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Where HGTV Ends and YOUR Dream Kitchen Begins

Looking for kitchen remodel ideas?

Nestled on the couch after a hard day’s work, the marathon begins.  You know the one – Flip or Flop, Love it or List It, Property Brothers, Good Bones, and of course, Fixer Upper.  Even if you’re not a diehard fan, it’s hard not to watch to the end, just to see that miraculous transformation (not to mention the equally miraculous price tag that has us all packing up and moving to Waco, Texas).  While HGTV can be a wonderful tool — if only to fuel the dream – one needs to be aware of the potential pitfalls.

  1. Re-dating your updated kitchen.  HGTV will always be on trend.  That much goes without saying.  The trick is drawing the line between on trend and trendy.  It’s a good thing to be aware of trends – whites and grays, marble look quartzes, clean lines, wood or wood look floors are examples – but, make an effort to add touches of your own personality.  If your kitchen looks like a carbon copy version of last week’s Flip or Flop episode, five years from now, your efforts may look very 2019.
  2. Make kitchen design decisions you can actually live with. It’s hardly news that white kitchens have exploded over the past two years, and it’s easy to understand why.  They photograph well (always a favorite of magazine spreads), they make the space appear to be larger and brighter, and the pairing with wood floors solves the ‘stark’ criticism of years past.  So . . . what’s the problem?  The following questions may help.   Do you have small children?  Maybe teenagers?  Do you have large dogs that come in and shake . . . always in the kitchen?  Most importantly – is cleaning an activity you enjoy?  You get the idea.  By no means is the advice ‘NO WHITE KITCHEN.’  The advice is to think it through.  Several of our customers have elected to go with two-tone kitchens for this reason (darker paint on the lowers), or at bare minimum, a contrasting island (particularly important when the island has seating).  Flooring choices carry the same long-range ramifications.  Understand that while TV is a tool, real life is how much you enjoy your investment for the long haul – without regret.
  3. Don’t limit yourself before the process even starts. Every once in a while, a customer has a kitchen lay-out in mind before the initial design consultation  takes place.  While this CAN be helpful, don’t be afraid to consider alternatives – even if the alternatives bring you back to where you started.  If your designer has a suggestion, it’s okay to say no, but give yourself that chance to be sure.   Kitchens should last a good 20 to 30 years, and designers have heard every ‘I wish I had’ along the way.  We want to make sure you’re saying, ‘I’m glad I did!’
  4. Budget wisely and choose accordingly! As much as we all wish they were, TV kitchen costs aren’t real!!!  Understand that there are levels – of cabinetry, of countertops, of extras.  There are items you can purchase on your own, there are pieces that are more romanticized than utilized, there are design options that can shift the costs dramatically.  Kitchens can be very expensive, but you DO have some control of how expensive.  Communication is key, and we pride ourselves on the ability to listen.

In closing, am I suggesting spending more time watching Food Network?  How  much TV is too much when planning your own design project?  There may not be a ‘too much’, so much as a ‘keep things in perspective’ and pay attention.  Don’t overthink, see what you are consistently drawn to time and time again, and that’s your starting point.  For the rest – call us.

O’Hanlon Kitchens is an award winning kitchen remodeler in the Maryland and Southern PA region.


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