Start your kitchen remodel by answering these 6 questions

Your kitchen is the heart and hearth of your home, and that makes remodeling it one of the most rewarding — and intimidating — projects you’ll take on as a homeowner. Fortunately, with an educated approach and a little help from qualified professionals, you can easily make your kitchen dreams a reality.

Proper planning is the key to a successful kitchen remodel, regardless of the job’s size. These questions will help you organize your thoughts and identify what’s most important.

What kind of cook am I?

Different cooks have different needs. Some enjoy a sprawling complex that allows them to create intricate meals; others just want to keep themselves and their family fed amid the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Consider the number of active cooks in your family. If you and your partner like to cook meals together, for example, separate kitchen islands for prepping and cooking food can maximize efficiency.

What will I be doing in my kitchen besides cooking?

It’s important to think about how you’ll use your kitchen and plan accordingly, particularly as the role of the kitchen continues to evolve. In many ways, the kitchen has replaced the living room as the central stage for entertaining guests and/or as the home’s command center.

How long will I live in this house?

If you plan on moving in the next few years, you might want to focus on design elements with universal appeal. If you expect this to be your forever home, let your imagination run wild with specific and personalized choices. Consider asking a real estate agent about the impact on home value if you’re selling soon.

Who will be using the kitchen?

If the family includes someone who’s always on the go and opting for quick meals, you might want a large, easily accessible microwave. If the household includes small children or older adults, consider lowering some of the storage and workspaces.

How do I want the kitchen to interact with the rest of the house?

Does the kitchen have an immediate exit to the outdoors? Is it open to the living room or dining area? The kitchen doesn’t stand alone, so think of it in relation to the greater whole — not just how the space will flow but also how people will flow through it.

What factors are most important to me?

Be sure to consider which upgrades will make you happiest. What are your must-haves? Which features do you feel the kitchen would be incomplete without? Stay focused on these elements and you won’t be disappointed.

What’s your style?

The different major styles of kitchens offer different pros and cons. For instance, contemporary kitchens tend to feature open concepts, sharp angles and frameless cabinetry, according to the National Kitchen & Bath Association. Farmhouse kitchens include a mixture of metal and wood, apron sinks, barn doors and enclosed storage. Transitional kitchens blend the elements, often using stainless steel, quartz, wood flooring and white cabinetry for a delicate but well-defined look.

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