Is it Dream Kitchen Time?

Are you ready to finally get that dream kitchen you've always wanted? Make sure you do some planning and research to be sure you have a clear vision of what the end result will look like, and be sure it will function the way you need it to.  If you're going to use a professional designer, be sure to discuss in detail what your goals and visions are and don't be afraid to ask for multiple designs or point out anything you don't really like.  And keep these things in mind:

Analyze the existing space. You may be in love with the idea of an oversize island with prep sink, but will it fit? Take plenty of measurements to get a clear idea of the dimensions of your planned layout.  Will the refrigerator doors have enough room to open? Will you be able to put stools at the counter?  It's a good idea to use painter's tape to make an outline of where everything will be and see if you'll be comfortable moving about the space. 

Pros & cons. Decide what you like about your current kitchen’s features and what you’d like to see changed. Do you love having your sink under a window? Do you hate the microwave above the stove?  This is the time to get rid of the things that make you crazy and add the things that will make your kitchen life easier and happier.

Set your goals. Make a list of all your kitchen remodeling goals. Include everything from simple, easy-to-accomplish tasks like organization and decorative elements to over-the-top, impossibly expensive overhauls.  You may be pleasantly surprised and be able to get that glass range hood and pot filler after all!  But if you can't get your entire wish list to mesh with your budget it's time to prioritize.

Create a collection of ideas. Print out or dowload photos from websites, clip photos from decorating or remodeling magazines or snap photos of kitchens you come across at the homes of friends and family, restaurants, open houses or home shows.  This is possibly the most important thing you can do as it will help you nail down your design aesthetic, along with creating your must-have features list.

Prioritize your goals. Be honest and realistic with yourself and don't just insist you need all the latest bells and whistles.  If you don't really love cooking, you may not need the marble pastry counter or the warming drawer. Will those things make you want to cook more often or make more elaborate meals? Don't assume that you’ll suddenly start making more regular use of your kitchen if it has pricey appliances and gadgets.

Be prepared to wait. A kitchen remodel will take time and you may be without a kitchen for several weeks. Be sure you and your family plan adequately to anticipate for periods without the use of your kitchen.  A countertop microwave and toaster over just may become your best friends!  Keep the end result in mind to get you through the remodeling pain.