How to Plan and Execute Successful Kitchen Remodels

How to Plan and Execute Successful Kitchen Remodels

A kitchen remodel is a large-scale project with many decisions to be made. Creating an outline of your needs, priorities, budget and schedule will help you stay on track.

Dramatically changing the layout of your kitchen will drive up costs, especially if it involves moving plumbing for sinks and appliances. Adding cabinets and islands will also increase expenses.


A kitchen’s layout is the blueprint for its overall function. It includes how the different work areas connect, and it defines the primary path of traffic in your kitchen.

If your remodel includes putting up new walls, the contractor will frame them out of wooden studs. They will also install any necessary plumbing or electrical fixtures. If it’s a gas kitchen remodel, they will put in new pipes and a gas line, which may require an inspection.

If you want to add an island to your kitchen, it’s important that the contractor takes the dimensions of your room into consideration. If the new space is too small, it will feel cramped. This will be a good time to upgrade your appliances. A contractor will install your new fridge, oven or dishwasher.


Cabinets are one of the biggest expenses in a kitchen renovation or remodel and can make or break your overall look. They’re also not something you can easily replace like a light fixture or coat of paint, so it pays to invest in high-quality units that fit your style and meet your storage needs.

Installing new cabinets can require significant construction tasks, such as breaking down walls or adding a window, so it’s best left to professionals. After structural work is complete, you can start on mechanical rough-in tasks, such as laying down new pipes, electrical wires, and HVAC ductwork.

For her Brooklyn brownstone kitchen, interior designer Kate Arends optimized lower cabinet space to store cookware and table linens, including a beautiful blue midcentury serve ware collection. She customized open cubbies with a mix of shallow shelves and deep drawers to accommodate different types of pots and pans.


When it comes to upgrading kitchen countertops, homeowners are spoiled for choice. However, not all materials offer the same durability or practicality.

Laminate is one of the most budget-friendly countertop options, offering heat- and stain-resistant surfaces at a fraction of the cost of natural stone. It’s also relatively easy to repair scratches and stains.

Quartz and quartz composite are durable, nonporous and stain-resistant, and come in a range of colors and styles. They can add elegance to the kitchen and enhance resale value.

Wood offers warmth and traditional beauty, but it easily dents and scratches under hard-working kitchen conditions. Consider a honed finish to minimize the appearance of damage and reduce the glare of everyday use. Stainless steel is another option that works well in most design styles.


A kitchen remodel is a major project that requires planning. It’s important to consider your goals and priorities, the overall layout, cabinetry, countertops, and appliances.

Modern iterations of fridges, ovens and dishwashers can make your kitchen more visually appealing and enhance the at-home cooking experience. When purchasing new appliances, look for matching sets that save space and tie the look together.

For example, in this mountain-inspired kitchen from our 2020 Idea House, designer Nicole Dohmen of Atelier ND used stainless steel refrigerator, range and dishwasher panels to bring consistency and uniformity to the room. A textured terra-cotta backsplash and chimney-style range hood add eye-catching character. A great lighting plan can also transform a kitchen. Opt for recessed, LED under-cabinet and pendant fixtures with dimmer switches.


When it comes to lighting, the options are limitless, but it’s important that you take your time to find fixtures that will showcase all the other elements of your kitchen remodel. During this stage, you’ll also install any recessed ceiling lights that are part of your design plan.

Pendants are popular for kitchen nooks and provide both task lighting and a stylish focal point that can make your remodel stand out. Chandeliers are another option that work well over islands and can add a touch of elegance to your remodel design.

This is also the time to address any accessibility concerns you might have. This can include lowering counter heights to improve accessibility for people using wheelchairs or walkers. This can be a costly project, but one that will help ensure your home is a place that anyone can enjoy.