Planning Your Kitchen Remodel – Part 5

Planning on staying in your home for the rest of your life? 

Consider Universal Design/Aging in Place when planning your kitchen (and the rest of your home!)  Universal Design involves designing products and spaces so that they can be used by the widest range of people possible.  Aging in Place is another program that allows us to stay in our homes for longer than otherwise possible.  It is a design initiative that is based on the premise that we all have a right to choose our environment for the entirety of our lives.  It evolved from Accessible Design, a design process that addresses the needs of people with disabilities. Universal Design goes further by recognizing that there is a wide spectrum of human abilities. Everyone, even the most able-bodied person, passes through childhood, periods of temporary illness, injury and old age. By designing for this human diversity, we can create things that will be easier for all people to use.  You never know when you or your partner are going to need it, but if you’ve thought through the changes you would need made should you be in a wheel chair, or visually impaired, or having to deal with other maladies that sometimes occur in our busy lives. A good example of Universal Design is the door handle below, which we think of ascommon.  The newer one on the right is much easier for most people to open if they have a disability such as arthritis:






Planning on selling in 10-15 years? 

Worry less (or not at all) about what others want.  It’s all about your preferences in style.  If you love to make pastries and bread, then consider one work area that’s slightly lower than a standard 36” height countertop, depending upon your height, of course.  You still may want to consider universal design, because you really need to make your home as accessible as possible.

                      Photo credit:

Planning on selling in five or seven years when your youngest goes off to college? 

Our suggestion is to put more money into your kitchen remodel (as well as bath remodels.)  Any real estate sales person will tell you that kitchens and baths sell homes.  Rather than putting up the turquoise mosaic backsplash that you’ve wanted for years, think about selecting components that will appeal to buyers looking for the perfect home.  And yes, think about granite or quartz countertops- they are what Gen X and Y are anticipating in their next home. 

                                           Photo credit: GE Appliances

Planning on flipping (fixing an older home up and reselling it within a few months) the house? 

You will want to look at places like Lumber Liquidators for flooring, Home Depot for your sinks, and perhaps Tiles for Less for your backsplash.  Don’t forget about places like Second Use or Surplus Building Materials in you live in the Seattle/Tacoma corridor for all kinds of cool finds you can use for pennies on the dollar.

Short on funds? 

Spend more on flooring and cabinets, and save money on countertops and backsplashes.  Buying one brand of appliances in a package deal can save you money.  Want more info on flooring, appliances, countertops, or cabinets?  Look back at the last four entries of info, as well.

In conclusion

Got questions about kitchen design?  Search for “How to survive a kitchen remodel” on the internet- that will help a lot!  Overwhelmed? Contact us through this website:

                                    Happy Kitchen Remodeling!