When we first realize that it’s time to explore getting a new kitchen, suddenly every product that goes into that room is on our radar. Remember when you wanted to get pregnant, and all you noticed were other pregnant women? That’s how it is when we want something…it’s everywhere!
Where do we start? With a design, a budget, a contractor? Though each of these is important to the finished project, my #1 place to start is with a list of what you want. And then I break my “wants” into two groups…what I want it to look like, and what I want to bring into my life by having this new space.
I know, for some of you this last list of “wants” might be a little deep for you. After all, your kitchen is ugly and outdated. You just want to replace it and move on. You don’t care how your life will be changed….or do you?
Sometimes referred to as the dream list, this step can’t be ignored. It’s important to put some time into it. By doing this one step you’ll have a head start when it comes to the planning stage.
Let’s take a look at a few creative ways to make this step fun. And, really, at this stage of planning, if it isn’t fun maybe you should put it off until you’re really excited about it!
1. The Basic List. Easiest way to start using paper and pen! Divide the page into 2 columns…column one is for your list of wants….column two is for a list of everything you hate about your existing kitchen.
2. Order the List. Prioritize your list by listing most important first. Some of us are a little particular about scratching things off or drawing arrows. We like neat and orderly lists. If this is you, it’s time to move your list to the computer. For those of you who are even more creative, mind-mapping might be just what you need. Did you know that you can download a mind-map software for free at www.freemind.com? It gives you a place to brain dump, and at the same time keep it organized and even color coded.
3. Create a vision board or a vision notebook. This can be a fun exercise, and one that keeps growing and growing. Start by going through home decorating magazines; visit showrooms, home shows, and model homes. Whenever you see something that you would LOVE to have in your new home, cut out the picture, take a photograph, and add it to your vision board or vision notebook.
Don’t forget to make a note about manufacturer or model number. Remember to include color combinations that you like, you’re going to need that as well. And one last thing… Be sure to ask yourself why you like it and write that on your list or board too.
Last of all, sit down with a cup of tea or a glass of wine. Turn on some soft music, and begin your list of why you REALLY want this new kitchen. Have you been avoiding cooking because you hate walking into the ugliness? Are you embarrassed to have friends over because they all have nicer kitchens than you do? Maybe you want your kids to have friends over more often, and a bigger, open kitchen would let that happen.
Whatever your final dream for the space, and we all have one, it helps to begin with the end in mind. That’s when planning your dream kitchen finally comes to life!