5 questions to ask before remodeling your kitchen

Proper planning and organization are key to a kitchen remodel, regardless of the job’s size. Ask yourself these questions at the beginning to organize your thoughts and priorities.

Answering these questions will do more than just give you design ideas. They will help you bring structure to what you want to complete and start putting directions on the roadmap to remodeling success. Form follows function, so be sure you know the function you want.

1. What kind of cook am I?

Different cooks have different needs. Some enjoy a sprawling complex that allows them to create intricate meals; others just want to keep themselves and their family fed amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Your cooking style has personality, and your kitchen style should match. Otherwise you’ll be struggling against your own layout during the task the kitchen is there to accommodate.

Related question: How many people will usually be cooking at a time? A solo cook has different needs than a family putting together a team effort.

Keep your family’s general cooking needs in mind when considering this. If the family includes someone who’s always on the go and opting for quick meals, you might want a larger and more easily accessible microwave. If the household includes small children, you might want to make some of the storage and workspaces lower and more accessible.

2. What will I be doing in my kitchen besides cooking?

Some use their kitchens to entertain; others leave that entirely to other rooms. Some kitchens become the command centers of the home, a staging area for entrances and exits. Think through what you’re actually going to use your kitchen for and plan accordingly.

3. How long will I be remaining in the house?

This could determine some of your choices. If you plan on moving in the next few years, you might want to focus on elements with more universal appeal. If you expect this to be your forever home, let your imagination run wild with specific and personalized choices.

4. How do I want the kitchen to interact with the rest of the house?

Does the kitchen have an immediate exit to the outdoors? Open or closed floor design? How does it relate to the dining room and living areas, especially in terms of trafficking meals from point A to point B? The kitchen doesn’t stand alone, so think of it in terms of the greater whole.

5. What factors are most important to me?

This is a question only you can answer, but it’s a point that you need to think about. Over the course of the process, you’ll be making numerous decisions and prioritizing different elements. But think about your north stars — what are the elements you have to have and feel the kitchen is incomplete without? What do you need in this kitchen to make YOU happy? Keep your eye on that goal and you won’t be disappointed.


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