A kitchen remodel, family room or bath is the perfect time to reconsider not only the aesthetics and function of that space, but the way you want to live in it.  Simple changes, like new paint color, and structural changes – like opening up to another room or raising ceiling heights – can dramatically transform a space so that it better suits relaxation, entertaining or more family time.

The kitchen, for example, is one of the most important and highly trafficked rooms in the house, but it may not meet your lifestyle needs.  Too often, homeowners get stuck thinking that rooms need to be used the same way they’ve always been used.   Ask yourself questions, such as:  How much time does my family spend in the kitchen?  How often do we currently entertain?  Do we want to entertain more?  How many cooks can fit comfortably in the kitchen?  Would we like to prepare meals together? In other words, big-picture questions about what fits your family’s lifestyle the best are often more important than details like cabinet or countertop materials.

If you have children, you will want to consider how they “live” and interact with you in the space.  Is there a place for them to help with the cooking?  How about a place where they can work on art projects, homework or the computer in the kitchen, or at least nearby?  Often an island or part of an island work well for all of these uses.

Also, good flow and sightlines are crucial when considering the “feel” of a space.  Widening openings to adjacent rooms can have a dramatic impact on lifestyle. I am amazed by how overjoyed clients are with this relatively simple change, because it lets them enjoy rooms that had previously felt cut off and didn’t invite regular use.  The best example of this is widening the doorway from a kitchen to a formal dining room.

Knowing which aspects of your lifestyle you want to change or improve upon is just as important as changing a color or surface in that area.  By using a professional designer to help combine your “lifestyle” needs with material selections and good space planning, every aspect of your wish list can be turned into a cohesive plan.