Kitchens are the heart of the home, serving a unique purpose in every home.  If you are considering  a new kitchen, consider the following tips when you are planning the project.

Work with an experienced kitchen designer that can help guide you through the many decisions necessary in creating your new space. Your designer will help to educate you on the newest products that are available as well as the offer recommendations for the best use of your space.  A designer’s expertise should help educate you on the available products that will satisfy your needs as wells as reflect your personal style. Working with a professional can save time and costly mistakes.

Make a wish list.  Making lists of what you like and dislike in your existing kitchen.  Have fun. Save pictures from the internet and magazines of kitchens that you like. These will help when creating a kitchen that is unique to you.

Develop a budget. Share your budget with the people you will be hiring to create your new kitchen. I like to tell people, “We will get to the budget sooner or later”.  Sharing it early in the design stage will help you get the best design and products within your budget.

Consider purchasing the best products that your budget will allow. Kitchens bring much value to your home. When you use quality materials you increase your home’s value while at the same time creating a space that is enjoyable to use. I am not a fan of putting in a kitchen that will last only a few years simply from a waste perspective. If you are going to stay in the home and cannot afford the counters that you ultimately would like. Start with quality cabinets and look to trade out the counters later. Always start with a strong foundation.

A timeless design will last many years and not feel out dated as quickly as more trending designs.  You can add less expensive trending items to the kitchen that can be switched out as the trends change.

Repurposing items to local organizations that make use of old cabinets will help the community as well as save on waste in the landfills.  Do you have a favorite old table? Could it serve as part of the island?   The authentic qualities of items from the past, mixed with quality products of today will create a beautiful unique look for your space.

What type of appliances do you want? Do you have small appliances? Many cabinet manufacturers have designed non-custom cabinetry to house microwaves, mixers, and coffee makers.

Do you entertain frequently? Would you want the guest in the kitchen and part of the food preparation or would you prefer the work area to be hidden from your guests?

Will you want an eat in kitchen? Many people are using the dining room as a less formal eating area and expanding the kitchen with an island that provides seating as well.

What type of storage do you need? Do you shop in bulk or do you purchase more fresh foods? Someone who shops in bulk may want to create a walk-in pantry or large storage area, while someone who shops for more fresh foods may want to invest in larger refrigerated storage.

If you have an area in your kitchen that is currently disorganized with papers and chargers hanging from the outlets you may want to dedicate an area for organizing these items. Cubbies can be built into your cabinets to help with this task and charging centers can be designed into the drawers or wall cabinets.

Don’t forget the view. Adding a focal point inside the kitchen can be done with a beautiful wood hood or tile arrangement behind the range, on the backsplash.  Positioning windows in a way that you take advantage of the beautiful view from the sink or work station adds a sense of beauty that materials cannot duplicate. If your view is not one that you want to accentuate, consider planting a tree in the front of the window, allowing the beauty of the outdoors to be brought into your design.

Does your spouse have a different vision of the kitchen? This is not uncommon and should not stop you from moving forward with your project. Many times, I can help balance the dueling wishes while infusing a bit of each parties wishes.

These are just a few of the items to consider when preparing for a new kitchen. Then the fun of selecting door styles, colors and counter and tile materials begins.

A kitchen is a big investment. Take your time and have fun with the process!

Denise Peters is owner of Kitchen Thyme Design Studio Inc. in Bushnell’s Basin. Call for your appointment today at 585-385-9149 or visit their website at