let your cabinets make life easier

No matter how organized you keep the pots and pans, they eventually tend to get lost in the cavernous space of the bottom cabinets. Make things neater with sliding shelf units. They do just what it sounds like -- they are shelves in your lower cabinets that slide out on smooth rollers, helping you find those things that always get pushed to the back. As an added bonus, these shelves are excellent for those who have mobility problems or back pain, as much of the old stooping and reaching is eliminated.

Another great option for a kitchen cabinet overhaul is the addition of refrigerated drawers or specialty cabinets built for a specific purpose. Refrigerated drawers can be great for everything from after-school snacks to that great bottle of white wine. Speaking of wine, a specialty cabinet that is designed to hold a few dozen bottles is a good example of a very personalized kitchen option - if you'd use it and love it, then it should be on your list.

Bigger is better

If you cook for a crowd, you know the frustration of having only four or five burners for use at any given time -- and let's not even get into the oven that barely holds your big roasting pan. While a standard oven may work for most, does it really work for you? Or when it comes to appliances, is bigger definitely better?

Ditch the standard four burners and choose a range that offers six or eight or even more, along with a big oven that can handle even the largest roasting pans. You could even go a step further and choose an oven with a warming tray, or compartments that can cook at separate temperatures. This Sub-Zero Wolf range is an example of dreaming big.

If you have a stove that big, you likely need a larger place to store all the food you will cook. Rather than go with the standard fridge, look for one that offers a wider profile, various temperature-controlled compartments, and a deep freezer with several adjustable shelves. Northland offers several examples of just how awesome refrigerators can get.

Why settle for one when you can have two?

How many times have you turned to use the sink, only to find it full of dishes? When there is more than one person working in the kitchen, does a bottleneck form at the faucet? Then go with two sinks in your new kitchen remodel. One in the traditional space next to the dishwasher is essential, so put the other one on the opposite counter or in the kitchen island. After using it for a week you will wonder how you ever lived with just one.

Make the space do double-duty

The kitchen is truly the heart of the home, so take steps to accommodate everyone, including those who have homework to do or bills to pay. Turn a small corner of your kitchen into a breakfast nook that does double-duty as a desk. This frees up the table but keeps the kids in the kitchen for homework while you cook, or it gives you a quiet place to sit down and write, pay bills, or make phone calls.

Low on space? Choose stools that tuck right underneath the countertop. If you don't want your guests to see this more personal space, invest in a rolltop that hides away all that paperwork with a simple pull of the handle.

Focus on what you love

Personalized kitchen remodel ideas focus on the things that make you happy. Are you a big coffee drinker? A dedicated coffee station makes sense. Do you have a ton of little appliances but hate lugging them out of those deep, dark cabinets? An appliance garage can be a worthy investment. Are you a sushi connoisseur? Look into a refrigerator with separate compartments that hold foods at a precise temperature.

Once you have figured out what you can't live without and what might make life easier, write it all down, then get in touch with a good contractor. The sooner you convey all those new kitchen remodel ideas floating around in your head, the sooner you will have a kitchen you will be proud to come home to.

About the Author

Shannon Lee has been writing professionally for two decades on a wide variety of topics, including medical and health issues, home repair and relationships.