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The Kitchen Renovation How-To Guide for Homeowners

Photo credit: Tamara Flanagan Photography

Want to transform your less-than-exciting kitchen into an enviable escape, but feel overwhelmed at the task? You’re not alone; most kitchen renovations are abandoned by homeowners due to time and budget constraints and a lack of expertise.

But you don’t have to do it on your own. Remodeling industry veteran and Metropolitan Cabinets & Countertops kitchen designer Bridget O’Neil turned to the experts at her own company to renovate her kitchen from top to bottom. Below, she shares tips on how her team can help prepare you for your remodel.

Photo credit: Eric Roth Photography

Make a wish list and set a budget

Your new kitchen is about more than just what’s trending on Pinterest. Consider what you want in your new kitchen, but prioritize what you need. What can you afford? What problems do you need to solve? What extra attributes can you splurge on after the practicalities are secured? Metropolitan designer Bridget wanted to provide a comfortable space for her young family of four, but needed to pick and choose from her wish list in order to stay on budget. This meant making strategic decisions, such as choosing one expensive cabinet insert to fit her budget: a snack drawer divider for the kids.

Photo credit: Tamara Flanagan Photography

Improve your layout to maximize your space

Bridget teamed up with a kitchen design expert at Metropolitan to maximize space and function, using the specs from her appliances to determine the amount of space she could work around. Carefully choosing and placing appliances and dining furniture is important to ensure all seating is easily accessible and that your refrigerator and cabinet doors can open fully. Bridge’s designer advised relocating the refrigerator, so it didn’t obstruct the doorway and suggested a custom pullout cabinet to store trash and recycling. Adding an island was a huge wish list item for Bridget, but she wasn’t sure if it would make sense in the space. A Metropolitan designer drew up several design concepts until Bridget chose one that worked, gaining her extra seating and storage without blocking access to the rest of the kitchen.

Photo credit: Emily O’Brien Photography

Finish strong

Finishes are the personal touch that make the kitchen reflect your style. Bridget made sure that her finishes for the three main elements of the kitchen—countertops, cabinets, and hardware—all reflected her personal style and suited her family’s lifestyle.

  • Quartz countertops: Worth the splurge, quartz countertops are heat, stain, and scratch-resistant, perfect for everyday wear and tear. The practicality of the stone combined with the modern pattern made this the right choice for her young family.
  • Cabinetry: Neutral paint is timeless, so it’s no surprise that the most popular colors for kitchens are currently white, beige and grey. Bridget opted for Cadet Grey from Sherwin Williams.
  • Hardware: Gold cabinet hardware can add a splash of color and flash to a neutral kitchen without going over the top. Going bold with hardware is a safe choice, as it can be easily changed down the line without breaking the bank. Bridget chose gold Emtek Mod Hex handles for her cabinetry.

Photo credit: Jessica Delaney Photography

Organize your kitchen before the demo begins

Before renovating, it pays to get organized. Bridget purchased clear bins for cleaning out and organizing her inventory so she could easily find what she was looking for. Take this time to purge your pantry and any household items that you don’t use — it could even be a fun family activity to sort your stuff.

Photo credit: Tamara Flanagan Photography

Metropolitan Cabinets & Countertops is a Best of Boston Home Winner for 2019. For more information and renovation inspiration for your own kitchen or to follow Bridget’s journey, visit metcabinet.com.