The kitchen is one of the most complicated remodeling projects because of all the decisions you will make throughout the process. We’ll walk you through this with our planning and buying guides, covering everything from foundation appliances, cabinetry, surfaces and finishes to sustainable products and extras like wine coolers and microwave drawers.

According to Remodeling magazine, a major kitchen renovation can result in a return on investment of between 61 and 70 percent of the cost.

Over time, the kitchen has evolved from a place where food is simply prepared and served in another room into a multi-function open area that is the heart and soul of the home. No matter its size, the kitchen is a big part of every modern household.

When remodeling a kitchen, think function, efficiency, style and longevity. A kitchen should last for 20 years or more, says Mary Jo Peterson, principal, Mary Jo Peterson Inc. “Choose cabinets you love, and a layout that works for your family’s lifestyle,” she advises.

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When another drawer front has pulled away from its drawer box, you realize that it is time to renovate your kitchen, but how do you get started?  Most people haven’t examined their own or other’s kitchens until this point.  First, get together with your family & understand what is & isn’t currently working in your space

Major factors to consider:

  • How many people live in the home?  Does each person need a prep area or cabinet storage?
  • Site lines – what do your guest see from the front door?  What do you look at while sitting at the eating area?
  • Traffic flow – how easy is it to get to the refrigerator?  To walk around the table with the chairs pulled out?
  • Do you and your partner cook at the same together?  Would you like your children involved in meal preparation?  A prep sink would create a separate zone.
  • What is currently on your counter?  Could it be stored elsewhere?  Infrequently used items, such as waffle makers, could go in a pantry until the weekend.
  • Do you plan on hosting the holidays?  Entertain frequently?  One solution is adding double ovens, but alternatives include a warming drawer.

Items to consider for your kitchen layout:

  • Clean up area vs. prep area vs. cooking area
  • Proper storage to avoid countertop clutter
  • Storage for infrequently used small appliances
  • Trash/recycling area
  • Decorative open shelves/glass
  • cabinet for a focal point