By Rita Wilkins
The Downsizing Designer

If you are thinking about remodeling your kitchen and wondering how to max out your design within the space you have… in addition to getting the assistance of a professional designer or a certified kitchen designer, these are a few steps you can take to fully prepare for that conversation.


4 Steps to Help You Max Out Your Kitchen Design


1.     Review your existing layout

  • Does it work for you and your lifestyle on a day-to-day basis and when you are entertaining?
  • What part of your existing kitchen layout does work, what part of that layout would you like to keep?


  • Work triangle is efficient and allows you to work easily
  • Traffic pattern allows your family and guests to easily move about without being in each other’s way


  • What part of your existing kitchen layout does not work and you would definitely like to find other solutions?


  • Log jams in certain work areas like accessing the refrigerator and loading and unloading the dishwasher
  • Distance to the pantry is too far and inconvenient


2.     Review your existing cabinet elevations

  • What do you like about your existing cabinet layout and what would you like to keep?


  • Deep drawer storage for pots and pans
  • Microwave cabinet on the island easy for all to access


  • What’s not working with your existing cabinet layout and you would definitely like alternative solutions?


  • Two few drawers near prep areas for kitchen knives and utensils
  • No room for both trash and recycling


3.     Create a “wish list”/vision for your future kitchen

Make room for all the things you want, need, and wish for in your kitchen.

Even though you may not be able to have all of the items on your “wish list” incorporated into your design, it’s important to make your wish list so that, if possible, the designer can make room for what you deem most important.

Learn more:

Top 5 Secrets to Designing a Timeless Kitchen… One That You Will Love for Years to Come

FREE Download:

22 Steps to Upgrade Your

Kitchen Design

4.     Prioritize your “wish list” into 3 categories

A.    Can’t live without/non-negotiable

  • Deep drawers
  • Walk-in pantry
  • Deep sink

B.    Would like to incorporate into the design if possible

  • Healthy snack center
  • Beverage drawers
  • Roll-out spice cabinet

C.    What is negotiable

  • If it fits into your plan fine. If not, you could live without it.
  • Gourmet coffee center
  • Mobile island


Taking time to do this pre-work prior to meeting with a designer is well worth your time. It will provide critical information for the designer to incorporate into the proposed designs.

As an interior designer for over 35 years, I have designed well over 350 kitchens. I always appreciate when a client takes the time upfront to discern what’s working and not working. Because design is a collaborative effort, prioritizing what matters most allows us to work together to max out your kitchen design.

What challenges are you facing when trying to work within your existing footprint?

I’d love to hear from you, leave a comment down below!

Schedule your complimentary 30-minute phone call with me to discuss.

Check out my website.