Kitchen Renovation Questionnaire

Strive for project success by completing interior designer Gail Blackburn’s three-part kitchen questionnaire. Walk through a typical day in the kitchen, making sure every action is accounted for and can be performed in a location that works best. Ask yourself these questions:


modern kitchen

1. Kitchen Details

  • How do you typically work in the kitchen? One cook or more? You may need two or more workstations if multiple people use the kitchen at once.
  • Do you want one main sink or a main sink and prep sink? If you have the space, two sinks allow for clean up and food prep to simultaneously take place.
  • How tall are you? Having a prep area tailored to your height will make work less tiring.
  • Do you prefer an island? Would you like it with or without seating? You need more space to accommodate seats at a work island but perhaps not as much as a separate dining area would take.
  • Are you right- or left-handed? Keep it in mind as you arrange your appliances.
  • How will venting be accomplished? Good ventilation will keep grease out of your house.
  • How much food-storage space do you need? If you live in a city, perhaps you don’t need as much storage as someone who lives further away from shopping.
  • What appliances would you like to incorporate?
  • Will there be a separate food pantry or butler’s pantry?


kitchen storage


2. Decorative Details


  • What is the general look and feeling you’d like to accomplish?
  • What type of cabinetry style, inset, overlay, etc., do you like?
  • Do you want natural woods, painted or mixed?
  • How do you entertain; how many people?
  • What counter surfaces do you prefer? Can the surfaces be mixed?
  • Would you like closed cabinets, glass fronts or open shelves with cubbies and a plate rack?
  • Where would you like to store small appliances?
  • Would you like a bar area? If so, do you want it to have a sink, refrigerator, wine storage and/or ice maker?
  • Do you need a desk area, phone or TV?


kitchen cabinet

3. Design Considerations:


  • How much natural light is there; where will you need to supplement lighting?
  • How much natural air circulation does the room offer?
  • Is there enough space for good work areas? Enough counter surfaces?
  • Is there room for sitting areas?
  • Can you achieve an overall balance and symmetry in each area?
  • Do the work zones and seating areas create a whole?
  • Can you relate the kitchen cabinetry to adjacent millwork and colors?
  • Have you considered the ceiling detail as it relates to kitchen design and the organization of the space?
  • Have you considered the height of the cabinets and the ceilings in relation to your own height?
  • Have you chosen flooring material and decided on color and finish?
  • Do you plan on living here into your older years or sharing your home with your aging parents? If so, you may consider incorporating Aging-in-Place concepts into your kitchen plan, such as higher kick plates and accessible storage cupboards and appliances.


By Catherine Titus Felix

Photography by Mark Tanner


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