How do you plan a kitchen, quickly?
May 9, 2024 3:48 PM   Subscribe

My dishwasher flooded my kitchen and it's looking like I'll be needing new flooring, cabinets, and possibly a countertop. I am not a home remodeling type of person. How do I figure out what I want?

How do I figure out things like "This corner cabinet has always bugged me, so let's replace it with ____________" or "We need a low-maintenance counter, so let's go with _______ in _______ color"?

( I have insurance and a contractor. It's the decision making that is leaving me overwhelmed.)
posted by The corpse in the library to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
Real question: why wouldn't you just replace everything in the same locations?
posted by amtho at 4:03 PM on May 9 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: We need to find the stuff to replace it. I'm not going to get identical cabinets etc -- even if I wanted to, I doubt they still make them. The same footprint, but different items.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:13 PM on May 9

Consider hiring a kitchen designer; they can help with all of this.
posted by aramaic at 5:21 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]

Please check with your insurance company before pricing the different components. We recently had to replace part of a tile shower due to a long-undiscovered leak and the insurance company had a list of how much they would pay for each replaced part.
Also, most big-box stores or local appliance stores have designers on staff to help you with the ideas you need. Good luck!
posted by serendipityrules at 5:27 PM on May 9 [5 favorites]

I was asking about the footprint - I thought you were asking about how to totally reimagine the number and placement of cabinets, etc.

I can tell you what I'd do: look for reclaimed flooring, and a business with experience installing it. You'll spend less on the materials, and probably more on labor, but it's _really great_ to have.

Cabinets: there is at least one nonprofit selling cabinets near me -- worth looking into. However, I'd look seriously at flat-pack cabinets, and make sure they are 100% made of solid wood or plywood - no MDF. MDF will swell up and be ruined if it gets wet, plus it's overly heavy, offgasses, resource-hoggy, and often represents an ocean-crossing round trip for the wood pulp inside it.
posted by amtho at 5:29 PM on May 9

Are you ok with IKEA and do you have one nearby? They have a service and will send someone to your house to measure and help you design the space for a nominal fee. Right now in my country (Canada) they are offering a two hour online consultation and planning session for kitchens for free. This does mean you have to do your own measuring though.
posted by Cuke at 6:17 PM on May 9 [1 favorite]

^Your contractor could take these measurements, I think.

This is an opportunity to make the kitchen better for you & yours, while adding value to your home (aka, the real estate investment you live in). Post-consultation, designers present curated options to keep clients from drowning in decisions. Designers will also have experience with post-flood kitchens in houses in the same architectural style, and of a similar vintage, in your locale; they'll have solutions to commonly-encountered issues, and interesting ideas for functional, suitable updates.
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:41 PM on May 9

When I redesigned my small Portland bungalow kitchen, I started with the original footprint and first attempted recreate it as it was with the closest matches in Ikea Kitchen Designer. That got me thinking through the things that I liked about what was there and what I didn't. It's all drag and drop and lets you customize all the bits. Then I went back and realized that swapping out the L cabinet for a normal one gave me more space, replacing the narrow drawer cabinet with one with a door + tiny drawer meant I could fit a slide in trash bin.

Even if I weren't going to use Ikea for a future kitchen remodel, I'd go back to the planning tool because it prompts you through all the little parts you might not think about (you have the cabinet boxes, then panels to pick from, then shelf/drawer layout options, counter top, back splash, toe kick) when just looking at a kitchen.
posted by mrzarquon at 10:25 AM on May 10 [2 favorites]

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