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10 Steps to Planning a Dream Kitchen Renovation

Updated on December 25, 2014

Kitchen renovation is the number one home improvement project in America today.

There have been countless books written on the subject of kitchen remodeling and you can find qualified help around every corner.

The difference here is the One on One effort I will make to cover every aspect of the project from a person who has been designing new homes and home renovations for over 30 years.

I have also been in the business of selling cabinets, appliances, flooring and all other related products for just as long. So the advice I will give you here is from countless successful kitchen remodeling projects.

Whether you are planning a do it yourself or a do it for me type of project, I strongly recommend doing your home work and then taking the information you acquire and finding a well qualified designer in your area who can help you put your project together.

No matter what size kitchen remodeling project you are planning you will be money ahead making use of the collaborative input of a designer that you feel comfortable describing your ideas with.

I will help you cover all the things you will need to consider in this process including how the appliances you choose will integrate into your kitchen design and why it is important to be thinking about their selection early on.

I will also cover subjects like Walk In Pantry's, Butler's Pantry's, Islands, Flooring, and Counter Top Options.


Designer:   Lisa Graham of  Building Materials Inc.  located in Fort Madison, IA Click to view more of Lisaâs designs
Designer: Lisa Graham of Building Materials Inc. located in Fort Madison, IA Click to view more of Lisaâs designs

Pick Your Favorite Designer at The End

Before you leave pick your favorite designer at the bottom of the page

Hover over any picture to read about the designer and click a link to visit their web site and learn more about each design and what to look for if this is close to the style you are looking for.

I have experienced or more correctly heard of so many people who settle for taking a simple sketch of their existing space to a designer in a big box store and receive a generic lay-out that mimics their old kitchen but with a new skin.

I can tell you from years of experience that it costs very little more to think out side of the box. Start with that original sketch but find someone who can give creative input as to options of expanding the space or at least making the best use of the space.

Designer:   jerilyn Horn  of Building Materials Inc. located in Fort Madison, IA...Click to visit Jerilyn's Site
Designer: jerilyn Horn of Building Materials Inc. located in Fort Madison, IA...Click to visit Jerilyn's Site

Start With a Scrapbook

Collect Photo's & Magazine Pictures

Start by visiting sites like Pinterest or Houzz where you can sift through thousands of kitchen design ideas. With Pinterest you will create your own pin boards and then pin your favorite ideas to those boards to share with your designer. At Houzz you can view gallerias of design professionals and create your own ideabooks to plan your dream kitchen.

The links above will take you to our pinboards where we have over 50 boards sharing everything design as well as our professional Houzz profile to view some of our work.

You are going to be spending thousands of dollars here, spend a few to get it right.

Visit new home open houses and see first hand the popular trends in your area.Take photos of your exiting kitchen area and adjoining rooms from all angles.

Visit several kitchen design showrooms and ask general questions and show them your photo ideas to see how they respond with creative suggestions to get a feel or comfort level of the designers before committing to who will design your new kitchen.

Good kitchen design much like architecture or general interior design is more about style and function and flow than anything else.

I can not stress often enough that no matter what your budget you need to have a good relationship with the person who will design one of the most used spaces in your home.

Designer:   Nancy Moon of  Beckony Kitchens  located in Colorado Springs, CO  Click to view more of Nancyâs designs
Designer: Nancy Moon of Beckony Kitchens located in Colorado Springs, CO Click to view more of Nancyâs designs

How do You Use Your Existing Kitchen

This Will Help Define Your Needs

I usually cover topics like how do you use your kitchen now, is it solely for food preparation or are many family meals eaten there?

Do you entertain guests while cooking or spending leisurely time there in the mornings or evenings?

Do you have a nook area or dining table in your existing kitchen?

This covers the old use but it is important keep an open mind and consider how you want things to improve, flow better, function better and of course look better in your new kitchen.

Greetings From My Homebuilding Questions Site - A Personal Message From Jim Patrick

Designer:   Kathy Stevens of Euston Kitchen Co. located in Prairie Village, KS  Click to view more of Kathyâs designs
Designer: Kathy Stevens of Euston Kitchen Co. located in Prairie Village, KS Click to view more of Kathyâs designs

How About an Island or Peninsula

They Beckon You to Join in Great Conversation

One great way to make use of space while creating a warm inviting kitchen is through the use of an island or peninsula design.

An island will free stand typically in the middle of the kitchen while a peninsula is an extension of the cabinets out from a wall creating a bar top option.

Either of these options can be designed with the tops at standard counter height (approximately 36" off the floor) or at what we call bar top height (42" off the floor or 6" above the rest of the counter tops.)

We will often design a step up or bar top height counter if the island is facing another room as the raised surface helps hide the regular counter height work surface behind it.

If you choose to have your eating bar height at standard counter height then you will use 24" leg bar stools or chairs, if you opt for a 42" top height you will be looking for 30" legged stools.

Designer:   Jerilyn Horn of Building Materials Inc. located in Fort Madison, IA  Click to view more of Jerilynâs designs
Designer: Jerilyn Horn of Building Materials Inc. located in Fort Madison, IA Click to view more of Jerilynâs designs

How Much Walk Around Area Do You Need

Holiday Dinners and Traffic Flow

When it comes to space I encourage you to use these basic minimums when considering an island or peninsula.

Most islands are a minimum of 24" deep since that is the standard depth for base cabinets and with a top in place figure 27" of depth. This of course can be made larger by adding a row of 12 or 24" deep cabinets to the other side so I am only listing minimum widths here.

You need to plan on 25" out from the wall for the front counter top edge of your base cabinets. A good rule of thumb is to maintain at least a 36" clear walk way around all surfaces and at least 42" where you have a door opening into the walk way such as dishwasher, oven door, or refrigerator.

Next you have to start planning early on what appliances you will be using since the distance out from the wall varies by model number and most kitchen designers will need this information for a good design flow.

If you will have an eating area or bar space on your island or peninsula you need to allow another 12" for the top plus the same 36" of clear walk area around it.

Designer:   Jenny Siebert of Callier & Thompson located in Manchester, MO  Click to view more of Jennyâs designs
Designer: Jenny Siebert of Callier & Thompson located in Manchester, MO Click to view more of Jennyâs designs

Butler's Pantry What are Your Options

Wine Storage to Serving Station

Will your new design include a butler's pantry as a connector to the dining room?

This is an often overlooked way to add great storage as well as serving convenience.

I have seen many butler's pantry designs that include wine chillers or wine centers, beverage dispensers, storage for special occasion dinnerware, and of course a convenient serving area for larger dinners.

Remember that a butler's pantry does not have to be a connecting hallway it could be like a large closet space off either the kitchen or dining room.

Designer:   Jerilyn Horn of  Building Materials Inc.  located in Fort Madison, IA  Click to view Jerilyn's designs on Houzz
Designer: Jerilyn Horn of Building Materials Inc. located in Fort Madison, IA Click to view Jerilyn's designs on Houzz

Walk In Pantry & Message Center

Becoming Staples in the Modern Kitchen

Have you considered a walk in pantry for extra storage?

I will often times design a walk in pantry as a closet in the corner of the main kitchen area since this is a very inexpensive way to add great space for less than the cost of a large cabinet.

Do you need a message center or small computer station? This could be a place for the cell phone chargers, keys, a family message board, homework center, or family bill center.

Remember here that many things have changed in day to day life since your old kitchen was designed.

Click this image to visit my Homebuilding Questions web site feature on Quarz Counter Tops
Click this image to visit my Homebuilding Questions web site feature on Quarz Counter Tops

Counter Tops

Quartz...Granite...Solid Surface...Ceramic Tile..Laminate

I have researched beyond our everyday sales of all types of counter top materials and invite you to check out my quartz tops link to compare features and drawbacks of all types of counter top materials including some basic cost guidelines.

From this point you can browse around my web site and cover every topic related to a kitchen remodeling project including plumbing and electrical, selection of a contractor, even a section on construction financing.

Designer:   Marianne Harty of Columbia Showcase located in Columbia, MO  Click to view more of Marianneâs designs
Designer: Marianne Harty of Columbia Showcase located in Columbia, MO Click to view more of Marianneâs designs

Ventilation Not a Problem

With Downdraft & Custom Options

Will your cooking center need a ventilation system out of the house or will you opt for a recirculation system? With all the modern options I tell people today to design around their daily living, the days of the range needing to be on an exterior wall for venting to work are gone.

Designer:   Kathy Euston of Euston Kitchen Co. located in Prairie Village, KS  Click to view more of Kathyâs designs
Designer: Kathy Euston of Euston Kitchen Co. located in Prairie Village, KS Click to view more of Kathyâs designs

How About Upper Cabinet Heights

Different sizes for different ceiling heights

Have you considered cabinet heights?

How tall is your ceiling?

For a standard 8' ceiling the rule of thumb is to use 30" tall upper cabinets which puts their tops at 84" off the floor however many people are now using a combination of 30 and 36" tall cabinets to create a staggered look with taller cabinets defining the end or prominent sections.

If you have a 9' or taller ceiling then your options expand to using up to 42" tall upper cabinets.

When using taller wall cabinets remember these two important considerations;

First, how accessible will the tallest sections be for practical storage?

Second, each progressively taller cabinet series will add a proportionate additional cost to your kitchen so in other words are you getting the most bang for your buck?

After reviewing the designs shown here, let us know which ones you liked the best and why.

IF YOU ARE A DESIGNER

Tell us about your style and leave a link for our viewers to your site.

Which is Your Favorite Kitchen Design? - Pick your favorite Kitchen design or designer and share your thoughts

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    • JPat1616 profile image
      Author

      JPat1616 4 years ago

      @todays-deals: I've seen that system and would encourage readers to visit your lens and learn more about it.

    • todays-deals profile image

      todays-deals 4 years ago

      Nice information. One great way that I've found to refinish cabinets and make them look new is using Rustoleum Kitchen Transformations.

    • profile image

      lorasmith 5 years ago

      This is a fine lens with great information. I love the kitchen designs they look awesome.

      Lora

      roofing company Ft Worth

    • johnncrick profile image

      johnncrick 5 years ago

      Great lens. Check out my lens to learn more about kitchen pantry cabinet. Thanks.

    • profile image

      anymoreq 6 years ago

      I am totally agree with your opinion about the kitchen pantry cabinet. this lens is very encouraging to people who want to know kitchen pantry cabinet.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Once the backsplash in your kitchen is completed you may want to have a professional install new countertops. There are so many ways you can make your kitchen look with the different styles of countertops. You may choose something contemporary such as granite. You may choose something a little country that looks like wood or is in fact butcher block. Butcher block is a great choice as you can easily cook on it. Don't worry about chopping up vegetables and making dents in your countertop when you have butcher block. You can set your hot pans on butcher block as well. If the butcher block stains or gets any type of mark on it, it just adds to the look of this lovely style.

      Fort Lauderdale Kitchen Remodeling

    • priya786 profile image

      priya786 6 years ago

      nice lens i like white kitchen cabinets as that brighten my kichen

    • profile image

      rmstouffer 7 years ago

      If you decide to install kitchen cabinets yourself, find out as much about how to go about it as possible. There's more to it than meets the eye.