5 Things To Know Before A Kitchen Remodel, According To Designers

Kitchen remodels can be a hefty ordeal, full of steep price tags, decisions that need making, and mistakes that often go unnoticed too late—definitely not for the faint of heart. If done too hastily, a kitchen remodel can turn into a regret, that in turn, necessitates a pricey and inconvenient round of corrections. In order to get things right the first time, the pros recommend thoughtful consideration before rushing into a remodel. Research, prioritization, and self-reflection are all critical to a favorable outcome, they say. With these helpful reminders from interior designers, a successful remodel can result in the kitchen of your dreams. 

  • Mark William and Niki Papadopoulos are the principal designers of Mark Williams Design in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Lorraine Enwright is the founder of Intuitive Dwellings by Enwright Design Inc., an architectural design, interior architecture, and interior design firm in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ngoc Minh Ngo; Styling: Ed Gallagher

Function Must Come First

“We always encourage people to think about how they use their kitchen before they start to dream about what it should look like. Figure out your workflow, your appliance needs, and your accessibility to utilities,” say interior designers Mark William and Niki Papadopoulos. “I know it sounds cliché, but the form really should follow the function. Once you’ve designed the layout you can begin designing the aesthetics.”

Prioritize Cabinetry

“Well-done cabinetry should be a priority in the budget,” recommends designer Lorraine Enwright. “Updated styles require a sophisticated fabricator who can create flush surfaces with tight joints.  Non-standard panel details make all the difference in a professionally done kitchen.”

Editing Is Important

“People often get seduced by all of the beautiful materials there are to choose from, and they try to do too much. Just because a countertop material and a backsplash material are both beautiful, they are not necessarily beautiful together,” William and Papadopoulos reveal. “Be a good editor and keep your vision clean.”

It Won’t Stay Pristine

Another reason to carefully edit is because of what is to come once the newly remodeled kitchen is in use, William and Papadopoulos explain. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by expecting your kitchen to stay in mint condition. Wear and tear is only natural, as is clutter from everyday life and usage.

“Remember, once you finish the architecture and design, the layer of ‘real life’ gets added on top,” they say. “If the original design is busy and involves too many signature elements, the layer of “real life” on top will turn the whole space into a chaotic visual circus.”

Hiring A Pro Might Actually Save You Money

Our experts may be biased, but they make a good point: It’s best to do things right the first time. A professional designer will have insights and experiences that speak to details that others may overlook. This way, you won’t have to pay for things to be done a second time or hire a designer to fix mistakes that have already been made and paid for. 

“My best advice would be to engage a professional designer,” says William. “While it may seem expensive to do so, it’s far less expensive than making big mistakes in the most important room of your home.”

Enwright agrees: “When using a trained kitchen designer or architect, they will think through all aspects of the function and visual aesthetics of the kitchen experience to create something timeless that fits a person/family’s lifestyle and whole home aesthetics,” she says. “Research kitchen designers and architects in your area to choose the right professional for your needs.” 

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