Modern open concept kitchen with stainless steel appliances

Your Guide for How to Remodel a Kitchen on Your Own

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and a reflection of you as a maker. From colors and finishes to reflect your style to appliances that keep up with your skills, a kitchen remodel is full of possibilities. In this guide, you’ll find tips from start to finish, whether you’re planning a lavish makeover or a simpler renovation to give the room a good facelift.

Friends gathered around a kitchen island in a contemporary kitchen

Can You Remodel a Kitchen Yourself?

The kitchen is where the magic of making happens. Remodeling empowers you to create the best flow and aesthetic to inspire you and everyone who joins you. By handling the remodel on your own, you’ll also have lots of options to ensure it matches your making.

Planning and designing your remodel are two of the easiest steps to tackle on your own if you already have an eye for design, but you can always consult a designer or contractor to take your project to the next level.

Black stainless steel KitchenAid® wall ovens in a black and white kitchen

8 Tips for How to Start Your Kitchen Remodel

Think about what your ideal kitchen looks and feels like. Get inspired on social media. Decide on what your wants and must-haves are while determining the scope of your project. Plan your new layout, consider upgrading appliances and don’t forget the power of color for your DIY kitchen renovation. 

Before getting started, determine your design, timeline and budget. This will help guide your decisions and give you a better idea on how to prepare. 

Determining the type of remodel you’re doing is the first step to any kitchen renovation. From there, you can start choosing a layout, choosing a color scheme, picking cabinets and countertops and shopping for major appliance upgrades.

1. Decide the Scope of Your Kitchen Remodel

If it’s time for a total refresh, start with a complete tear-out, which includes removing all cabinets, counters, floors and even some walls. If you’re looking for a simpler style face-lift, you might simply add a fresh coat of paint, refresh cabinets by adding new hardware or refacing them, upgrade appliances and replace the countertops. 

Keep in mind where you do most of your making, and prep work, and ensure you have enough storage for all of your fresh ingredients.

2. Design Your Kitchen Layout

If you’re doing a complete tear-out of your kitchen, you’re getting a blank slate. The possibilities are endless. Choose a layout that works best for how you and your loved ones enjoy your kitchen. Popular layouts include L-shapes, which maximize available work space – especially when paired with an island peninsula for added seating. 

Plan a nook for breakfast and a place to grow fresh herbs. If you’re starting from scratch, the sky is truly the limit.

Stainless steel KitchenAid® undercounter refrigerator drawers under a wet bar

3. Plan Your Color

Color in the kitchen is a delicious way to add personality and style to the room. If you’re replacing cabinets, start by choosing them. Cabinets (and their hardware) take up roughly 40% of the visual space in the kitchen. The rest of your palette should be built around that. From there you can add pops of color and complementary finishes with both large and small appliances. 

Refrigerators, dishwashers, ranges and sinks play a big role in the room and should provide a harmonious look that complements or adds just the right contrast to your color scheme. KitchenAid can help you add splashes of color to your kitchen with major appliances like ranges and countertop appliances like stand mixers that come in a wide range of colors.

Black stainless steel KitchenAid® appliances in a rustic kitchen

4. Upgrade Your Major Appliances

Major appliances with style that matches performance make a huge impact on the look, feel and functionality of your kitchen. Choose from standard or commercial sizes to fit your layout and making needs. Color and style matter too, which is why KitchenAid brand’s major appliances come in various dimensions, designs and colors to add sophistication, convenience and style to your kitchen. When you’re planning a kitchen remodel, start by choosing a refrigerator, dishwasher and cooktop.

Find Your New Refrigerator

There are many types of refrigerators available, making it easy to find an option that fits both your space and your needs. For example, built-in models offer a seamless look and can be panel ready to match your cabinetry updates. Do you prefer the high style and visibility of a French door or the extra freezer space of a side-by-side?

Find Your New Dishwasher

KitchenAid brand has a dishwasher for every maker. Beautiful finishes and details aren’t the only thing to look for in a new dishwasher. Different loading styles, innovative technology and cleaning cycles set dishwasher options apart and are key to consider to make sure you choose one that can handle your making. For example, features like KitchenAid brand’s deep-angled design and spacious third rack give you more options than ever. Quiet performance, interior LED lighting and the latest sensor technology make cleaning up the mess of creating easier.

Find Your New cooktop

Available space, aesthetics and your cooking style are among the chief things to think about while shopping for a new cooktop. Gas cooktops offer optimal temperature control. KitchenAid® cooktops come with multiple burner options, with two surface styles to best fit with your design. The Even-Heat™ Technology integrated into our electric cooktops ensures even, consistent heating while offering flexible installation options. Your third option, induction cooktops use innovative technology that creates precision heating that's responsive much like gas cooktops, but with a smooth ceramic-glass surface to make cleaning fast and easy.

Black KitchenAid® stand mixer in a bright kitchen with white cabinets

5. Pick Your Cabinet Style

Cabinets are the ideal way to complement the style and decor of your major appliances. For example, sleek modern cabinets feature a minimalist style that allows your appliances to shine. Rustic and traditional cabinets add warmth and character, complementing any appliance, but particularly warm metals and matte finishes. Shaker and country styles have a lot of character and pair well with lighter-colored appliances for a light, airy feel. 

You can typically choose from two options: custom and prefabricated. Features to consider include the color and texture, and features like size, storage space, hinge styles (we love a soft-close hinge) and knobs/drawer pulls. By doing the remodeling yourself, you can tap into your creativity and personalize your space for a kitchen that’s completely customized to your tastes.

6. Choose Your Countertops

Like cabinets, your countertops set the tone for the kitchen. Popular options include marble, sought-after granite and mid-range engineered stone like quartz, which offers nearly limitless colors and patterns to choose from. Keep in mind your other choices, including your cabinetry and appliances. When available, leverage swatches to see how the colors, styles and textures work together before making your final selections.

KitchenAid® gas range in an eclectic kitchen

7. Add a Backsplash

The backsplash is another opportunity to complement your appliances and to pull the entire aesthetic together. Consider using a neutral tile for most of the kitchen and investing in funky glass, gorgeous stone or exquisite ceramics to accent areas behind the sink and cooktop. Choose materials and styles that fit your kitchen design and help your major appliances shine.

8. Complete Finishing Touches

Make sure you’ve patched any damaged areas of the walls and finished any painting if you haven’t already. Swap out light fixtures and splurge a little on a great faucet. Consider the added impact of installing molding like baseboards, crown molding and toe-kicks, which help protect your walls and cabinets in addition to adding architectural interest to the room. Upgrading your small appliances is an effective way to bring in color, texture or on-trend design. For example, you can easily introduce an earthy, neutral palette to your kitchen for warmth and to bring a touch of nature into the mix. Small appliances are also an amazing opportunity to bring in bold pops of color.

Stainless steel appliances in a modern kitchen

Frequently Asked Questions

When you’re considering how to remodel a kitchen, particularly if you’re approaching it as a DIY project, there’s a lot to think about.

When should I call in a pro?

If you’re moving walls, installing new plumbing or rewiring electricity, you should consult with professionals. Even if you’ve got experience and skills, you might consider having your work inspected before finishing the kitchen remodel to ensure everything’s up to code.

How can I personalize my space?

Remodeling your kitchen yourself gives you a unique opportunity to improve the flow and infuse your space with personality. You can craft your kitchen to be the most positive space to ignite your creativity and enhance the time you spend there with friends and family. Don’t be afraid to add color or texture, change the footprints to best suit your unique needs and upgrade your appliances to complement your drive for making.

Woman preparing food in a blue kitchen with black stainless steel appliances

Is remodeling a kitchen really worth all the work?

Remodeling your kitchen reminds you that it’s a place of endless possibility and it allows you to create a space that feels truly your own. While you’re choosing major appliances, small appliances, cabinets and counters, keep your habits and needs top of mind to select pieces that enhance your kitchen’s function and comfort. When choosing appliances, find options that match both your style and cooking preferences.

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