How to Jump Start Your Kitchen Remodel

by Drew Henry

What You Need to Know Before Tackling Your Kitchen Renovation 

A kitchen remodel is similar to preparing a gourmet meal. You have to follow the steps and put in the work, but the results are oh so. tasty. Pros seem to be able to whip up a meal (or a design plan) in no time. However, first-timers attempting a go at things without a recipe in hand run the risk of creating a giant mess! Learn how to jump start your kitchen remodel with 10 tips from the LiLi Tile team that make for a delectable result. 

10 Tips to Help You Figure Out How to Start Your Kitchen Remodel 

1. Set a Budget (And Stick to It!) 

First things first, set a budget for your kitchen renovation and stick to it. Knowing exactly how much money you have to spend will determine all of your other choices. For example, smaller budgets should focus on easy upgrades with big impact, such as painting the cabinets and installing a new tile backsplash. Larger budgets have the potential to take down walls to create an open-concept plan, buy new appliances, and upgrade every fixture.


2. Make a List of Must-haves and Nice-to-haves

After you’ve set your budget, sit down with a pen and paper to draft your list of must-haves and nice-to-haves. Remember that even large budgets have to make compromises sometimes. Determine the items you need to improve the function of the space, such as extra cabinets for storage or new appliances. Things like a built-in espresso machine or marble countertops might fall in the nice-to-haves. Set expectations on what you’re willing to compromise on to ease the process.   


3. Use the Work Triangle as a Guide

If you’re designing a new kitchen layout yourself, you’ll want to take a lesson from the pros and use the work triangle as a guide. The work triangle states that the ideal kitchen layout positions the sink, stovetop, and refrigerator to create a triangle when you draw lines between them. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, each leg of the triangle should measure between 4 and 9 feet. The sum of all the sides should be between 12 and 27 feet.


4. Design a Space to Function for Your Lifestyle 

While it may be tempting to copy a kitchen design from the pages of a magazine, you should instead design the space to function for your unique lifestyle. If you love baking and cooking holiday meals, create a holiday-worthy kitchen with ample counter space, island seating, and double ovens. If you’re more into takeout and quick meals, design a smaller kitchen layout with more space for dining. No matter your lifestyle, you’ll want to ensure good flow, wide walkways, and easy snack access to the fridge and pantry. 

5. Prioritize Storage 

A lack of storage is one of the main reasons homeowners start kitchen renovations. So, make sure you prioritize storage in your new design plan. Extra cabinets are always great, but consider adding a butler’s pantry. A butler’s pantry is a prep area hidden behind the main kitchen where you can store bulk groceries and extra dishware. Additionally, it’s the perfect spot to hide away messes during dinner parties. 


6. Compare Multiple Contractor Estimates

You may be tempted to go with the first contractor you meet, especially when you’re eager to get your kitchen remodel underway. However, you should never go with the first contractor estimate you receive. Take the time to get at least three proposals to compare prices, timelines, and workstyles. While sticking to the budget is important, you’ll also want to ensure you get along well with the contractor. After all, you’ll be working together for a few weeks!



7. Have Fun Shopping for Finishes 

Once your kitchen layout is finalized and your contractor is selected, you can move on to the fun part — shopping! The top items you’ll need to select include flooring, cabinets, hardware, countertops, backsplash, appliances, plumbing fixtures, lighting, and paint colors. The shopping list can grow to be quite long, depending on the scale of your renovation. Narrow down your selections based on your budget and material preferences. For example, do you prefer the look of glazed tiles or cement tiles for your backsplash? Don’t worry if you’re unfamiliar with all the material options. A trip to the showroom will open up a whole new world of possibilities!


8. But Ensure They Make Sense for the Space

Creating a new space from scratch offers endless possibilities. Well, almost endless. When shopping for finishes, you’ll need to evaluate if they make sense for your new kitchen. Consider budget, maintenance, and the overall style of your home. Budget is a simple factor to account for. If it’s too expensive, it’s out! Different finishes have different maintenance needs. For example, maintaining cement tile requires sealants and special cleaners. However, their durability makes up for any extra maintenance steps. Additionally, your kitchen should coordinate with the existing style of your home so everything feels cohesive. Is your home more cottagecore or contemporary? Stick to similar colors and materials already present in your space for a coordinated look. 


9. Plan for the Unexpected 

Surprises will pop up during your kitchen renovation, so plan for the unexpected. You may encounter shipping delays, backorders, unexpected leaks, and more. Always set aside a contingency for your budget and give yourself a cushion in your timeline. It can be challenging to live without a kitchen for an extended time, so consider setting up a temporary cooking space in another room of the home. Invest in a foldout table, mini fridge, and portable burner, and ideally, set up near an extra sink, like in a laundry room or garage.


10. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Feeling overwhelmed with options and tasks? Ask for help! Don’t be afraid to bring in an interior designer to select finishes or ask questions at the showroom. You can even start material shopping online and chat with support teams like ours. The design world is a friendly place, and we’re all here to help homeowners create their dream spaces.



Time to Cook Up a Delicious Design 

Remodeling a kitchen is a big project, but it can be a very rewarding one. By following these tips, you can ensure your kitchen remodel is successful. Just send us the first dinner party invites once you’re done! 

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