Designing your kitchen requires not only deciding on décor and colors but also creating a space plan and choosing products that will allow your kitchen to function the way that best suits you.
Answering these questions will help you to determine your needs and to consider possibilities you might not have realized. If you decide to work with a designer, having this information up front will help the designer understand your needs quickly.
Design & Style
- What do I like and not like about how my current kitchen looks?
- What is the architectural style of my home? Do I want my new kitchen to reflect this style?
- Which general style do I like—contemporary, traditional, country or transitional?
- Is there a particular design theme I want to use?
- What colors do I like? Which ones do I dislike?
- What rooms adjoin the kitchen? Does the kitchen need to complement their design?
- How does the kitchen relate to the outdoors? Do you want to change or improve it?
- What do I like about my friends’ kitchens?
- What are some designs and products that I like? Create a folder or notebook with notes and images, including kitchen pictures, layouts, colors, descriptions, lists…everything that catches your eye.
Function & Storage
- What do I like and not like about how my current kitchen works?
- What’s on the wish list of everyone who uses the kitchen?
- Can I keep any of my existing appliances? Do I want to?
- Do I need new flooring, or can I keep or refinish the existing floor?
- Do I need new cabinets, or can I reface or refinish the existing cabinets?
- Do I need more space in the kitchen for working on the computer, paying bills, and other tasks?
- Do I need more storage space?
- Can I get extra room by organizing the current space better, or do I need to change the kitchen layout?
- Can I change the layout within the existing kitchen footprint, or do I need to add space from another room in the house or through an addition?
- What kind of storage space do I need, and what am I storing? Possibilities to consider include: Dry goods, paper products, pet food, dishes, flatware, cookware, bakeware, glassware, recycling, china, table linens, small appliances, and bottled or canned beverages.
- Do I have enough refrigerator and freezer space?
- Do I shop daily? Weekly? Monthly? Do I buy in bulk? Would I shop differently if my kitchen were different?
- Do I have enough electrical outlets for small appliances (toaster, coffeemaker, blender, mixer, etc.) and electronics (cell phone, TV, etc.)
- Do I have enough light to work by?
- How many people use the kitchen regularly? How old are they? Does anyone have any special needs?
- What non-food-related activities will take place in my new kitchen? Possibilities to consider include laundry, homework, paying bills, working on the computer and watching TV.
Cooking & Cleaning
- Who is the primary cook?
- Is the primary cook left- or right-handed?
- How tall is the primary cook?
- Does the primary cook have any physical limitations?
- What is the primary cook’s cooking style?
- Quick and simple
- How does the primary cook prefer to work?
- One helper
- Multiple people visiting and/or helping
- Is there a secondary cook? If so, do the primary and secondary cook prepare meals together? What are the secondary cook’s responsibilities?
- Is the secondary cook left- or right-handed?
- How tall is the secondary cook?
- Does the secondary cook have any physical limitations?
- Do I have enough countertop space for preparing meals?
- Is my sink large enough? What about the dishwasher?
- Is fresh water easily accessible when I’m cooking? Do I need an additional sink or faucet?
- Do I need a bigger cooktop or oven?
- Are the surfaces, finishes and appliances easy to clean?
Dining & Entertaining
- Do need room for eating in the kitchen?
- Do I want room for a stand-alone kitchen table and chairs?
- Do I want a built-in booth or banquette?
- Do I want an island with room for dining on one side or end?
- Do I plan to entertain frequently?
- What is my entertainment style—formal or informal?
- Do I typically cook the food myself or have the party catered?
- How many guests do I typically invite?
- Do my guests always end up in the kitchen?
Products & Features
- What features are needs? Wants? Unnecessary, unwanted, or unaffordable?
Coffee & espresso maker
Second refrigerator or freezer
Clothes washer and dryer
Electrical & Lighting
More electrical outlets
Charging station (for mobile phones, MP3 players, etc.)
Cabinetry and storage
Tilt-down sponge tray
Bookshelf for cookbooks
Cookbook stand or tray
Pull-out bins for trash/recycling
Pull-up mixer shelf
Prep or bar sink
Side spray for faucet
Radio or stereo
Desk or work area