By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer

It sounds crazy, right?

Planning your kitchen design during one of the busiest times of the year!

Why would I recommend that?

Think of it this way:

  • Your house might be full of family who is home for the holidays (maybe not quite as many this year with Covid-19 restrictions),
  • You’ve invited friends in for a holiday party or two,
  • Your kids and grandkids are everywhere in your house,
  • Your house is bustling and you love every minute of it!

You’re spending a lot more time in the kitchen.

  • planning meals
  • preparing food
  • cooking
  • serving
  • eating
  • cleaning up
  • and just hanging out


#1 What better time than now to observe and discern


with your current kitchen design?


Maybe you’ve realized:

  • there’s not enough prep space for one, let along two or three cooks
  • the pantry is inconveniently located
  • that one oven is definitely not enough
  • and that everyone else is gathered in the family room…

and you are alone in the kitchen!

You keep wishing you could “somehow” all be together.

This is the perfect time for you to observe and write down the good and the bad experiences you’ve had surrounding your current kitchen design

  • Things that don’t work
  • Things that do work but you would like to improve upon
  • Things you wish you had

As a designer for over 35 years and having designed at least 350 kitchens, one of the most important roles I play is to help my clients determine what’s working and what’s not working.

  • I do this by observing and watching the way the kitchen floor plan functions for my clients, their family, and friends.
  • I take into consideration how they live, work, play, and communicate in those areas so that in the planning phase, I can assist my client with designs that work for them.

After all, that’s what your kitchen and your home should do… “work for you”.


Best Christmas Ever!


One of my all-time favorite kitchen stories happened several years ago.

I first met with a new client in early fall. They were a close family with grown children who “wished they could all be together”, but their tiny kitchen prevented that.

I asked how often they used their dining room that was immediately adjacent to the kitchen. They responded, “Rarely, maybe two or three times a year.” This also happens to be the national average… that we use our dining rooms only two or three times per year.

I then asked…

WHAT IF, we removed the wall between your kitchen and dining room to give you a much larger kitchen that would incorporate cooking, dining, entertaining, and a space where you can all be together.

WHAT IF, we moved a portion of the wall that enters into the family room? By opening it up, you could then be “together”.

A few months later, the renovation was complete. I returned to drop off a small when they greeted me at the door with big hugs, saying “This was our best Christmas ever! We could all finally be together”.

As a designer, in addition to observing what’s working and what’s not, I must also listen to my clients, wants, needs, and their “wish lists”. It is important that I really hear what they are saying by asking at least a thousand questions so when I design, I can create solutions for what’s not working, improve and enhance what is working, and incorporate as many of their wish list items as possible.

After all, good planning is the foundation for a successful design project.

In addition to using this busy holiday season to observe and discern what’s working and not so we can get the design right, there are other reasons to design your kitchen during one of the busiest times of the year.

#2 You could beat the spring renovation rush by planning now


Finalize your design

Create a realistic budget

Schedule a contractor that you have vetted

Completed all of your selections

You can beat the spring rush which is when most people are just getting started on their renovation plans.

#3 There are advantages to doing your work off season


  • Contractors are often more available when there is less demand
  • Contractors can focus on your project without juggling multiple projects in the busy season
  • Who knows… you might even be done well before spring, when others are just getting started!


#4 It might even save you money

Did you know that the first week of the new year is known as


  • The holidays are over
  • People start thinking about what home projects they want to do
  • Retailers offer special pricing during that time as well as on holiday weekends throughout the year.


It helps to be ready to know what you want so you can take advantage of seasonal sales.


“If you are considering a kitchen or home renovation…

Consider that right now, the busiest holiday season of the year is really the best time to start planning your renovation.

Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer
Office # 302-475-5663

If you need interior design assistance please reach out to me to discuss your project.

I offer a 30-minute consultation go to my website.

You might be interest with my free download my 22 steps to designing your kitchen.