I know a fair amount about kitchens. I edit this magazine. I've written a cookbook. I eat. Yet when it comes to renovating a kitchen, I have to admit, I feel completely out of my league. Just for starters: What's the difference between an architect and a kitchen designer--and which do I need? I find the whole process so intimidating that I put off renovating until the oven finally stopped working altogether. Now that's urgent. I hear from lots of you who, like me, are beyond busy and have limited budgets. So over the next few months, I'll share my own experiences as a first-time renovator--missteps, anxiety and all. Follow along as I overhaul my palatial 61-square-foot kitchen. (It's in Manhattan, people!) I'll be soliciting your advice, ideas...and sympathy!
--Lauren Purcell, Editor-in-Chief
But she won't be doing it alone! Design guru Maxwell Ryan, founder of design website apartmenttherapy.com, will be guiding Lauren through her kitchen renovation.
At first meeting, he laid out his plan for a stress-free makeover. It's just a matter of dividing the process into steps, so you don't get overwhelmed," he said. Here are his first three:
1. Gather ideas from the pros. Walk through your kitchen with at least three contractors, architects or designers. Ask them all the same questions, but also see what they suggest. some will just do what you specify, while others may figure out surprising ways to work with your space.
2. Focus on the floor plan. At first, don't think about color or details. Just focus on the black-and-white map of where things are placed. Throwing in cosmetic decisions now will only bog you down.
3. Think about your style. Sift through your tear-sheet file or Pinterest board to get a clear vision of what you like. This is when you start to crunch the numbers. You can always swap out appliances, materials and finishes to bring your cost down.
Follow along with Lauren as she shares her progress and everything else, from the appliances to keeping costs down to injecting personality into one of the most important rooms in her home.