5 Things to Consider When Redesigning Your Kitchen

Kathryn Marsh
Written by Kathryn Marsh
Updated August 20, 2015
redesigned kitchen with island cabinets
Before tackling a renovation project or simply refreshing the kitchen, consider what options fit into your budget. (Photo courtesy of Angi member Jennifer B. of Edmonds, Wash.)

Whether you're looking to freshen up your kitchen or do a complete overhaul, one highly rated provider shares five things you should consider before you redesign.

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Whenever I am called in to redesign a kitchen, the projects tend to fall into two categories. The first is a kitchen refresh, involving updating surfaces and finishes. The second is a complete kitchen remodel, which involves cabinets, counters, and appliances. 

Whichever category your project falls into there are common elements that you will have to consider.

Related: Top Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling Trends for 2015

1. Budget

The options that are available to you will be determined by your budget. Shop wisely, decide on the features that are important to you, and then rank them by importance. Then use this as a guide on how to manipulate your budget.

If you can’t find what you want at prices you can afford, think about replacing expensive materials with a lower cost alternative. For example, painted cabinets are definitely less expensive than exotic woods. If custom granite is out of your budget, you can use prefabricated granite counters or granite tiles, which can offer a budget friendly option to custom cut slabs.

Related: Where to Find Big Savings in Your Kitchen Remodel

2. Cabinets

These may be one of your more costly components. To get the look you want, consider the following:

Look through magazines or online platforms and collect images of kitchens you like, this will help to identify which style and finishes you are attracted to. 

Create variety by including a mix of solid cabinet doors, glass doors and open shelves. If you are not one for exposing your cabinet contents, then textured glass or translucent glass panels may be more to your liking.

Hang cabinets at different heights to create variety and interest. Introducing a kitchen island in a different style and finish from the perimeter cabinets gives the look of a kitchen that has evolved over time. 

Consider having your upper cabinets in one color and lower cabinets in another. You can create the look of furniture by adding turned pieces and brackets under upper cabinets and “legs” tucked into toe kicks of lower cabinets.

Related: Angi Guide to Kitchen Cabinets

3. Counters

There are a variety of countertop materials to choose from:

Granite and quartz are durable and can withstand anything, from hot pots to chopping, but can be costly. Granite needs periodic sealing while quartz does not. 

Related: 5 Tips for Installing Granite Countertops

Marble and limestone are extremely beautiful, but porous, making them vulnerable to stains and spills. They have to be sealed regularly, which can be a bother. Choosing darker colors will help to hide some stains.

Stainless steel is virtually indestructible and hygienic, but it can feel cold and sterile if overused.

Wood counter tops, conversely, warm up a kitchen. Make sure that they are sealed properly. I recommend using a sealer designed for marine applications.

Laminate counter tops have a lot of variety, but are not as long lasting and durable as solid surfaces or stone. However, they are a budget friendly option. There are also laminates that mimic granite, marble, limestone and quartz. 

Related: Angi Guide to Countertops

How Much Does it Cost to Install Countertops?

4. Lighting

Lighting can make or break your space. When properly positioned, lighting can make your cabinets glow and your stainless appliances sparkle. Replace that ugly single central light fixture with track lighting. Make sure to get one with five to six bulbs so you can cast light around the room.

If it is in your budget, consider recessed lighting. Positioning the lights 12 inches from your cabinets and centered on the doors will illuminate the counter below and the interior of your cabinets. Include under mount cabinet lighting for your perimeter cabinets, as they add ambiance and can help when working in the kitchen. 

Pendant lights can be positioned over islands and sinks and are a great way to add color and personality to your kitchen. Small lights placed in your cabinet toe kicks will give your kitchen an interesting glow and double as night-lights. 

Remember to add dimmers to your lighting, enabling you to adjust the mood and focal points of your kitchen as desired. 

5. Appliances

You can quite easily spend a fortune on your appliances. Before you begin your kitchen plan, visit an appliance showroom and review what is available and at what price. 

Many desirable features can be had at even relatively affordable price points, so prioritize what is important to you. It is critical to know what size appliances you will be including before designing the kitchen layout.

The last word

Thoughtful planning and attention to details are essential for arriving at a successful outcome. You can easily make changes to your wall coverings, accessories and hardware to reflect the latest trends. Think carefully when choosing cabinetry, appliances and counter tops, because you will be living with them for a long time. 

Working with a design professional can help you to navigate the process and to avoid expensive pitfalls. 

As of Aug. 20, 2015, this service provider was highly rated on Angi. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angi for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angi.

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