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A kitchen renovation has many facets to consider. Where to start? How to get the most from your investment? What is the style that will make you the happiest? Your Kitchen Design Workbook is meant to make these and many other decisions easier. We hope it helps you to feel in control and gives you sufficient information to make sound choices.

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Your Kitchen Design Workbook

Mike Nopper, President Artisan Design and Remodeling

Remodeling your kitchen can be an exciting, fulfilling project.  

Whether you’re spending a king’s ransom or just pennies, a new kitchen adds value to your property. It can make cooking more fun, and give you years of pleasure.

It's a good idea to keep a file of all the kitchen ideas you see in magazines and on line.

Kitchens are the hub of home life and a source of pride.  

More money is spent on kitchen remodels than on any other home improvement.

With wise decisions, a significant portion of kitchen remodeling costs may be recovered by the value the project brings to your home. 

You may recover as much as 67% of your remodeling cost when you sell.

To maximize your return on investment and end up happy with your renovation, take the time to follow the below steps to keep you on budget and help you make smart choices.

Your Kitchen Design Workbook is meant to make these and many other decisions easier.   We hope it helps you to feel in control and gives you sufficient information to make sound choices. 

A kitchen renovation has many facets to consider.  Where to start?  How to get the most from your investment?  What is the style that will make you the happiest? 

Most of all, we want to encourage youto have fun with your renovation!  Enjoythe process, and you will have the kitchen of your dreams.


Spending a little time planning will payoff in the amount of time you’re inconvenienced by construction.  Plus, you’re more likely to stay on budget.

A plan will avoid changing your mind during construction, which leads to added construction costs.  A good plan that you have developed overtime, will help you to make decisions in advance and insure you are sure you know exactly what you want.  


Armed with a plan, you can look for opportunities to save money on your remodel, such as looking for materials onsale.

 1.     What do I like about my existing kitchen                                                                                                     

2.     What parts of my existing kitchen can I keep                                                                                              

Step 1 – Take a hard look at your existing kitchen

Note: Nothing will drive up the cost of a remodel faster than changing the location of plumbing pipes and electrical outlets, and knocking down walls. This is usually where unforeseen problems occur.

If possible, keep appliances, water fixtures, and walls in the same location. Not only will you save on demolition and reconstruction, costs, you’ll cut the amount of dust and debris your project generates.

3.     Do I want my new kitchen to have the same footprint?                                                                               

4.     If not, how do I want to change the footprint?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

5.     Are you planning on opening to another room and you aren't sure if you have a load-bearing wall?                                                                                                                                                                                       

6.     Can I keep any of my appliances, or do I need new ones?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

7.     Are high-end,luxury appliances a priority for me?                                                                         

8.     Do you want to relocate the sink or range, which would mean moving the plumbing orgas lines?                                                                                                      

Note: A six-burner commercial-grade range and luxury-brand refrigerator are eye-catching center pieces; however, they can add significant expense.  Choose appliances made by trusted brands that have high marks in online reviews and Consumer Reports.

Use this space to note the model numbers, brands and costs of the appliance you have found, as well as the retailers.       

1.     Start a tear-sheet or digital file.   Visuals help a professional see exactly what your expectations are, finishes, style and design tastes.  There are thousands of images of kitchens on the internet.  Save the ones that make your heart skip a beat.

2.     Are you designing for yourself or to increase your home value in order to sell it in the future?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

3.     Would a consultation with a designer or design-build contractor help you make decisions?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

4.     What is your preferred style? Traditional, Mid-Century, Country, Modern?  The choices are endless. 

Step 2 – Determine your style

Be careful about running this by too many people.  Everyone has an opinion and styles are deeply persona.  Solicit input from a limited number of people, and of course, anyone who will be living with your new kitchen.  Most of your own instincts.

For some people this is a cake-walk.  For others it is a struggle.  The tough part of the process is learning to narrow down the options and hone in on what you want your dream kitchen to look like. Collect images that speak to you emotionally without thinking about why.  If it makes your heart beat faster, save it!  A pattern will start to immerge.

1.     What is on your wish list?   

a.     new appliances                                                                                                         

1.  Stove___________________________________________________________

2. Refrigerator______________________________________________________

3. Dishwasher ______________________________________________________

4. Built in Micro _____________________________________________________

5. Other ___________________________________________________________

b.    Cabinets                                                                                                                     

c.     Countertops                                                                                                               

d.    Tile                                                                                                                               

e.     Flooring                                                                                                                       

f.      Lighting                                                                                                                       

g.     Backsplash                                                                                                                

2. What is non-discretionary and absolutely must be purchased or renovated?

a. Plumbing ___________________________________________________________

b. Electrical ___________________________________________________________

c. Gas _______________________________________________________________

d. Windows ___________________________________________________________

e.  Walls ______________________________________________________________

f.  Other_______________________________________________________________


Step 3 – The Budget

Getting detailed pricing information inadvance will help you meet your budget. Comeup with a rough budget of whatyou want to spend on the overall project.

Things hurt a lot more when they are a surprise. This is the time to make compromises, figure out how much of a loan you may need, or decide to include the cost of that big splurge.  Take the time for this important step and your new kitchen will be a happy experience.

Wouldn't it be nice to know an experienced contractor in San Diego that you can trust to remodel your kitchen or bathroom just the way that you wish it could be?

Mike Nopper, President of Artisan Design and Remodeling is pleased to have helped with your new kitchen planning.  

We know where the deals can be found on materials and appliances.  Since 1988 Mike has been remodeling homes and is a wizard on finding "work-arounds" and facilitating challenges.

Mike loves to talk about remodeling. Please visit our new website at, email Mike at, or call 619-761-3172 for a FREE brainstorming consult on your project.