How to Create a Realistic Design and Construction Timeline

Find out the length of time you should allow for planning, building and unforeseen mishaps.

Design shows on TV might lead you to believe that you can complete a dramatic interior makeover in three days — or even in just one night. However, in reality, anything worth doing needs time to be done right. Renovating a single small bathroom can easily take three months from initial design research to finished construction, while a fuller renovation of several rooms or a larger room (like a complete kitchen overhaul) can take half a year — sometimes even much longer. This may sound pessimistic, but there are truly many benefits to giving your design project a healthy timeline. Here’s some honest advice for why and how you should plan out your project on a realistic schedule, whether you’re working with a designer or on your own, and no matter what the project size.

No Handles Required!

A handleless kitchen always looks streamlined, uncluttered and stylish – but is it for you? Read on to help you decide…

Like the name suggests, a handleless kitchen has no handles at all. The cupboards, drawers and any built-in appliances have a totally smooth finish. Many homeowners consider it the ultimate in minimalist – yet still functional – design, which is why this type of kitchen is so popular.

A smooth and sleek finish – If you’re after elegant form, unbroken lines and zero clutter then a handleless kitchen is the way to go. It’s an especially popular option for kitchens that ‘blend’ into living areas, as you can conceal appliances and storage solutions to help encourage a sense of uninterrupted flow from one space to the next.

Consider the options – One of the trickiest things to decide on when creating a kitchen is which handles to choose. So opting for a handleless kitchen will leave you with one less thing to worry about. Most handleless designs work either by simply pushing doors and drawers to open or close, or reaching behind them to grip on to a moulded finger pull or rail. Some may argue that a finger pull is essentially a handle of sorts, but it still fits seamlessly into the design and is out of plain sight.

Cost implications – You may think that a handleless kitchen would cost less because you cut out the expense of buying actual handles. Think again. Depending on the option you choose, handleless kitchens usually cost more than a kitchen with handles. This is because of the added labour that’s involved in creating the handle-free cabinetry, as well as the installation of electric push-to-open mechanisms (used especially on overhead cabinets, where closing a door is made easier by pressing a button on the side of the cabinet to lower the door back to closed).

Factor in your appliances – If you plan to integrate your appliances (fridge, dishwasher, washing machine, etc) into the kitchen cabinetry, there are certain types of handleless options that will work better than others. Discuss this with your kitchen designer at the get-go to avoid any costly mistakes.

Safety first – Another bonus of going handleless is that it encourages ease of movement around the kitchen. There are no protruding handles and knobs to bump into or catch your clothes and grocery bags on. There’s also one less thing for little people to run into or bump their heads against. On that note though, with push-to-open mechanics, drawers and cupboards can be accidentally opened by simply leaning against them. So bear this in mind when deciding on your handleless design if you have small children – you don’t want them accidentally opening cupboards and drawers they’re not supposed to.

Cleaning considerations – From a hygiene perspective, handleless kitchens definitely score some brownie points. Of course grooves, rails and finger pulls will collect crumbs and dirt over time, while glossy push-to-open doors and drawers will reveal evidence of fingerprints and handprints. But a quick wipe down is usually all it takes, as opposed to navigating your way around tricky handle grooves with a cloth.

Best of both – If you like the seamless look of a handleless kitchen, but also like the practicality of a handle, why not go for a kitchen with a thin, subtle handle across the top of your cupboard doors and drawers, and on the lip of overhead cabinets, and enjoy the best of both worlds.

Do you have a ‘handle-free’ kitchen? Does it work for you? Let us know…


3D rendering of a modern industrial style kitchen

How Blue and White Can Bring Joy to Your Kitchen

This versatile color combination has the ability to create spaces that are soothing and serene or bold and beautiful.

Many people feel that kitchens are the soul of a home. It’s where we often begin our days thinking and planning and feeding ourselves and loved ones. Indeed, kitchens are a place for nourishment of all kinds. That’s why incorporating a palette of blues, which are often associated with contemplation and thought, and white, which relates to a feeling of cleanliness, is a great approach for creating a positively nourishing and uplifting kitchen. The following kitchens show how versatile the color combination can be.

A Neutral Kitchen With Plenty of Zip

A contemporary new kitchen gets pewter-colored cabinets accented by leopard-print bar stools and dark pendants.

Kitchen With Double Islands Pleases a Baker and a Smoothie Maker

With multiple refrigerators and ovens, this space easily accommodates a couple of cooks and their guests.

Top 9 Hardware Styles for Flat-Panel Kitchen Cabinets

Accentuate this simple cabinet style to best advantage in a modern or contemporary kitchen with the right pulls or latches.

The flat-panel, or slab-door, style of cabinet is most often seen in modern or contemporary kitchens. The essence of this style is often about minimal embellishment and letting the natural materials speak for themselves. The wood grain might be the statement, or it could be a simple linear pull on a high-gloss white cabinet. Regardless of style, this look gets its strength from understatement. So subtle hardware choices can make a big impact in a kitchen with flat-panel cabinets.

10 Simple Ways to Bring Order to a Small Kitchen

It can be tricky keeping a compact cooking space tidy, but these ideas can help.

Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need acres of counter space or dozens of drawers and cupboards to have an organized kitchen that’s a joy to cook in. If anything, a smaller kitchen can encourage you to streamline your stuff and live more simply. Who wants cabinets chock-full of unloved pasta machines and dusty bread makers anyway? Check out these easy ways to restore order to your less-than-enormous kitchen.

3 Kitchen Features You Might Not Have Thought Of

Follow the lead of spaces that include a special element for one-of-a-kind style.

Oftentimes what sets one space apart from another isn’t a big, grand gesture, but rather a small, thoughtful addition that stays with you even after you’ve left the room. These three kitchens embody that thinking by featuring something subtle yet strikingly special.