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Questions to Ask Before You Redo the Kitchen

The path to the perfect kitchen starts here as you answer questions designed to pinpoint needs and wants.

By Jan Soults Walker

You know the kitchen you have isn't meeting your needs, but what exactly are the most important issues that need resolving? This quick questionnaire will help you know where to focus as you look for solutions.

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Karen Williams

Will the existing space suffice?

  • Does your current kitchen's floor plan meet your needs? How well does it flow for cooking, cleanup, family activities, and entertaining? Do you have space for performing common tasks or would you like to shuffle the space around?
  • If you're considering extending your kitchen's footprint, can you borrow square footage from adjoining spaces or is adding on a necessity? 
  • If you plan to add on, how will this affect outdoor space? How will local codes and regulations influence the design?

    Get layout ideas:
  • 7 Smart Multi-Function Kitchen Layouts
  • All Together Now: Open-Concept Kitchens
  • Do you need more storage?

  • Are your kitchen countertops cluttered with small appliances, spice containers, and other needs?
  • Are you walking to the basement, garage, or hall closets to retrieve items that you use regularly?
  • Do you have difficulty finding items and supplies? Do you frequently buy multiples of supplies that you already have on hand?
  • Are you making frequent trips to the market because you lack sufficient cold storage?
  • Could you make existing storage more efficient with cabinet inserts, such as rollout shelves, dividers, and other organizers?

    See how you can Store More in Your Kitchen—Today! and read our 6 Strategies for a Kitchen Pantry.
  • Should you update or replace cabinets?

  • Are your current cabinets sturdy?
  • If the cabinet construction is sound and you like the design, could you update with paint and new hardware? Is simply replacing the doors a better option? 
  • Do you have difficulty finding items and supplies? Do you frequently buy multiples of supplies that you already have on hand?

    For tips, see 3 Ideas to Freshen Your Kitchen Cabinets.
  • How would you rate your appliances?

  • Do they function well, but the color or style is outdated?
  • Are some features on appliances not working?
  • Could you benefit from additional appliances, such as wall ovens, a warming drawer, a second dishwasher, or a wine refrigerator?
  • Do surfaces suit your tastes and needs?

    Mick De Giulio
  • What is the condition of the kitchen countertops? Do you like the appearance of the materials? Is the counter standing up to your needs? Do you have enough counter space?
  • What do the kitchen backsplashes look like? Are they easy to clean? Do they enhance the look of the space?
  • Do you like the appearance of your kitchen flooring? Is it comfortable to stand on for long periods? Is it holding up to your daily needs?

  • For ideas, take a look at:
  • Kitchen Countertop Ideas and Materials
  • Which Kitchen Backsplash Is Right for You?
  • Kitchen Flooring: Inspiring Designs & Durable Materials
  • Is the kitchen lighting sufficient?

  • Do you find yourself working in your own shadow in certain spots in your kitchen?
  • Does your kitchen lack undercabinet lighting? How well can you see into upper cabinets?
  • Are there surfaces, features, or belongings you'd like to highlight with accent lighting?
  • Can you adjust lighting levels in your kitchen to set a mood?

    Learn How to Choose New Kitchen Light Fixtures or Find Your Kitchen Lighting Style.
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