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  • Derek Filosi

Slippery items to consider planning a kitchen remodel

Slippery items to watch out for planning your kitchen remodel:

Plan, plan, plan, then do some more planning:

Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. This rings true for any home renovation or remodeling project, no matter the size. We’re often approached by very excited clients who’d like to get started right away on their project (I can’t blame them, I’m guilty of letting the excitement get the best of me while swinging a hammer on my own home). This mentality, however, is a recipe for disaster. Some things in life are best done casually and without plans, like a meandering Sunday morning walk around town; a kitchen renovation is not one of them. Always work closely with your contractor and designer when planning your next remodeling project.

A lot of coordination goes into remodels. On the day of appliance installation, you don’t want your installers to be sliding in the wine cooler only to realize there's no outlet to plug into! Without proper planning, delays are not only expected but certain.

I understand it. Planning can be overwhelming. Planning can be boring. Are you telling me I need to pick out my garbage disposal now? How do I know I’ll like this faucet until the cabinets are installed? In a world of 16 week lead times for cabinetry, you must plan accordingly or encounter severe delays.

Slippery items to look out for while planning your kitchen remodel

Pain points

What are your current pain points in your existing kitchen? How do you like to move around the kitchen while cooking? Is your prep-space too far from the oven? Make a list of everything that bothers you, even if it's only a little.

Under-cabinet lighting

Undercabinet lighting illuminates the work space in your kitchen. Your electrician will “rough-in” wires for the lighting at the early stage of your remodel. It is very important to know exactly where your upper cabinets will be beforehand to avoid extra drywall repairs later.

Ceiling lighting

Are you aiming for symmetry in your recessed lighting? Do you want a recessed light centered over your refrigerator? Painstaking care while laying out your lighting will pay dividends in the final outcome. Your pantry cabinets and refrigerator cabinets will be deeper than your upper cabinets, make sure you take note of these locations so the lighting will not interfere with your crown mouldings. Nothing says “oops!” like your crown moulding hiding a quarter of your recessed light.

Left or right - a tip for dishwasher placement

Which side of the sink do you want your dishwasher on? In terms of convenience, studies show that right handed people should have the dishwasher on the left side of the sink and vice versa for you left handers. If you're right handed, you likely hold the dish with your left hand and use fork to clear the excess with your right. Once it's been adequately scraped (results may vary), loading it into the dishwasher on your left side won't require any twisting or turning. Efficient! Hopefully the trash pullout is on the opposite side for scraping the dishes!

Countertop appliances.

If you’re like me and can’t stand countertop clutter, make sure to review your options for convenient and easy access storage for bulky countertop appliances. Corner pullouts (blind corner cabinets) or appliance garages are great options to reduce clutter while maintaining accessibility.

Island size and clearances

We always recommend the minimum space between the wall cabinets and the island to be 42". If you're sharing the cooking duties or enjoy entertaining often, 48" will be optimal. In special circumstances, 36" is the absolute minimum for circulation.


Last but certainly not least, drawer interference. I’m sure you’ve been in a home or seen photos of drawers that won’t open because something is in the way. Maybe it's the knobs on the cooktop or even the hardware of a perpendicular drawer that interferes with it fully opening. Corner cabinets can be especially problematic. It’s wise to have at least a 3” spacer in the corner of any run of cabinets, more if the oven/cooktop is within 21” of a corner. I cannot stress this enough - this is a mistake that every designer has made at least once, and it can be very embarrassing! Make sure to also take into account any window/door casing that may interfere where a run of cabinetry terminate at the wall.

If you’re looking for help with kitchen renovation, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Craft Design + Build!

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