What's the Most Overlooked Feature When Planning a Kitchen Renovation?

Add to
Like
Comment
Share
By Melissa Dalton
We turned to our panel of Dwell Pros for the answer—here's what they said.

Planning to remodel your kitchen this year? Here are the features that the experts in our Dwell Pro Index don't want you to forget.

1. Don't dismiss the kitchen's potential as a modern-day parlor.

What's the Most Overlooked Feature When Planning a Kitchen Renovation? - Photo 1 of 17 - Agencie believes that kitchens are modern-day parlor rooms, incorporating stunning visual elements in the design.  A majestic Lacanche range takes center stage in this kitchen.

Agencie believes that kitchens are modern-day parlor rooms, incorporating stunning visual elements in the design. A majestic Lacanche range takes center stage in this kitchen.

Sarrah Khan, Agencie Architecture & Engineering: 

Kitchens are modern parlor rooms. In modern homes, kitchens serve a double function of both cooking and entertaining zones. 

Agencie specializes in Brooklyn and Manhattan brownstones. In these compact NYC homes, kitchens are kitchens...but also the entrance and focal point of the home. Guests are received and welcomed in the kitchen. As everyone knows, no matter how small a kitchen happens to be, people always end up hanging out in there during parties. 

Historically, the parlor was the room in which the world encountered the private sphere of a family's home. Colloquially, it was referred to as the "best room." The family's best furniture and artwork were displayed in the parlor room. We design kitchens to serve the double function of parlor rooms. We always incorporate a cozy banquette or inviting bar/island element. We also make sure the kitchen is the best room by incorporating stunning visual elements [like the Lacanche range below].

What's the Most Overlooked Feature When Planning a Kitchen Renovation? - Photo 2 of 17 -


2. Don't skip over the layout.

What's the Most Overlooked Feature When Planning a Kitchen Renovation? - Photo 3 of 17 -

Curtis Popp, Popp Littrell Architecture: 

The most overlooked thing in kitchen design would be space design/planning. Everyone wants to jump straight to materials without thoroughly vetting the layout—this can be fatal, as you can't "polish a turd." By that I mean, no amount of expensive materials can compensate for a lack of planning.

What's the Most Overlooked Feature When Planning a Kitchen Renovation? - Photo 4 of 17 -
What's the Most Overlooked Feature When Planning a Kitchen Renovation? - Photo 5 of 17 -
What's the Most Overlooked Feature When Planning a Kitchen Renovation? - Photo 6 of 17 -


3. Sniff out hidden opportunities.

What's the Most Overlooked Feature When Planning a Kitchen Renovation? - Photo 7 of 17 -

Dan Brown, Hufft: 

The best kitchen remodels simplify an owner’s life and make efficient use of every available square inch. Sometimes this means considering what is hidden away as much as what’s visible. With counter space at a premium, valuable space can be saved by designating an enclosed area to tuck away those space-sucking counter-top appliances and gadgets. It’s also a great way to condense kitchen "clutter" into one enclosed space that can be out of sight and out of mind when not in use.

What's the Most Overlooked Feature When Planning a Kitchen Renovation? - Photo 8 of 17 -
What's the Most Overlooked Feature When Planning a Kitchen Renovation? - Photo 9 of 17 -


4. Don't underestimate the power of lighting.

What's the Most Overlooked Feature When Planning a Kitchen Renovation? - Photo 10 of 17 -

Risa Boyer, Risa Boyer Architecture

I find the most overlooked feature in kitchen design to be efficient, well-designed lighting. Not only is good lighting essential to the function of the kitchen, but it also highlights and accentuates the design. Often lighting isn’t on the forefront of the client's mind when they are thinking about new cabinets and appliances, so it can easily become an afterthought. [The kitchen] is the one room that I think all three types of lighting should be incorporated: ambient, task, and accent lighting. 

What's the Most Overlooked Feature When Planning a Kitchen Renovation? - Photo 11 of 17 -
What's the Most Overlooked Feature When Planning a Kitchen Renovation? - Photo 12 of 17 -


5. Incorporate details that make everyday life easier.

What's the Most Overlooked Feature When Planning a Kitchen Renovation? - Photo 13 of 17 -

Anthony Laney, Laney LA:

The details of the kitchen are so often underestimated during the design phase. A few overlooked features that clients must consider include a coffee station, pot filler, the kitchen’s connection to the [other spaces], skylights, and island outlets—all found in this kitchen designed by Rini Kundu. 

What's the Most Overlooked Feature When Planning a Kitchen Renovation? - Photo 14 of 17 -
What's the Most Overlooked Feature When Planning a Kitchen Renovation? - Photo 15 of 17 -
What's the Most Overlooked Feature When Planning a Kitchen Renovation? - Photo 16 of 17 - A light, reclaimed wood floor transitions to a glossy, patterned marble surface as the home transitions from the kitchen to the office.

A light, reclaimed wood floor transitions to a glossy, patterned marble surface as the home transitions from the kitchen to the office.


6. Choose meaningful embellishments.

What's the Most Overlooked Feature When Planning a Kitchen Renovation? - Photo 17 of 17 - The kitchen features a reclaimed wood installation by artist Blake Sloane of Forty Third Place in Hyattsville, Maryland.

The kitchen features a reclaimed wood installation by artist Blake Sloane of Forty Third Place in Hyattsville, Maryland.

Nicole Tysvaer, Galaxy Homes: 

Homeowners tend to focus predominantly on the utilitarian components of their kitchen remodels (cabinets, appliances, plumbing fixtures, countertops) and place less emphasis on decorative elements such as tile, open shelves, visual art pieces. The kitchen is the heart of our homes and the most occupied space. I encourage all of our clients to consider meaningful embellishments that add beauty and a personalized touch to their kitchen remodel, such as a display of heirloom teacups, framed photography from family vacations, or decorative wall art. 

Get a Daily Dose of Design

Sign up for the Dwell Daily Newsletter and never miss our new features, photos, home tours, stories, and more.