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Americans consider the most important rooms in the house to be the living room and the kitchen, and it’s easy to see why: that’s where we spend most of our time. For many of us, the kitchen is the hub of family activity, where both the cooking and the eating of meals takes place. It’s also where most of our money gets spent: the costs of energy, water, and food all reside mostly in the kitchen. That makes finding the right kitchen for you an important part of your house hunt. An eco-friendly kitchen can save you money and decrease your carbon footprint, and an open-plan design can open up the space in your house, so pay attention to the feel and layout when you’re touring properties. The three main things you need to think about for your kitchen are function, energy, and style.

What Do You Need Your Kitchen To Do?

The most important thing to think about when looking for your dream kitchen is function. What do you need your kitchen to do? How much space do you need for storage? Do you prefer spacious or cozy kitchens? For example, in your choice of refrigerator, would you rather opt for a smaller model or one with more storage space? There are some basic needs for every kitchen: the main work triangle (fridge, oven, sink), countertop space, and storage space. Family kitchens may need to be modified to be kid-friendly, either with quick fixes like blunting the edges of countertops, or by opening the kitchen out to the kids with an open-plan style. Open-plan kitchens feel more spacious as well as opening out your home, allowing the whole family access rather than closing off the kitchen. On top of that, “extra” features like a breakfast nook can help the kitchen be more of a family area by giving you a place to eat your meals. It’s important to make sure the house you’re looking at has enough space for the whole family, and nowhere is that more crucial than in the kitchen.

What Kind Of Appliances Do You Want?

This is a huge question. Buying a house means picking out new appliances and figuring out what’s best for you - and a big part of that is how your appliances use energy. Eco-friendly, energy efficient appliances are more popular than ever, and buying a new home could call for an investment in reducing your family’s energy bill. However, energy efficient appliances often require you to shell out more up front so you can save money (and the planet!) in the future. If you have some extra cash to spend on your kitchen, energy-saving appliances are definitely the way to go - but if you’d rather save that investment for down the line, you can get a traditional appliance cheaper now. Most new builds are constructed with energy efficient appliances already installed, but you might not be so lucky if you’re buying a home from the previous owner. The most important thing is to know what’s right for you.

Finding The Perfect Look

The final question: what do you want your kitchen to look like? Kitchen design trends come and go, but there are some things that always make your kitchen look more spacious and more stylish. Cabinet, countertop, and drawer design play a huge part in the visual impression your kitchen gives: clean, sharp lines look sleek and modern, but designs on cabinet facing can give your kitchen a more traditional, lived-in feel. Countertops made of highly polished quartz or granite make your kitchen sparkle. Cabinets made from stainless or brushed steel partially reflect light to make your kitchen look and feel bigger - but polished wood cabinets can be gorgeous and homey. Kitchen style depends on your personal style, of course, but remember that the feel of your kitchen makes a big impact on the feel of your home!

Making your perfect kitchen can seem like a huge task - and there’s no mistaking that it’s an important one. But by asking yourself a few simple questions, you can discover what your ideal kitchen looks and feels like, and that’ll help you find the perfect model. As always, it’s your personal preference and your needs that make your kitchen unique, not what’s new or trending on the market. Finding a house is a tough task, but the biggest lesson to learn is to be selfish: house hunting is about your needs and how the house you’re looking at can fit those. 

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Sally Collins

Sally Collins

Sally Collins is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and traveling as much as possible.