Creating Your New Kitchen: Getting Started

What to consider when creating your dream kitchen

By Sharon Johnson

Whether you're building from scratch or renovating an existing space, creating your dream kitchen is an exciting undertaking—one that will have a profound ripple effect throughout the house. A calm, organized kitchen seems to act as a "ground" that benefits every other room in the home.

That said, renovating a kitchen is a not small undertaking. The more time you spend up front thinking and planning and preparing, the greater the likelihood that you're going to be happy with the end result.

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Know Your Vision

Open Transitional Kitchen
Cheryl Kees Clendenon

Any successful company has a vision and mission statement that acts as a compass to drive its decisions. It allows the company to stay focused on the big picture without getting sidetracked. You should have the same, deciding at the start the feeling you want your new kitchen to have.

If you're not sure what style you prefer, spend time searching the HomePortfolio database of kitchen products and designer room images. When you see something you like—even if you aren't entirely clear on why you like it—add it to your portfolio. Over time, themes will emerge. This information will be invaluable when the time comes to meet with your kitchen designer.

Know Your Needs

Determine exactly why you're about to undertake a kitchen renovation. Are you looking for more storage, better flow, upgraded appliances, an updated style? Any or all of the above? Being clear on your reasons for beginning a renovation will help you allocate your budget (more on that later) and get you through any rough patches that may arise.

Tips to help you choose the right kitchen appliances.

Know Your Budget

We know, we know. This is very much an unpleasant part of the project. But trust us: Now is the time to think about the budget, not once you're halfway into the renovation and realize there are no funds remaining for such pesky items as appliances. Rather than thinking of a budget as a limiting factor, think of it instead as aguiding factor. In truth, the very act of allocating funds will help you realize where your priorities lie. If cooking is your passion, direct more of the funds toward appliances and consider scaling back a bit on fixtures or finishes.

The NKBA offers these guidelines for how a budget for a high-end kitchen is typically allocated:

Check out these pro tips on handling a DIY kitchen renovation.

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