6 Tips for Designing a Smart Kitchen

6 Tips for Designing a Smart Kitchen

6 Tips for Designing a Smart Kitchen

A kitchen is the heart of a home. It’s where you start your day by grabbing a morning coffee and a quick bite before heading to work. It welcomes you after a hard day with a refreshing beverage and a savory meal. And, if you love cooking, it’s where you spend hours of fun, too. However, you can make it even better without wasting a ton of money on heavy remodeling. Instead, you can use technology to improve virtually every aspect of it. With almost no effort, you can add value to your kitchen, both in terms of functionality and selling. And when you see how easy designing a smart kitchen is, you’ll realize it’s the smartest option of all.

Why go smart?

As an essential part of every household, a kitchen must provide comfort, convenience, and, above all, functionality. Designing a smart kitchen allows you to achieve that on a much greater level compared to a standard remodel. Yet, the benefits don’t stop there. A smart design equals high-value home renovation that improves two other significant factors:

  1. Sustainability;
  2. Resale value.


A smart kitchen wastes fewer resources than a standard one. You can fine-tune its functionality and make it spend less electricity and water. In turn, this allows you to lower your utility bills. So, in the long run, turning your kitchen smart will pay for itself.

A person holding $100 banknotes.

Turning your kitchen smart can help you save money in the long run.

Resale value

Are you planning to sell your home and move in the foreseeable future? If so, upgrading your kitchen to a smart variant is one of the best things you can do. Handling a move and selling a house at the same time are a pain. That’s why most people want to rush through both. However, this leaves them vulnerable. On one end, they don’t pay much attention to moving. Thus, they risk missing hidden moving costs and overpaying. On the other, they don’t focus on getting the best price for their home. The smart design lets you avoid being one of those people. It enables you to sell your house faster, leaving you free to focus on moving. This will ensure you avoid spending more than you planned, which isn’t insignificant considering how moving can be very costly.

Tip 1: A smart layout makes a smart kitchen

The first thing you should focus on when modernizing your kitchen is optimizing the layout. Although appliances are the actual smart parts of it, it’s the layout that gives your kitchen functionality. Once you set up the basics, it’s easy to improve the rest and add more features.

With that said, to do this, first, you must understand the basics of kitchen design. These are:

  • The five areas of the kitchen, and;
  • The kitchen work triangle.

The five areas and why should you take the time to set them up

You can split your kitchen into five distinct zones, each serving a specific purpose. These are:

  1. Food storage;
  2. Food preparation;
  3. Pots and pans;
  4. Cleaning and waste;
  5. Dishes and cutlery.

When designing a smart kitchen, it’s essential to clearly define these areas. Doing this will help you stay organized, thus increasing convenience and efficiency.

The importance of the Triangle

The kitchen triangle refers to the space between the stove, fridge, and sink. It’s crucial to design your kitchen so that this area is always clear. This will allow you to work without obstructions and without the need to pace from one end of the kitchen to another. Or, in short: it will increase your efficiency and save time.

Tip 2: Enlist the help of smart people to help you with designing a smart kitchen.

Previously, designing a kitchen involved an architect drawing a plan, conversing with the client, and then making changes. Today, however – this is a complete waste of time. The advancement of technology and 3D design made the above method obsolete. And this is perfect for you! Now, the majority of contractors include this as a part of their remodeling service.

A person with a VR headset in front of a laptop.3D modeling allows you to see how your finished kitchen will look.

They will make a 3D model of your kitchen and all the furniture and appliances in it. Then, you can move and shift things around without ever moving a muscle (clicking doesn’t count!). But, the best thing of all is, you can see how your kitchen will look once it’s finished. You can fine-tune colors, patterns, and even lighting – all from the comfort of your chair. And, once you’re satisfied, it won’t take more than a few minutes for your contractor to print out the floor plan and start organizing the work. Therefore, this is an efficient, effective, and fun way to design your kitchen without wasting paper or time. But, above all, it’s the smart way!

Tip 3: Don’t rush when choosing smart items for your kitchen

Before you start dishing out money on smart appliances, it’s advisable to research them in-depth. Although the market abounds with options, smart technology in home improvement still hasn’t reached its peak. Now, we’re not saying that smart appliances don’t do their job. They do – and exceptionally well, at that. However, the communication between various devices can get a bit finicky at times. Therefore, the main thing you need to watch out for here is compatibility. Some devices work well with one another, while others simply refuse to cooperate. So, take some time to do the research and read the reviews, and you’ll end up with a kitchen that makes your life a breeze.

Tip 4: Focus on major investments first

Smart appliances cost a bit more than their regular counterparts. Which doesn’t come as a surprise since they make life so much easier. Therefore, it’s essential to prioritize your investments. That said, the two smartest things you can get for your kitchen are:

  • A smart fridge;
  • A smart oven/stove.

Both provide fantastic functionality and so many additional features that you’ll wonder how you managed to live without them. Here’s a fun example:

There are smart fridges that can – check this out – find you a date! We’re not even joking! Some smart fridges can take a snapshot of their contents and match you with people with similar groceries in their fridges. The wondrous times we live in!

Tip 5: Top it off with things that make life easier

With big things secured, you can proceed to pamper yourself. There’s a whole myriad of smaller appliances you can get to enhance your lifestyle. Here are some of them and a fraction of what they can do:

  • Coffee machine – set it to “wake up” before you, and have a fresh coffee waiting for the second you get in the kitchen;
  • Faucets – tell them (yes, tell them) to turn on and off, or to dispense a certain amount of water;
  • Kitchen lighting – program the lights to switch on or off on command, or set the intensity depending on the time of the day;
  • Kitchen respirators – never again will you cough and “wave your hands through the air like you don’t care” while cooking. Your smart stove can tell the respirator to start working the moment you start cooking.

Sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? That’s because it is! And this is only a tiny part of what these things can do.

A modern black and white kitchen.Smart kitchens aren’t only comfortable. They look awesome, too!

Tip 6: Choose the right people to “smartify” your kitchen

Designing a smart kitchen is a pretty straightforward process. However, implementing changes can be a daunting task. That’s why you should leave this part to the professionals. With ample experience, knowledge, and the right tools, they’ll make sure your kitchen gets the IQ boost it needs.

Make the smart choice

Designing a smart kitchen is one of the best choices you can make. It allows you to skyrocket your comfort level without sacrificing convenience or functionality. Quite the contrary – it improves all those aspects. And – without having to break your home apart to do it. So, when choosing your approach, don’t think large. Think smart.

By Mary Aspen Richardson


Buying a fixer-upper tips for first-time homebuyers

Buying a fixer-upper tips for first-time homebuyers

a fixer-upper home in the middle of renovationsBeing a first-time homebuyer, your budget might not allow you to purchase a property that is ready for you to move in immediately. In fact, some estimates note that around 70% of people aged from 18 to 34 plan on buying a fixer-upper. Luckily, it’s possible to improve and add value to your home with improvements. We have a few tips you should keep in mind if you are a first-time homebuyer looking to buy a home in need of major repairs or remodeling.

Buying a fixer-upper means you can potentially buy a larger home in a better location. However, you need to assess the situation realistically. At times, the low price of the home may sway you to think you are at an advantage. Yet, the cost of repairing a fixer-upper may turn out to be much more than what you anticipated. Sometimes, such homes are not financially rewarding at all, so keep your eyes open when you start browsing through property listings.

an old home with wooden windows

Old homes usually have poor insulation, which might necessitate elaborate construction work.

Consider the time you have at your disposal

It probably won’t take much time until you find a fixer-upper. However, the construction work needed to transform the property might take a lot of time. In fact, this is one of the reasons why you need to be adamant about choosing a good real estate agent. As a first-time homebuyer, you probably do not have that much experience with home renovations and how long they may take.

An experienced real estate agent will be able to give you realistic advice on what home you should buy based on the condition of the property and the time you have at your disposal until your move-in. Since you are probably focused on saving money, renting a home while the renovations take place is completely missing the mark. Hence, a real estate agent will know whether the investment pays off – money-wise and time-wise.

Consider your home renovating expertise

Some first-time homebuyers go into buying a fixer-upper with the idea that they will renovate it on their own. In this case, make sure that you definitely consider time as a crucial deciding factor. If you are doing things on your own or with minimal help from professionals, be sure to leave a reasonable amount of time for everything – much more than what you initially thought you might need.

For instance, you might be planning a kitchen remodel to add value without breaking the bank. But what may be in store might entail much more than changing the doorknobs and repainting the cabinets. The property might have an underlying problem with the piping, sewage, wiring, etc.

So, a fixer-upper that may look acceptable on the surface might be a bag full of problems that can considerably delay the renovation project and, consequently, the move-in deadline.

an old home surrounded by vinesFixer-uppers are charming, but sometimes a handful as well.

Organization is everything

So, sometimes buying a fixer-upper may be much more challenging than it seems. In most cases, people have a fixed date when they need to move out of their old home. This is why you need to be organized to a tee.

Devise a plan and stick to it, but also prepare a plan B (and a plan C). Remember, you are giving that fixer-upper a new lease on life. It is unlikely it is going to be completely straightforward or stress-free!

You can execute the main bulk of renovation work before you start bringing in furniture and make more minor repairs, finishes, and improvements after you move in. However, if you decide to renovate the fixer-upper after moving to your new/old home, be sure to estimate the duration and find inspiration for your project well before you sign the purchase contract.

Organizing a major home remodel from scratch is no easy feat. So, don’t fool yourself that you will be able to do so in a few days after you relocate.

an architect drawing out necessary fixer-upper repairs

Find a good contractor or architect that can help you plan the renovation perfectly.

Consider your budget

Budgetary considerations are a crucial aspect of deciding if you should invest in a fixer-upper. As little as half of home renovating projects stay within the planned budget. Hence, here you need to be mercilessly realistic when it comes to your budget.

Keep this in mind while you are in the process of choosing your fixer-upper. Basically, the purchase of the property should not consume your entire homebuying budget.

As you will soon see, fixing a fixer-upper is likely to be a continuous series of expenses. With an old home, you may not even be able to anticipate everything that needs fixing. Some issues pop up unexpectedly, even after you finish the remodel.

One way to go around this is to divide the money you have into two ‘funds’ – one for the purchase of the fixer-upper and a separate one to cover the renovation costs based on estimates you can devise with the help of a home inspector or a licensed contractor.

By allowing two budgets, you are unlikely to overspend on the purchase of the fixer-upper.

Do you have a place to live until the renovations are finished?

Dreaming about adapting a quaint old home to your needs may be one of your main motivations for choosing a fixer-upper instead of a ready-to-move-in home. Other people find it more convenient financially, as they can invest in repairs according to their possibilities.

However, before you start warming up to the idea of buying a fixer-upper, you should consider whether you can finance a rental where you can stay until the home is ready for move-in. So, this is another factor that may move the scales either toward you buying a fixer-upper or purchasing a ready-made home you can relocate to immediately.

By Mary Aspen Richardson