Remodeling Tips for Kitchens Small & Large

Whether your kitchen is small or large, you can freshen up its appearance or give it an entirely new look.

For a smaller kitchen footprint, designer Erin Knabe, of Benson Stone Co., 1100 11th St., Rockford, suggests using a frameless cabinets that climb to the ceiling. Remove dated soffits, she advises, since they tend to bring the eye downward. This also opens up more storage space.

“Kitchens look bigger when cabinet lines reach toward the ceiling,” she says. “When you have a small kitchen, you want it to look as big as possible. Also, if you increase the upper cabinets, you can fit larger items in.”

If you want an island but have limited space, opening up a wall may be a solution, if budget and design can accommodate it. The addition of space-saving appliances, such as a microwave/oven combination, may be a good idea.

When it comes to sinks, Knabe recommends splurging.

“You need a good-sized sink, even in a smaller kitchen,” she says. “Make sure it’s two feet across or larger. It’s the No. 1 thing we use in kitchens.”

With so many layout options in larger kitchens, it’s easy for homeowners to get lost during planning.

Focusing on basics can keep you on track. “People with larger kitchens can entertain more guests; therefore, items like islands and wet bars can help to divide space into zones, creating a more entertainment-friendly environment.”

For a larger kitchen footprint, Knabe suggests triple bowls for sinks.

Appliances like double ovens, bar refrigerators, wine coolers and warming drawers are enjoyable luxuries, too.

Additional advice: “Materials such as granite and quartz look nice in kitchens, and composite granite is especially durable for sinks,” says Knabe.

“Be cautious using cast iron materials, as they chip easily.” ❚