Steps When Planning a Kitchen Renovation 101

July 28, 2018

This summer I have been working with a local couple on their complete vacation home makeover. They decided to start with the kitchen and wanted me to discuss the right steps to follow when planning a complete redo of their kitchen. My first suggestion to them was to find a contractor to work with. That is not easy I know! The contractor will be able to hire the sub-contractors needed for demolition, electrical work, plumbing, permits, etc. Meanwhile, you will have to chose the components that are going into the new space and if you want to avoid stress later, these steps will help guide you in the overall process.

They are redesigning the kitchen area top to bottom. Here is a before photo:

Sharon before

Step One for the Kitchen:

As I tell all of my clients, their first big decision should be the countertop. (the most expensive item in the room and least amount of selections.) Right now both quartz and granite are still the most popular choices. My biggest tip when buying a new countertop is to GO to where the stone is whole. You can look at the little samples and online to get an idea of what you like, but you must go to stone yard to choose your large piece for counters to see exactly which piece you are getting because every piece is unique:



Step Two:

After the countertops are chosen, I suggest choosing your cabinet color.  What color to select? Using  Cambria Berwyn quartz countertop  as an example:

cambri Berwyn

A beautiful cabinet color could be a white or a light or dark gray:

dianna white cabinets


sharon cabinets


Gray kitchen

This quartz works well with oak/maple cabinets also:

dianna counter

dianna berwyn


Step Three:

Flooring. (If you are keeping your existing floors, you know you should be working with it for all of your other kitchen choices.) If you are getting new flooring, know exactly where you want to begin and end in the space.  For example in a kitchen, do you want tile just in the kitchen area and hardwoods in next room? Or would you rather use the same flooring in kitchen as everywhere else on the first floor? I usually suggest using the same flooring in all rooms, including kitchen, for an open, continual flow throughout the home.

EIR flooring

Step Four:

You’ve chosen your cabinets and countertops – what do you want for the space in between? The most common material used for backsplashes today is tile. Be sure to work with your countertop color palette to select the best color. Do you want to find a sense of calm in your new kitchen space? Then I would recommend a soft neutral color for the backsplash:

berwyn new


berwyn backsplash


Or you might like a little more excitement in your backsplash and make it the focal point of the room using more colorful tile:

dianna backsplash


Step Five:

The last step is finding a wall color. Light and bright paint colors seem to be on everyone’s wish list right now. Depending on your countertops, cabinets, flooring and backsplash, their color palette will determine which paint color will look best:

berwyn cambria


cambria berwyn


So those are the big, expensive kitchen choices which all other purchases will work around, such as appliances, cabinet hardware, sink, facet, lighting, window treatments, etc. These can now all be chosen and installed after cabinets and countertops are installed.

A little amount of planning goes a long way!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Kelly  xo


  1. We just installed Cambria Berwyn quart counter tops in our kitchen. We have white cabinets, stainless steel appliances. I like a calm look in my kitchen. For the backslash I want to go with a calm look. Do I need to stick with a backsplash that is one color or is it ok to go with one that is a combination of light taupe, grays, and silver?

    • Hi Karen,
      As long as the pattern for the back splash is not wild and eye-catching bold, I think the color combination will work well in your kitchen. One reason I like the Cambria Berwyn is because it is soft and able to work with a pattern for the back splash. And so pretty! Good luck with your project.

  2. Hi
    I’m getting the Cambria Berwyn quartz countertops
    I have white cabinets
    I’m not sure about my backsplash
    I feel it’s looks to busy if I use the countertops as my backsplash
    So I feel I’m leaning toward white subway as my backsplash
    Do you think that will look good?
    Thank You

    • Hi Milana,
      I think using the white subway tile is the best idea. Using the counters as back splash might be too busy like you said. I would go with the white subway tile. Hope this helps!

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