Kitchen Design - Ten Kitchen Mistakes to Avoid

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home and that has never been truer.  We all know that kitchens add value to a home and kitchen remodeling is a major investment.  For a successful kitchen remodel, these are 10 mistakes to avoid:

1. Don't spend more than 20% of the home's value on a kitchen remodel if you expect to get a good return for your money.  According to Remodel magazine the average return for a major kitchen remodel is about 72 percent and the average return for a minor remodel in is about 78 percent.

2. Remember the work triangle: In a kitchen with three work centers the sum of the three traveled distances should total no more than 26' with no single leg of the triangle measuring less than 4 feet nor more than 9 feet. 

3. Don't forget about storage space.  Forget "Less is More" here. Nobody ever said they have too much storage space.

4. Make sure you have a large enough kitchen for an island.  Plan at least 42" of space between the edge of the countertop and the island if there is only one cook.  If you have two cooks, plan on 48".

5. Choose materials wisely.  Cabinets and countertop are the biggest expenses in a kitchen.  Choose wisely.

6. Don't overlook good lighting.  A good plan will include a combination of lighting such as overhead lighting, task lighting, and decorative lighting.  And don't forget the importance of natural light.

7. Provide for good ventilation to keep the air clean. 

8. Don't be too trendy.  Think classic design.  Forget about colorful cabinets and appliances.  You don't want to replace these for a long, long time.  Stainless steel is still king when it comes to appliances!

Adorable but how will you feel about this refrigerator in 5 years?

9. Don't avoid professionals.  It is a good idea to hire a professional kitchen designer to help with the design and selections and a good contractor to do the work.  Remember they do this every day and can steer you in the right direction, educate you on new products, keep you on schedule, and help you from making costly mistakes, thus saving you money in the long run. 

10. Stick to the plan.  If you have to make changes, do so before items are ordered.  Changes will only add to the budget.

One last thought... remember that this is your kitchen so make sure you create a kitchen that you will enjoy for years to come!

Until next time...

Thanks for stopping by,

Kitchen Renovation - Kitchen Design Update

The new kitchen has been ordered! April Hill with US Installation Group came out a second time and checked the plan and a few changes were made.  Nothing major.  Thanks to Thomas Phillips at The Home Depot in Johns Creek making the final choices was easy.  One of the decisions that was made was to bring out the cabinet that sits over the refrigerator giving it a more built in look.

The biggest difference is that the garbage cabinet was moved to the left of the sink and the sink was moved slightly more towards the center of the peninsula.  I think I like this look better!

Here is our final plan...


Here are our final choices...

1. Linden cabinets by Thomasville from Home Depot in white.

2. Satin nickel pulls from Home Depot to match existing knobs.  They come in two sizes.  Since I'm not sure what size, I bought both the small and large.  I always do better with a visual.

3. Black Night Granite from the Home Depot.  This is a beautiful black granite that we stumbled on accidentally at a different Home Depot.  It must be in limited supply or special order since they didn't have it on the list.  But it is available and in budget!

4. Undermount stainless steel double sink by Revere from the Home Depot.  The biggest decision was whether we would do the smaller side on the left or the right.  I chose the left. 

5. We still undecided on the backsplash.  Since my son-in-law is installing, we'll wait until the kitchen is installed.

6. New stainless steel microwave and range by Samsung.

7. New wall color

8. 24" stools for the new bar from

9. Chalkboard wall - more on this later.

We cannot wait to get started.  Here is our timeline...

Cabinets should be here in about 4 weeks.  Once cabinets arrive, installation is set up (usually within 10 days). As soon as cabinets are in the granite people come out to create a template.  Then we wait hopefully not more than 2 weeks. 

We decided to have the sink temporarily hooked up while we wait for the new countertop so we will have a make-ship kitchen of sorts.  Don't worry I'll share our experiences and lots of pictures.

And how did we do as to budget?  Well I'm happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the final price and we should come in at or slightly under budget!

I look forward to sharing the experience with you!

Thanks for stopping by...

Until next time,

Kitchen Design - Our Choices

I'm happy to say that we've made most of our selections thanks to two wonderful kitchen designers, Thomas Phillips at The Home Depot in Johns Creek and designer April Hill with US Installation Group.  Thomas and April made the whole process very easy. 

Thomas helped with the design and explained all of our choices and made suggestions we hadn't thought of.  He educated us in all our different cabinet and countertop choices.  Thomas made suggestions that will actually expand our storage space.  April came out to measure twice, once in the beginning and then after the design was created to make sure everything would work.  There are still a few changes that have to be made but we are very excited about our decisions and can't wait to show you the final plan.

Now we wait for final pricing although we have gotten a ball park and I think we'll be ok.  We've decided to let Home Depot (US Installation Group) do the install but the plan is still to have my son-in-law do the demolition. 

Now for our choices...

This is what we call a design board in the interior design world! Can you see the new kitchen?

1. We chose the Linden cabinets by Thomasville from Home Depot in white.  We love the clean look.

2. We're keeping out existing brushed nickel knobs but will purchase matching pulls for the doors. 

3. After bringing home lots of samples of both granite and quartz, we decided to go with Black Night Granite. Who knew there were so many different shades of black!

4. We can't wait to get our stainless steel undermount sink. 

5.We still haven't decided on the backsplash but it's between white beadboard or white subway tile.  Either way, my son-in-law will install after the kitchen install is complete.

6. We decided to add a stainless steel slide in range and a stainless steel microwave.  Both are by Samsung. Know anyone interested in an almost new white Kenmore over the range microwave?  We have one to sell!  I also ordered a new stainless steel front panel and handle from Sears for our existing dishwasher.  The refrigerator will remain white.

7. We're changing the wall color from yellow to a medium beige (Behr Ranch House) for a more grown up look!

8. 24" stools for the new bar.  I found this one on

9. We're going to paint the back wall with chalkboard paint.  Rust-Oleum makes one.  Can't wait!

Next time, I hope to have all decisions made as well as our time line to share with you.  And of course lots of pictures!

Thanks for stopping by...

Until next time,