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How to plan the perfect kitchen remodel

The perfect kitchen remodel involves making many important decisions at the right time. It can be very overwhelming, but we believe a good kitchen planning guide can help. That’s why we put together our recommendations based on years of experience providing unparalleled bathroom and kitchen remodeling services to clients in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.

Before you dive into making those design decisions, however, look for inspiration. Get a strong sense of what you want your kitchen to look and feel like. Explore your options to discover which kitchens appeal to you the most. A kitchen mood board is a creative way to organize your ideas. Try to keep an open mind, since the outcome of this exercise may surprise you. For example, perhaps you’re picturing a super sleek kitchen. However, when you start looking at different photos, you could find yourself drawn to something more rustic. That’s why we always recommend taking the time to look at several kitchen transformation images and videos before you zero in on your preferences.

Complete kitchen transformation by BPK in Vienna, VA.

For clients of Bath Plus Kitchen, this is an essential step in our consultation process. We find that our showroom meetings become more productive when clients email us these inputs in advance:

  • Photos of the existing space to be remodeled
  • Inspirational photos and/or a summary of goals and design aesthetic
  • Rough measurements and/or a sketch of the room

This enables us to plan the perfect kitchen remodel for them. With your preferences listed, you can proceed to make the following choices with ease and clarity.

1. Settle on a style       

Farmhouse or Industrial? Contemporary or French Country? Modern or Mediterranean? It’s time to pick a kitchen style for your remodel! Identifying a style that suits you, your home, and your practical requirements will help your kitchen designer immensely. Keep in mind that the idea of a certain style could sound better than it will actually look to you. Consider the following aspects as you compare styles:

  • Color: Do you like soft, relaxing shades or bold colors and accents?
  • Materials: Are you drawn to earthy, natural materials or sleek, glossy finishes?
  • Furnishings: What sounds better – practical or ornamental?
  • Walls: Do you like exposed brick and unfinished concrete? Or do you prefer a paint finish?
  • Decorative elements: What style will work best for the décor items you generally prefer?

2. Decide on the elements you want in your kitchen

Picture your kitchen in use. What elements would it take to bring that vision to life? These could be:

  • Base, wall, and display kitchen units
  • Island(s) with accompanying seating
  • Sink
  • Larder units
  • Hob and oven
  • Special taps
  • Sliding doors
  • Designated spaces such as a breakfast nook

Whether you’re pulling out all the stops or choosing an affordable kitchen remodel, having a clear picture of all the elements that really matter to you will ensure you end up with a kitchen you love.

 3. Assess your space and create a floorplan

Marking everything, including doors and windows, create a floorplan to scale. Being a full-service design-remodel firm, this is something we take care of for our clients, You’ll need it while finishing the next steps.

4. Plan your kitchen work triangle – sink, hob, fridge

For a perfect kitchen remodel, you will need to think carefully about the kitchen work triangle, i.e., how your fridge, sink, and hob connect with each other. Some designers now wonder if this is an outdated way to design a kitchen. Others, however, believe this approach has stood the test of time and won’t fail you. Why? Because it takes into consideration the traffic flow within your kitchen together with the key functions – preparing ingredients (sink), cooking (hob), and storing food (fridge). We recommend going over these options with your kitchen designer.

The kitchen work triangle in different kitchen layouts by kitchen & bath CRATE

5. Choose a look for your cabinetry

Before a kitchen renovation project, we always tell our clients to think carefully about the cabinetry they choose because we believe kitchen cabinets are the cornerstone of any kitchen design. It’s where many people go wrong by overpaying or not choosing the right dealer, for example. That’s why it’s the first item on our list of common kitchen remodel mistakes. To ensure our clients always have the best, we source our featured cabinetry lines from top-rated cabinet manufacturers such as Plain & Fancy and Dura Supreme, which we can customize to fit your budget and style.

Dura Supreme Cabinetry for a BPK client in Alexandria, VA.

Ensure you have the right cabinets to make yours a perfect kitchen remodel. Do this by looking at all the details – cabinet door profile, door styles, finish, function, and organization. For inspiration, check out the new cabinetry that our clients chose for their dream kitchens.

6. Pick a worktop that suits your needs

The look of a countertop is crucial when it comes to establishing your kitchen style. However, what will eventually become more important to you is maintenance. A worktop is something you need to commit to. For example, marble is timeless and elegant, but are you willing to seal it every 6 months to 2 years? Learn more about selecting the right countertops before you decide.

7. Select a backsplash

A backsplash gives you a great opportunity to get creative with your kitchen design. Textured metal, mirrors, glass, tiles, stainless steel – the options feel endless. You can choose consistency with your countertops or go for contrast. As with worktops, we recommend looking deeply at the maintenance and cleaning aspects.

BPK Kitchen remodel in Alexandria, VA. The marble tile backsplash ties the white and latte cabinets together.

8. List your appliances

The features and cost of the appliances are the key considerations here. There is, however, one major overarching design decision you’ll need to make: freestanding or built-in? This will depend on what look and feel you’re going for, e.g., retro vs. smart. Aesthetics and functionality both come into play here. As you work out your preferences, take a look at this guide to choosing the best kitchen appliances. It covers options such as:

  • Fridge/freezer – compact, drawer, American-style, chest, etc.
  • Cooker, oven, or range – single, double, multi-function, steam, etc.
  • Hob – induction, gas, ceramic, duel-fuel, etc.
  • Dishwasher – full-sized, compact, slimline, semi-integrated, etc.

There are also some incredible appliance trends for 2020 that you shouldn’t miss!

9. Plan your lighting scheme

When it’s all complete, you’ll want to present your perfect kitchen remodel in the best light! A good lighting scheme will cover:

  • Ambient – wall and ceiling lights to make basic functioning in the kitchen comfortable.
  • Task – lights such as under-unit lights to illuminate your work surfaces.
  • Accent – lights to draw attention to specific areas within your kitchen such as a dining area or breakfast nook.
  • Display – interior lights for display cabinets to showcase your favorite tableware and other such items.

Together, they will work to highlight certain features of your kitchen while, most significantly, improving functionality.

BPK kitchen remodel in Burke, VA.The lighting scheme includes ambient, task, and accent lights.

10. Decide on your kitchen window treatments

While you may want to show off your beautiful new kitchen, you’ll also want privacy. To achieve this, choose the right window treatments for your needs and budget. Shutters and blinds are popular choices. If privacy isn’t too much of a concern, you could opt for something lighter like window films.

11. Choose the right kitchen flooring

Food will spill on it. It’ll see plenty of foot traffic every day. Heavy pots and pans are likely to fall on it periodically. We’re talking about your kitchen floor and why it needs to be durable. Having second thoughts about hardwood now? Don’t rule it out just yet – modern sealers can make it long-lasting. In fact, there are many new finishes and materials that will suit your kitchen flooring requirements. For example, practical, budget-friendly vinyl had a reputation for being low-quality, but luxury vinyl is now changing that. To sum up, update your knowledge of kitchen flooring options – what’s possible could surprise you!

BPK kitchen remodel in Mt. Vernon. Floor tile installed in a herringbone pattern.

12. Pick your paint

As with the components above, your paint choices will also depend on the kitchen design style you choose. For example, if you’re dreaming of a coastal kitchen style, gentle blues and light beige would work beautifully. If your style is more eclectic, the only rule is there are no rules – make it personal and choose what you love. An industrial style kitchen will emphasize exposed brick and unfinished concrete over painted walls.

13. Find the right people for the job

To execute the perfect kitchen remodel, you need a top-notch team. The best kitchen remodeling contractors will be transparent about costs, timelines, and their own expertise. We find that this transparency encourages our clients to share more ideas and questions with us. This ultimately enables us to get all the details of their dream kitchen or bathroom space right. It’s essential to speak freely with your design team and contractor and have all your questions answered. You should also:

  • Look at a range of their projects, e.g., best, most recent, and ongoing.
  • Assess how willing they are to detail out the project in writing.
  • Follow up with their references one-on-one.

These tips will bring you closer to finding a team that cares about your comfort and vision for your kitchen.

With so many options to choose from, decision fatigue can be a problem. However, keep in mind that this is a short-term issue – one that we can help you with. It’ll all be worth it when you and your family are spending time together and exploring your culinary talents in the kitchen of your dreams!


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