1. The very first step in kitchen design has to be determining a budget.

2. Arrange your priorities.

3. Big isn’t enough. Make sure you include in your vision a kitchen that is attractive, comfortable, efficient, labour-saving and well-equipped.

4. Choose a certified designer who is willing to work with your budget and your priorities.

5. Create a kitchen that functions for the entire family and your lifestyle.

6. Aim for full family involvement wherever possible. Each member’s use of the kitchen will become evident.

7. Avoid fads and gadgets…often they add cost but not efficiency.

8. Create the look of custom cabinetry while saving money.

9. Use stock cabinetry in imaginative ways or consider a mixture of stock and custom cabinetry to create costeffective flare.

10. Include more than enough electrical outlets—small appliances can then be used with versatility.

11. Stretches of continuous counter tops and copious cabinet storage are well worth the investment when considering the functional payoff.

12. Plan to store items near the appliance that you will use with them.

13. Lightweight items only should be stored above your head. Heavy items are best between your shoulder and hip heights.

14. Choose full extension slides on vertical pullouts, lazy Susans and rollouts for maximum accessibility.

15. Consider the height of the user and tasks being performed when planning the height placements of workstations and counters.

16. A multilevel island makes a good shield for the eating area from the cooking area in eat-in designs.

17. Non-skid flooring is a must for safety.

18. Choose surface materials that are not going to dent or chip and are easy to maintain.

19. Remember energy efficiency when selecting new appliances will translate to long term savings.

20. Avoid back strain by placing dishwashers six to 18 inches above the floor.

21. Oven heights vary. Choose one that is convenient.

22. Place your dishwasher near to dish storage for ease of unloading.

23. Add a second microwave at children’s height for little helpers.

24. Incorporate a space for recycling and disposal bins in one place.

25. Planning to accommodate your laundry, detergents, ironing etc. supplies in your kitchen is a big step towards making your life easier.

- Home Focus