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  • Writer's pictureKatie McMinn

5 Essential Things to Consider When Remodeling Your Kitchen

You may already know, but we remodeled our kitchen last fall. I’ve shared quite a bit of stuff on my <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">@katie.mcminn Instagram channel</a> including a series called <a href="" rel="noopener" target="_blank">TomKat Adventures-Home Edition</a>. You can watch all of the pain and joy we went through while remodeling.

I don’t want to recap that entire story here; what I want to share with you are five things I learned when remodeling a kitchen.

Food Prep

When doing a remodel most people jump to creating a Pinterest or Houzz board of what things they like, what looks pretty, and whatnot. While I did fall into this category I started this process thinking about how Thomas and I prepare meals. I wanted to be able to flow around my kitchen with ease as I’m making family meals.

With that said, I knew I wanted the frig and the pantry close to each other. I also wanted food prep items like mixing bowls, pots, pans, and cooking utensils relatively close together. I mark one side of the kitchen as the food prep area and the other as the eating area. In addition to the food prep, I wanted the dishwasher, sink and eating dishes together. Boy, did I put them together.


I was at a friend’s house for lunch recently and she told me this story about how she lost an egg on the floor because she went to throw the egg carton in the trash, but grabbed the last three eggs out beforehand. As she was walking back to the counter one she dropped one on the floor. As a mom I didn’t want to worry about lost eggs and the clean up that accompanies them.

During the planning stages of this remodel, I was struggling with the placement of our trash because I didn’t want an egg fiasco. I wanted the trash in the food prep area for easy food prep cleanup, but I also wanted it by the dishwasher and sink for easy eating cleanup.

We ended up putting the trash and recycling cabinet by the sink. I figure with all the crafts my family does, in addition to the food eating situation, the trash would be best closer to the dinner table. Because the trash is in our island, it works great for food prep as well because I can just take my cutting board conveniently to the trash. When wiping down the island I can easily slide any leftovers to the end of the island and into the trash.

Most Often Used

Coffee, coffee, and tea. We are coffee people. When Keurig first came out we had a machine and now we have a Nespresso machine. We also have a french press and frother. I’m hoping to get a professional grade espresso machine one day, but mama’s got to make the big bucks before that happens.

We created a coffee and tea corner because we have these drinks several times throughout the day. We have a cabinet that stores all the mugs. Next to that cabinet we have an essential storage corner drawer that stores our coffee pods and mountain of tea bags. Open shelves rest above our coffee maker for early morning drinking sessions, where you simply can’t bring yourself to open a cabinet door. I know this sounds funny but coffee and tea is a big deal to us and I wanted to ensure our multiple-time-a-day rituals were as convenient as possible.


Oh the joys of seats. As you could have guessed we entertain a lot. I need seats from here to kingdom come. At one point I had two benches on either side of our dinner table, which is great for parties and what not, but not so convenient for little boys who bounce in and out of them multiple times a day. Please don’t make me tell you the story of how our two-year-old fell off the bench and cut a one and 1/4 centimeter gash in his tongue. Weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. After that I bought chairs for our dinner table.

With that said we have kept both our benches; one is in the kitchen and one is in the front room, but for everyday use we selected chairs to keep our little guys safe. I got these awesome gray chairs for the dinner table and when it came time to get chairs for the island the struggle was real. I had no idea what to get. Then my sweet sister was over and said something that sparked an idea. She said, “You should get something that has the same feel to the gray chairs. Like the color, material or even shape.” Ding, ding, ding, the shape it is! I was lucky to have found these green velvet chairs that are (you guessed it) the same shape as the dinner table chairs.


Here is where everyone gets lost down the rabbit hole. Am I right? If you’re like me you can spend hours on Pinterest, Instagram and Houzz saving pics of what you like. I could spend 8 hours a day just looking at people’s pretty homes. Here is what I say when it comes to finishings, pick things you love. I agonized over our hardware. I’m not kiddy, when I say that I bought and returned 16 different handles, pulls, and knobs from Amazon. My saving grace was the color scheme.

I fell into the fad of black and gold. I really try not to like something just because everyone else does. But the black and gold sucked me in and now I’m there to stay. I found these beautiful gold and black pulls and it took me finding the pendant lights before I could fully commit to the pulls. Here’s what really happened; I got the square knobs first, then I found the black and gold pulls, however the gold finish did not perfectly match and that bothered me. The pendant’s gold matched perfectly with the knobs. When I placed everything together I realized, no one would notice that the gold finish was off a bit. Unless a person was dancing on my island and lovingly looking at the pendants and then the knobs, which won’t be happening. Well maybe it could. Wink, wink.

My advice with finishes is listen to your gut and go with what you love. If that doesn’t help then stick to a color scheme.

I hope the things I’ve learned during the remodel help you with remodeling your kitchen. I also hope that when your remodel is complete you gather the people you love in it.

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