Perhaps you have dreams of redoing your kitchen, but you don't know where to begin. You've seen photos of beautiful kitchens in magazines, but you're not sure how those looks would translate to your space.

Instead of letting yourself become overwhelmed with potential ideas, start by thinking through these five things to consider when designing a kitchen. By beginning with these basics, you'll be off to the right start for a smooth kitchen remodel.

What Your Space Is Like

Unless you're planning to do major home remodeling and construction, your kitchen renovation must take place within the space that's available to you. Therefore, it's important to take careful stock of your square footage and the placement of doors, windows and support walls.

One of the biggest considerations should be the size of your room. A small kitchen often requires a much different layout than a large one.

Trying to squeeze an island or a peninsula into a room that can't reasonably accommodate it will only serve as a source of frustration. Instead, a small space may do better with a well-planned galley or L-shaped kitchen.

In a large kitchen, the problem might be that various appliances and surfaces end up spread too far apart. Arranging work areas in a triangle can be very useful, and the sides of the work triangle should be kept fairly short. It can be useful to incorporate an island into the design in order to break up the open space.

How You Plan to Use Your Kitchen

When designing a kitchen layout, it makes sense to plan with function in mind. Your kitchen should be a space that works for the way you'll use it.

In a home where one person takes care of the majority of the cooking, one work triangle is usually sufficient. However, if you regularly have two or more people working in the kitchen at the same time, you may want to plan a layout that includes multiple work zones.

In some households, cooking is the only activity that takes place in the kitchen, but others use their kitchens for eating, studying, relaxing and more. If the latter describes your family, you might consider adding features that can help, such as a homework desk, a breakfast bar or a storage space for important papers.

What Your Personal Sense of Style Is Like

It's often said that the kitchen is the heart of the home. As such, it should reflect your tastes and your personality. Fortunately, there's no wrong design style for a kitchen, so you should be able to find an approach to decorating that matches your design preferences.

If you typically gravitate toward classic looks and refined architecture, a kitchen with a traditional look might be best for you. On the other hand, if you're someone who leans toward the new and the modern, you might prefer the clean-lined looks of a contemporary kitchen.

Of course, you might not fall squarely into either of these camps. For those who want a kitchen that's a little bit traditional and a little bit modern, transitional designs offer a middle-of-the-road approach.

For an entirely different look, try a rustic decor scheme. This look gives you the feeling of being in touch with nature or spending time in a cabin that's off the beaten path.

Whichever design style you choose, think about ways to make your kitchen uniquely yours. Adding personal touches means that you'll feel right at home when your new kitchen is finished.

How Much You Can Afford

Kitchen renovations come in all sizes, and their price tags can vary widely. Although it's great to dream big, it's also important to be realistic about what you can afford and plan your remodel accordingly.

Before you get very far in the planning process, set a budget for your project. For tips on planning your budget, watch the following video:

Setting a budget can help to keep your remodel moving along. When you're stuck on a decision about what appliance to buy or what hardware to choose, you can consult your budget for guidance. The one that best fits your spending abilities is the one for you.

Having a budget can also lend you peace of mind during the renovation process. You won't have to lie awake at night worrying about how much this project will cost you in the end and whether you'll be able to afford it. You'll already have a clear understanding of the financial picture.

Now, operating within your financial means doesn't necessarily mean scrapping all of your big goals. A professional kitchen planner can help you plan your project in a way that is faithful to your vision yet also realistically affordable.

What the Rest of Your House Looks Like

Your kitchen doesn't have to perfectly match every other room in your house, but it's worthwhile to design a kitchen that feels like it fits in.

For example, a distinctly contemporary kitchen will look out of place in a house that's furnished in a traditional style everywhere else. Crystal chandeliers and ornate finials probably don't belong in a house that boasts a rustic log-cabin vibe.

Fortunately, if you stick with the type of decor that you use elsewhere in your home, your kitchen will fit in just right. Beyond that, there are small touches that you can add to unify your design even more:

  • Pick kitchen flooring that matches the flooring on the rest of the level.
  • Use the same metals in the kitchen and the living area.
  • Choose a paint shade that's in the same family as that of an adjacent room.

Could you use some professional insight as you think through these things to consider when designing a kitchen? Our NDA Kitchens design team has the expertise to help you plan the kitchen renovation that's just right for your home. To get started, contact us to schedule your free design consultation.