The remodel guide

How to go about a kitchen remodel

Ah, the kitchen: the heart of the home, the place to indulge in all-day cooking, the place where the party always ends up, and the place homework is done. We at Cupboards & Goods have accumulated years and years of hands-on experience from kitchen conceptions in the most varying homes, locations and settings. Therefore we have assembled this very concrete and practical guide to help you when you start imagining your new kitchen.

Open mind, open kitchen
Regardless of the current layout of your kitchen, you might be considering a different one for you new kitchen that involves incorporating other rooms. Opening up the space into other rooms is a great idea if your current kitchen feels cramped, particularly considering the amount of time you spend in the kitchen each day. Just make sure that it is possible to carry out such an operation. Load-bearing walls are important for the structural integrity of your home. Knowing what you are doing is key before you bring out the sledgehammer. Also, don’t feel obliged to stick to the current architecture for the sink, ventilation and appliances. Alterations may add to the cost, but getting the layout just right will pay off in the end by rendering your kitchen more usable and comfortable. 

Get creative
Once you have established the dimensions of your new kitchen space, it is time to get creative. There are many ways to go about designing a new kitchen. You can hire an architect, use an online design tool or download sketching software. To make the process easier and more concrete, we thought long and hard about how to bring the genuine feel of Cupboards & Goods kitchens into the initial design process. We came up with the Kitchen Planner™ – a set of building blocks and samples of materials and colours, with which you can build, move kitchen units around and get immediate visual and practical feedback on whether or not that highly desired kitchen island will actually fit, or whether you have enough space for that professional-grade stove you’ve been secretly coveting. Read more about the Kitchen Planner™ here. Something to bear in mind is that all cupboards from Cupboards & Goods come delivered with all sides (except the back) painted, meaning that they will also look beautiful as free standing units. When planning your new kitchen, always carefully consider the placement of cupboards so that doors and drawers may be opened easily and not be obstructed by other objects, doors or drawers. This is especially important in corners.

A helping hand (if you need it)
While not necessary if you are sticking to the original architecture for your new kitchen, a complete revamp of the space and layout often requires hiring contractors for the different jobs involved. Unless you are proficient enough yourself to carry out the different operations, set a timeline and have all approved quotes in place before initiating your kitchen project. Always factor in lead times from your kitchen supplier to minimise any gaps in the process. Luckily, installing a kitchen from Cupboards & Goods requires nothing more than basic tools, as the solid wood, handmade shaker-style kitchen modules arrive at your door pre-assembled and ready to go.

Washing up with a view
Step number one when planning your layout is to identify where the windows are. As small as this step may seem, it will have a massive impact on the quality of your time in the kitchen. If possible, place the sink in front of a window. It will make the mundane task of cleaning up after cooking a lot more pleasant under natural light, and you will be able to enjoy a view rather than staring at a wall. If the kitchen window sill is lower than the worktop, make sure that the worktop has some kind of ledge at the back to prevent water and moisture trickling behind the kitchen base, causing problems further down the line. If there is a radiator under the window or on any wall where the kitchen is going, just place the bases away from the radiator, allowing a few extra centimetres for air to circulate. Make the worktop deeper and provide cuts for warm air to escape, as well as air inlets under the bases to allow for proper circulation and functionality. In case the radiator thermostat is located on the radiator itself, make provisions for easy reach.

Tall cupboards
For optimal functionality, it is always best to plan your kitchen with tall cupboards placed at either end of a kitchen worktop so that the flow of the kitchen is not interrupted. Alternatively, if you need several tall cupboards, it is best to place them all on a separate wall, where they are least intrusive and where workspace is least needed.

Think big, sink big
The sink is a crucial servant in the kitchen. A large sink paired with a tall tap will guarantee that you are able to clean those big baking racks (from your dream oven). Smaller and less convenient double sink solutions are possible, but may be considered obsolete if you plan to have a dishwasher fitted. Our sinks come in both classic English porcelain varieties and exclusive units produced specifically for Cupboards & Goods, cut from a solid block of marble. They will hold big pots and pans, tall vases and large cutting boards. Paired with one of our carefully selected taps, your sink will have a professional feel.

Free passage for dishes
Always (yes, always) place the dishwasher close to the sink, but never ever in between the sink and the stove. This is the motorway of the kitchen, the busy and sometimes congested area where free passage should be ensured. You do not want to trip over an open dishwasher door (that ‘someone else’ left open) while carrying a pot of boiling pasta. We also recommend that the dishwasher is placed so that it can be loaded and unloaded from either side. Plates, glasses, silverware and utensils are ideally housed in cupboards and drawers close to the dishwasher. Even if exercise is good for us, efficient moving patterns are preferred for everyday kitchen life. 

Flaunt it, shaker-style
Not everything in a kitchen needs to be hidden away. Our cupboards are painted on the inside and can be ordered with beautiful matching glass doors, allowing you to display your plates and glasses for a classic look and homey feel. Aligning with our own beliefs and true to the shaker design, simplicity is key. There is no need for gleaming glass shelving or bright integrated spotlights. One way to create that hard-to-define warmth is by utilizing our full height serving pantry with glass doors, allowing a full view of your beautiful china, tablecloths and linen napkins. 

Easy access cookware
For reasons of practicality, cookware is best kept in deep drawers. The items you need are easier to find when viewed from above. Speaking of cookware, now that you are investing in a new and beautiful kitchen, a nice way to complete the overall impression is by updating your selection of pots and pans. For convenience, it is smart to invest in a range of cookware where one lid can be used on several pans of the same diameter. It is time to get rid of that annoying overstock of odd lids rattling about in your existing cupboards. The pans that you use most frequently can be hung on a rod above the stove. It adds to the classic look of the kitchen, as well as adding to convenience and accessibility.

The hearth of the home
Customers often ask whether it’s worth investing in a nicer stove. We always advise buying the best that you can afford. Your stove is the centrepiece of your kitchen. It adds character and personality to the space, as well as being a pleasure to work with when cooking up a storm. It’s best to place your stove within easy reach of your sink. If your stove has to be placed on the opposite side of the kitchen or island to your sink, plan for an extra sink in the immediate vicinity of the stove. The extra cost will pay dividends in usability and convenience.

Hobs and hoods
If you are opting for a gas hob, it is important that the distance from the burners to the hood is sufficient. Rules and regulations vary from country to country – for example, the local building code in Sweden stipulates a minimum distance of 70 centimetres. We manufacture a range of hoods in different widths, into which you can fit a built-in or external extractor fan, or a smart charcoal filter. The hoods can be fitted with integrated lighting.

Waste not, want not
Our cabinets under the sink can be fitted with optional multi-compartment recycling bins. Consider how much waste you typically accumulate in a week and plan accordingly. No one wants to be emptying the bin on a daily basis because it’s too small.

Always check your local regulations
If you are changing the layout of your kitchen, always consult with your local authorities to access the most up-to-date information in order to comply with legal requirements and building codes.