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Kitchen Renovation Wants and Needs List!

In some of my previous blogs I have mentioned that it is a great idea for potential renovators to prepare for a Design Consultation by writing a list of hopes, dreams and aspirations for the up and coming project. In this blog I am going to give examples of important items and details to consider while building your 'honey do' list for your project. Some of your wants will help to include your needs and vice versa. I will include notes on a few rooms in the home that I feel require maximum consideration during your note making process and the easiest way to convey these details to your Design Consultant.

For your consideration;

-Infrastructure alterations:

As mentioned above- this is a big one, If a Kitchen Island on your list and your room dimensions do not allow for a functional working space, then you are going to need to address the infrastructure with the help of a contractor and possibly an engineer. Keep in mind these types of alterations always add to the budget- BIG TIME- so before you get your heart set on a completely different layout in your space make sure this information is heavily discussed before any real planning has started. Keep in mind adding new windows or altering existing windows, even a small detail like removal of dropped ceilings or electrical alterations is important on your list.


I always like to recommend to my clients right away to begin to shop appliances. The reason I suggest this is to give you clear idea of what direction you would like to take as these items are set dimensions in the planning. A Design Consultant can and should recommend certain appliance sizing for you, however you are the King of your Castle, so creating a list of needs for appliances is a great way to help guide the Designer in the planning process. One of the most nuisance appliance can be the microwave. A growing number of clients are actually removing this 'convenience appliance' from the kitchen all together, but most still prefer to keep the microwave in the kitchen. Consider placement for this unit with your Designer, as there are a number of ways you can 'build in' a microwave to help hide it away. Also keep in mind that when I mention appliances, I am also referring to 'counter top' appliances in the kitchen and electronics in your bathroom and laundry room. If you are hoping to store away those items when not in use be certain to add the appliance and dimensions to the list so that these can be properly planned for- not all counter top appliances are universally the same.


Lighting floor planning is becoming more and more popular in a renovated space. It is very important to consider the different types and options for lighting. Your Designer should address task, ambient and decorative lighting with you. Bringing pendants/ under cabinetry lighting into a design is very important in the planning staged so be clear with your list that you have a love for a Murano glass chandelier- as the designer will need to spec some options and use this information to implement cohesion in the design planning and renderings.


So I am going to use the term function in the broad sense. When considering function on your list keep these items in mind;

-How many people will be working/ sitting/ eating or getting ready for work in the room at one time

-Location for garbage/ recycle/compost bins in consideration of access to outside

-Pantry/Linen/Broom and Vacuum storage

-Dry storage and access too

-Pets in the household

-Appliance decibels/ noise barriers (Watching TV and a noisy dishwasher is a real bummer after a reno)

-Outlet planning for plug in counter top appliances/electronics

-Alternate water sources besides the main sink. IE adding a bar sink in the kitchen, or 2 sinks in a main/guest bath instead of one or the addition of a wash basin to your laundry room reno


Here is the fun part for the list. This is where it is important to include items such as the colour of your cabinetry, wall and trim or your counter top options and finishing details in regards to the complete look. One would imagine this would be the most important part of the planning stage but as a Designer I find that this is the easiest information to attain from a client without asking too many questions. By visiting your home a Design Consultant will gain a pretty good idea of your sense of taste and style, however online or catalog inspiration photos can really help speak volumes for you during this stage. If you choose to use online photos/catalog pictures make sure to add a note to the inspiration photo so that you are not scrambling to remember why you chose to add the image to your design file.

So my words of advice-end of the day get started on that list and you will begin to notice your own pros and cons and potential need for compromise in the planing. I also suggest potential renovators not be fully attached to one concept idea, this could make the design planning a difficult task, on you as well as the Designer. Not all ideas are good- and be open to that- be open to ideas presented to you by your Design Consultant. It is my job to try to include everything you have asked for in your list with minimal compromises. A good Designer will apply your list to their planning vigorously and will strive to show you something that you have never thought off in an effort to blow your socks off. The more information you give will help the Designer to exact the planning in the beginning stages so that there is minimal revisions to the final plans and this allows for the minimal and maximum details to be taken into account in the correct order as you finalize your projects plans and details. As I like to say 'everything in its place and a place for everything!'

Happy Planning!


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Lindsay Gilmour Kitchen Design

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