It’s finally time — you’ve decided to take the leap and start planning your kitchen remodel. It’s a great feeling to finally turn that corner, and you should feel excited for what can be a truly new beginning. Nothing quite makes your home shine like a beautiful remodel job on your kitchen.

But now you’re slogging through the details — materials, costs, measurements, etc — and it’s slowing you down. Fret not — you’re on the right path, you just need the right process to guide you. Before you can purchase materials, you should have a clear vision of what your new kitchen will look like, and that means exploring various designs and layouts. A designer can be the perfect partner for this journey, but however you choose to start your journey, keep these things in mind:

Kitchen Countertops
For many people, countertops are the first thing they think about when considering a kitchen remodel in the Fairfax, VA area. And there’s a good reason: countertops are sometimes the first thing a person notices in a kitchen, and can leave a lasting impression. Your primary options include laminate, ceramic tile, wood, marble, and granite. For most folks, about 11 percent of their kitchen remodel budget will go towards countertops. (Of course, every remodel is unique, but this number can give you an idea of how to start your budget.)

Each material has its pros and cons. Wood surfaces can be practical (for food prep) and attractive options, but also need regular maintenance and cleaning and are subject to wear and tear that some clients will love and others will not. Marble and granite countertops are luxury choices that some clients prefer but each should be paired with the right type of lighting to really come to life!

Kitchen Lighting
A lot of clients forget this crucial puzzle piece when remodeling their kitchen. Lighting is as much about practicality and safety (you’ll want areas where you prepare food well-lit!) as it is about aesthetics. You’ll need the right mix of ambient light and specific light. One gives the right “feel” to the kitchen remodel — do you want the kitchen to feel warm and inviting, a place folks don’t mind congregating? And the other gives you the practical light needed for very important tasks — cutting, cleaning, and prepping food.

Kitchen Cabinets and Walls
For one thing — they should match! You’d be surprised how many people don’t spend time thinking about how their kitchen wall surfaces may or may not integrate with their kitchen cabinets. To save money you can do a lot with certain types of paint treatments, but you won’t want to skimp on areas where a more resilient wall surface is needed!

Kitchen Windows
Back to that question above — do you want your kitchen to be an inviting space where folks don’t mind congregating? Then windows are an essential consideration! Natural light is one of the best ways to make a space friendly.

Kitchen Doors and Hardware
One of the most forgotten aspects of a kitchen remodel — but you can really turn it up a notch by minding the details. Options include glazed doors, swinging doors, and sliding doors, but you don’t have to stop there. And your hardware doesn’t need to be fancy, but it should be considered carefully for functionality and aesthetics. Trust us, you’ll notice the hardware, when all is said and done!

There are more things to think about, and several resources online if you’d like to dive into greater detail for your kitchen remodel materials. We hope this gives you a few things to think about right up front.