With all the time we spend in the kitchen, it's no wonder that every several years, we itch for a new look. If you have an older home, your kitchen may have appliances which don't match - that almond refrigerator you bought a few years ago, with the stainless steel dishwasher and a stove in that yellow-gold color so popular in the 70s. You're definitely up for a change! However, a kitchen remodel is one of the most expensive projects you can tackle. So, what's a viable solution?

A DIY kitchen design and remodeling project might be the perfect answer. You don't need to be a master carpenter or interior designer to do a kitchen makeover that is nothing short of stunning. If you properly organize your DIY kitchen design and remodeling project, you can break your kitchen makeover into several chunks, done over a period of time. You won't even need to take out a loan. Now we're talking.

It can be difficult to envision the look you want. You've spent years in this kitchen and have grown accustomed to the usual look. A good place to start planning your DIY kitchen design and remodeling project is at the library. Page through the home decorating magazines. Look for issues that focus on kitchen designs. There are also magazines dedicated to the kitchen. Notice different arrangements, color schemes and features, such as pantrys, islands, breakfast bars and lighting which you find attractive. Of course, you may not be able to fit everything you want or like into your kitchen design, but these magazines will provide all the food for thought you'll need. Photocopy pages of kitchens with particular features you'd like to integrate into your DIY kitchen design and remodel. Pencil in notes of color schemes and note the manufacturers of particular products (usually in the index) that you like.

Pay a visit to your local DIY center. These stores always have brochures for any number of projects, such as creating special effects with paint or building a kitchen island, which are free. Check especially in the kitchen display section for even more ideas. Carry a notebook in which you can jot down the name or product number of items such as tiles, cabinet facings, appliance covers, flooring, light fixtures, sinks or faucets that strike your fancy. Go online as well. With this preparatory work out of the way, you should have a large portfolio of inspiring ideas. Take a look at wallpaper collections.

The next step in carrying out your DIY kitchen design and remodeling project is the daydreaming phase. Sort out the pictures of your dream kitchens and decide which elements are the must-haves and which are impractical in the scope of your project, either due to cost or space constraints. You'll want to measure your existing kitchen, marking in cupboards, counter tops and windows which will remain stationary.

Let's say you've got your heart set on new paint and flooring, matching appliance covers, new cabinet facings and counter top coverings, track lighting, an island and a window greenhouse. Wow! Now that's a brand new kitchen. Sounds ambitious. Now let's break this makeover down into separate projects, done over a period of time. The idea is to organize each task such that your budget allows completion, while keeping your kitchen usable during that period, as much as possible.

In this scenario, you'd probably want to organize your DIY kitchen design and remodeling project as follows:

1. Paint the kitchen. An oil-based paint makes it easy to clean the walls, but also takes longer to dry than an acrylic paint. Start early in the morning on a warm, bright day. Any spills or splashes on the floor or counter tops won't matter, as you'll be replacing these in a future section of the project. (This may be a good night for a take-out pizza. )

2. Replace your appliance covers and install the track lighting. Both of these elements require little time, expense or effort. Track lighting usually comes pre-wired.

3. Lay down your new counter tops. Laminates are a snap. Tile is a bit more time-consuming, but can be accomplished in a weekend.

4. Install your new cabinet facings. Unfinished facings cost less and can be stained to match precisely in your chosen color scheme. Unless your kitchen is quite large, with many cupboards, this part of your DIY kitchen design and remodeling project should be just a one or two day weekend project.

5. You'll want to build and install your kitchen island now. To minimize mess, cut all of the lumber in the garage. When you install your new floors, you'll save some money on flooring materials since the island will cover several square feet.

6. Your kitchen makeover is quite near complete! Now is the time for your new floors. This step of your DIY kitchen design and remodeling shouldn't take more than a day.

7. Now, install beveled glass shelving in your freshly painted windows. Set up pots of fresh herbs on the lowest shelf, with some vining or trailing plants on the highest shelf.

 
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