Before Doing A Kitchen Remodel, Know This Or Regret Later

newly renovated kitchen - Before Doing A Kitchen Remodel

I am currently knee-deep in my third kitchen renovation, and let me tell you there’s a LOT to be aware of.

With this renovation, I’m taking more design chances than the previous ones, which I’d say were more “basic” and “resell” friendly designs. With this undertaking, I’m making bolder design choices and spending on higher quality materials – so there’s a lot more at stake to get it right.

If you’re gearing up for a kitchen remodel, you probably have a ton of questions and maybe a few anxieties about what lies ahead. Don’t worry—I’m here to help!

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In this article, we’ll unravel the mysteries of kitchen remodeling, giving you the lowdown on everything you need to know before diving in. We’ll talk budgets, layouts, material choices, and even some tips to keep you sane throughout the process.

Crucial things to know before you attempt a kitchen remodel

Whether you’re a seasoned DIY-er or a complete newbie, these insights will set you on the path to creating the kitchen of your dreams without the usual headaches and hiccups.

Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and start planning? Let’s get into it and make that dream kitchen a reality!

Everything You Need To Know, Before You Do A Kitchen Remodel (So You Don’t Regret It Later)

Picture this: You walk into a kitchen where every drawer and cabinet feels just right, the countertops are exactly what you’ve always wanted, and the lighting makes the space feel warm and inviting.

But before you turn your kitchen into this dream space, there’s a bit of groundwork to cover. Remodeling a kitchen takes a lot of consideration and many decisions.

Before even thinking about colors or tile choices, you need to be planning a space that fits your lifestyle and enhances your everyday living.

Luxury Kitchen Makeover Ideas

Let’s talk about why your kitchen matters so much. This room is often the heart of the home, right? It’s where you cook, chat with friends, and gather with family.

A well-designed kitchen can make your daily life easier and more enjoyable. Plus, if you ever decide to sell your home, a beautiful kitchen can really bump up your property value.

So, investing in a kitchen remodel is totally worth it!

I’m here to help you get started on your kitchen remodel. Sometimes, just thinking about remodeling can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re not sure where to begin.

This guide will walk you through the basics so your bases are covered. I’ll also share some cool design elements that I’m implementing in my kitchen remodel, such as antique brass fixtures, a German smear stone wall, white oak floors and more.

Planning Your Kitchen Remodel Starts With Setting A Budget

Ugh, budgets! Sorry, but your available funds are pretty important in a kitchen remodel project, so we need to start here.

First things first, let’s talk about money. Setting a budget is crucial because kitchen remodels can get pricey, and you don’t want to run out of cash halfway through.

Start by figuring out how much you can realistically afford.

Estimate The Remodel Costs Ahead Of Time

Spend some time now researching average costs for the type of remodel you want.

Think about big-ticket items like cabinets, countertops, and appliances. In my kitchen renovation, the most expensive items are the countertops which put me back about $8,000.

Fortunately, in my case, I’m able to keep the cabinets and appliances that were already installed in the home when I bought it. And, my husband is a professional builder so we don’t need to hire contractors. So these savings allowed me to invest in an amazing quartz countertop, as well as new floors.

Think about where you can save money. Are you handy? Are you able to keep some elements of your current kitchen and work it into the new design to save money?

Kitchen Countertops - Why we chose quartz

Have A Plan To Allocate Funds

Divide your budget into categories like materials, labor, and a contingency fund for unexpected expenses.

Trust me, there will always be something that costs more than you planned for. If you’ve ever watched an HGTV home makeover show you know that they always have to dip into the homeowner’s contingency fund to cover surprise expenses.

Dream Up Your Design

Next, think about what you want your kitchen to look like. What’s your style? Do you like modern and sleek, or are you more into rustic and cozy? How about a mix of both?

Check out my Pinterest boards for kitchen inspiration. Look at your favorite kitchen designs and figure out what you love about them. Are you drawn to certain colors, materials, or layouts?

Use Pinterest or other design tools to create a mood board. Collect images of kitchens you love, and you’ll start to see patterns in what you like. This will help you communicate your vision to your contractor or designer.

Hiring Professionals To Complete Your Kitchen Remodel Is Key

Unless you’re a professional builder or DIY expert, you’ll probably need some professional help. Finding the right people can make or break your remodel.

Ask friends for recommendations, read online reviews, and meet with a few contractors to get quotes and see who you feel comfortable with.

If your remodel is complex, consider hiring a designer or architect. They can help with planning, ensuring your kitchen looks great and functions well.

Pro tip: Most professional cabinetry companies will send their in-house interior designer to visit your kitchen and help you plan the new build.

Layout and Space Planning

When you’re redoing your kitchen, one of the first things to think about is the layout. The layout is how everything in your kitchen is arranged – your appliances, counters, cabinets, etc. A good layout can make cooking and cleaning up a breeze, while a bad one can turn your kitchen into a daily headache.

There are a few popular kitchen layouts to consider.

  • Galley Kitchen: Two parallel counters with a walkway in between. Great for small spaces and efficient work.
  • L-Shape: Counters along two walls, forming an L. This is versatile and works well in open floor plans.
  • U-Shape: Counters on three walls, forming a U. Offers lots of counter space and storage.
  • Open Plan: Combines the kitchen with living or dining areas, ideal for socializing and a spacious feel.

Pro tip: Think about the “work triangle,” which is the path you take between your fridge, stove, and sink. Ideally, these three points form a triangle to make it easy to move between them. You don’t want to be walking across the room every time you need to grab something from the fridge while cooking.

Key Design Elements In My Kitchen Remodel

Now let’s talk about some of the design choices I’m making in my kitchen remodel.

1. Antique Brass Faucet and Pot Filler

I love antique brass! This material has a warm, dark golden tone that feels timeless and elegant. It’s a great way to add a bit of vintage charm to your kitchen without making it look old-fashioned.

Kitchen updates with antique brass faucet

Aside from looking good, antique brass is super durable and doesn’t require a lot of upkeep. Unlike shiny chrome, it doesn’t show fingerprints and water spots as easily, which means less cleaning for you.

It’s also important to note that brass is strong and can handle the wear and tear of daily use. It also doesn’t tarnish easily, so it will look great for a long time without much effort.

I was searching online for the perfect antique brass faucet, and I fell in love with this one for its vintage beauty.

Kingston Brass KS7793ALBS English Country Bridge Kitchen Faucet, Antique Brass, 13.5 x 7.75 x 16.81
  • Solid brass construction
  • 1/4 turn drip-free ceramic disc cartridge
  • Deck mount 4″ to 8″ centers 3-hole installation
  • Includes matching brass side sprayer
  • 1.8 GPM/6.8 LPM spout flow rate at 60 PSI

However, I decided not to buy it because it doesn’t have a spray nozzle. As a busy, messy family, we really needed a sink faucet with a spray nozzle for quick cleaning.

So I was overjoyed when I discovered that the same designer also sells this antique brass faucet that does have a spray nozzle!

I added it to my cart, along with its matching antique brass pot filler, and did a happy dance the moment the package arrived.

The faucet model I bought is “Kingston Brass Heritage Two-Handle Deck-Mount Sprayer Kitchen Faucet” and the pot filler is “Kingston Brass Restoration Wall Mount Pot Filler.”

You can check the price at:

Integrating Antique Brass into Your Kitchen Design

To make sure your antique brass faucets and pot filler blend seamlessly with your kitchen design, consider other kitchen elements like cabinet hardware, the vein in your countertop, lighting, and even small decor pieces.

You can go for a cohesive look by using antique brass throughout or create a striking contrast with other materials.

French Country Cottage kitchen faucets we love

Cohesive Color Schemes: Brass pairs well with a variety of colors. It looks stunning against light or dark cabinets and works nicely with other warm tones like browns and beiges.

2. German Smear Stone Wall Backsplash

Have you ever seen those charming, rustic stone walls in French country cottage homes? That’s the vibe we’re going for with a German smear finish.

German smear style stone kitchen backsplash

This technique involves smearing mortar over stone to create a worn, aged look. It’s perfect if you want to add a touch of old-world charm to your kitchen.

Benefits of a Stone Backsplash

A stone backsplash isn’t just about looks. It’s also practical! Stone is tough and can withstand spills, splashes, and heat.

The texture of the German smear finish hides dirt and grime well. A quick wipe-down usually does the trick.

Creating a German smear stone backsplash can be a DIY project or something for a pro, depending on your comfort level.

Start by choosing your stone. Rough, uneven stones work best for this look. Spread mortar over the stone using a trowel, then smear it around to fill in the gaps and cover parts of the stone. You can go for a heavier or lighter smear, depending on how much stone you want to show.

Pick stones that complement your kitchen’s color scheme. For the mortar, white or light gray works well to achieve that classic look.

3. White Oak Floors

White oak flooring is a fantastic choice for kitchens because it’s both beautiful and durable. It has a light, neutral color that works well with almost any design style.

Seriously! Whether your kitchen is modern, farmhouse, or something in between, white oak will look great.

White oak is hard and resistant to wear, making it perfect for high-traffic areas like the kitchen. It has a subtle grain pattern that adds a touch of elegance without overpowering your design, and can come in various stain colors.

I also love how white oak floors look particularly stunning with antique brass fixtures and a German smear stone backsplash. The light color of the wood helps to brighten up the space and balances the warmth of the brass and the rustic texture of the wall stone.

White oak can be installed in several ways, including nailing, gluing, or floating. It’s a good idea to have a professional handle the installation to ensure it’s done right.

4. Quartz Counters

I was very close to buying black countertops for this kitchen remodel. But after much deliberation, I made a final decision to skip the black stone, and instead go with this gorgeous quartz from Hari Stone:

close up of my new counter top stone - kitchen remodel what to know about quartz Vagli-Vena-countertops
Photo courtesy: Hari Stones

It has a light and bright base color, with veins of grey and bronze. I love how the bronze veining picks up the bronze color in the faucet.

5. Lighting Solutions

Good lighting is a game-changer in any kitchen. You need a mix of lighting types to make sure your kitchen is bright enough for cooking and inviting enough for gatherings.

Natural Lighting: Maximize natural light as much as possible. Bigger windows or skylights can flood your kitchen with light and make it feel more spacious and welcoming.

Artificial Lighting: You’ll need a combination of task, ambient, and accent lighting: Task Lighting: These are your work lights, like under-cabinet lights that shine directly on countertops.

Ambient Lighting: This is the main lighting that fills the room, like ceiling lights or pendant lights over an island.

Accent Lighting: These are for decoration, like lights inside glass-front cabinets or above your German smear stone backsplash to highlight its texture.

Antique brass kitchen sink faucet in kitchen remodel

6. Storage and Organization

A clutter-free kitchen is a joy to cook in. Planning your storage and organization from the start will save you headaches later.

Plan where you’ll store everything. Put pots and pans near the stove, utensils in easy-to-reach drawers, and so on. Don’t forget about small appliances like the microwave – it needs a home too!

Maximize Cabinet Space: Use every inch of your cabinets. Install pull-out shelves or lazy Susans to make things easier to reach. Consider adding vertical dividers for baking sheets and cutting boards.

Pantry Organization: Keep your pantry tidy with clear containers and labels. Group similar items together – put all the baking supplies on one shelf and the snacks on another.

Most importantly, try to think outside the box for extra storage. How about hanging pots and pans from a ceiling rack or installing shelves on unused wall space? Even small kitchens can have plenty of storage with the right solutions.

Kitchen renovation advice for home owners

Maintaining Your New Kitchen

Keeping your new kitchen looking great doesn’t have to be a chore if you stay on top of regular maintenance. Here’s how to care for your new materials.

  • Quartz countertops: To maintain the beauty and integrity of your Quartz countertop, use a clean cloth or non-abrasive sponge with mild soap and warm water for daily cleaning. Be sure to rinse thoroughly, as soap residue can affect the appearance of the quartz surface. For dried residues, gently scrape them off with a plastic spatula.
  • It’s important to clean up any spills of substances like oil, vinegar, or lemon juice promptly to avoid potential damage.
  • Harsh chemicals such as bleach, oven cleaners, drain cleaners, and paint strippers should be avoided entirely. If a spill does occur, immediately clean it up and rinse the area with water, repeating as necessary to remove all residues
  • Always use a cutting board instead of cutting directly on the countertop to avoid scratches.
  • To prevent heat damage, always use a hot pad or trivet when placing hot objects such as pans, pots, or plates on the countertop.
  • Antique Brass Fixtures: Use a mild soap and water solution to clean your antique brass faucets and pot filler. Avoid abrasive cleaners that can scratch the surface. Wipe them down regularly to prevent water spots and keep them shining.
  • German Smear Stone Backsplash: A quick wipe with a damp cloth usually does the trick. For tougher spots, use a soft brush and mild detergent. Avoid harsh chemicals that can damage the stone.
  • White Oak Floors: Sweep or vacuum regularly to pick up dirt and dust that can scratch the surface. Use a damp mop with a cleaner specifically designed for wood floors. Avoid soaking the wood with too much water to prevent warping.

Seasonal Maintenance Tips

Different seasons bring different challenges for your kitchen. Here’s how to keep everything in tip-top shape year-round:

  • Spring and Summer: These are great times to deep clean your kitchen. Pull out appliances and clean behind them, wipe down cabinets inside and out, and check for any damage from winter.
  • Fall and Winter: When the weather gets colder, check your kitchen for drafts and seal any gaps around windows and doors to keep the heat in. It’s also a good time to clean and inspect your heating vents and ensure your plumbing is ready for freezing temperatures.


We’ve talked about planning your kitchen remodel, focusing on a smart layout, good lighting, and lots of storage.

We also covered how to incorporate beautiful design elements like antique brass fixtures, a German smear stone backsplash, and white oak floors. These elements not only look great but also add value to your home. And don’t forget, regular maintenance will keep your kitchen looking new for years to come.

Starting a kitchen remodel can feel like a big project, but it’s totally doable and so rewarding. Picture yourself cooking in a kitchen that’s not only beautiful but also perfectly designed to meet your needs. It’s worth the effort!

So take that first step, start planning, and soon enough, you’ll be enjoying your dream kitchen.

Remember, you’ve got this! And if you need more tips or have any questions, feel free to reach out. Good luck with your remodel!

Read this if you don't want to regret your kitchen renovation



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