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I have some exciting news: we’re expecting a new addition. No, not a baby. A new KITCHEN! Demo starts on Monday and in (hopefully) six weeks or so I’ll have a brand new space to work in. I’m excited…and totally petrified.

SIX. Weeks. Without. A. Kitchen. You guys, I bake for a living. It’s gonna get interesting up in here really fast.

If you’re thinking about a kitchen remodel or even in the planning stages (or still in the dreaming stage) I wanted to share my experience with you. Hopefully we can learn something together! Here are a few things I’ve learned just about planning a remodel:

Tip #1: Before you even schedule any appointments, think about what you want and need.

What works for you in your kitchen? What doesn’t work? Do you just need new counters to spruce it up? New lighting? Or do you need new cabinets? Maybe you want a new layout. Think about everything you want and make a list. I started a pinterest board to keep track as I went.

Let’s look at my kitchen as it is now:

Kitchen Before 1

(BTW, that is the cleanest it’s been…ever.)

Kitchen Before_2

Besides the cabinets and counters, my kitchen needs some dramatic redesign. Remember, I work in my kitchen and bake in there every day. My goal is for a usable space with more storage and more counter space. The problem: tight quarters. We couldn’t make the kitchen bigger unless we pushed out the house, an expense we can’t manage.

Here was my list of must-haves for my kitchen:

  • Create a peninsula with an overhang so Jordan has a breakfast eating area instead of an ugly Ikea table.
  • Add counters and cabinets in that empty space. Why it’s empty? I have no idea.
  • Move the refrigerator so that I don’t have to feel Jordan jam herself through the dining room door one more time while I’m hunting for food in the refrigerator. I’ve been hit with that door so many times, it’s unbelievable.
  • Update the lighting: as much as I love that 1980s style light box, it’s gotta go. (#sarcasm)
  • Make it all clean lines and bright so I can easily photograph in the kitchen.

What would be on your must list??

In order to accomplish the above, I knew I needed help.

Tip #2: Find a good team of people to help you.

Obviously, a kitchen remodel is huge. Even if you don’t bake for a living, the kitchen is probably the central hub of your home. Being without it for any length of time is scary. You want to be sure that the people you hire will get the job done right and fast.

There are a few ways to go when you’re hiring a kitchen remodel contractor. You can do it all yourself, you can coordinate and hire the contractors and subcontractors, or you can hire a company that will do it all for you. Option 1 is not an option (we are the least handy people EVER). Option 2 wasn’t very appealing to me because I barely have time to clean my house let alone be a project manager. We went with option 3: we hired a company to do it all for us.

If you’re in the Sacramento area, you might recognize the name Kitchen Mart, Inc. They’ve been around for over 30 years and they handle everything on your remodel, from design to demolition to installation. I pretty much hired them and they handle it all. They have no subcontractors – everything is in house – so you know it’s going to get done on time and on budget. They do everything from cabinet refacing to custom cabinetry, full service countertop fabrication, and they work with you to find the design you want. (Pssst, they do bathrooms too!)

After our initial consultation we got to go to the Kitchen Mart showroom and actually see what our finished kitchen will look like. That was the kicker for me – I’m a very visual person. Just seeing something written, or even sketched, makes it hard for me to visualize the finished product. I got to see what my kitchen is going to look like, and I fell in love instantly.

KitchenMart (2 of 3)

That’s Lianne Wiig-Von Eschen, our designer. And that up on the monitor? Is our proposed kitchen design!

Here’s a sneak peek:

Kern Final - View 1

We are moving the refrigerator down next to the pantry, adding a continuous counter and cabinets to a new peninsula, and getting new lighting.

Connect with Kitchen Mart: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Houzz

Tip #3: Shop, shop, and shop some more.

KitchenMart Before (10 of 10)

I had it a little bit easier than most people starting on a kitchen remodel. I’ve had this pin on my pin board for years and that’s exactly how I wanted my kitchen. White marble counters, white cabinets, and a beautiful sea foam/tealish backsplash. I knew I couldn’t afford marble (and I’d totally wreck it) so we decided to go with quartz. I found one that looked like marble, DuPont Zodiac Coarse Carrara to match the custom white cabinetry (the white cabinet shows the color, but it won’t have the arch).

I shopped for days to find the perfect tile backsplash. I spent hours looking for the one in that pin. Then I walked into Emser Tile in Sacramento and it was on the wall of one of the displays. The clouds parted and angels sang…and then I found out it had been discontinued and the wall was getting demoed the next week. (#saddness) Luckily, while we were looking around at Emser Tile, I found another subway tile I loved: Lucente Cascade.

Tip #4: Appliances

A huge part of a kitchen remodel expense involves appliances. Can you keep any of your current appliances? Doing so will save you thousands of dollars, no joke. I’m sticking with stainless appliances, a new stainless sink, and my Delta faucet (which I love, and it’s fun to watch guests try and figure out how to turn on). All of my appliances work perfectly fine, but we are getting a new refrigerator and stove. Because of my job we really need two refrigerators and I splurged on a double oven range since I couldn’t fit double ovens anywhere without sacrificing cabinets.


Tip #5: Plan, plan, plan.

If there is one thing I’m good at, it’s planning for something. Since I’m not doing much for the actual remodel, all of my planning is going towards figuring out how to work, bake, and eat for 6 weeks without a kitchen. I’ve set up two staging areas: one for work/baking and one for everything else. My house is a disaster. Tomorrow we are going to grill an the contents of our local Costco to freeze for quick meals. I ordered a toaster oven for baking and our refrigerator is in the garage in it’s new (permanent) placement. I’ll keep you posted. Two dumpsters are sitting in my driveway and demo starts Monday. Wish me luck!! 🙂

My current Crazy for Crust kitchen:

Crazy for Crust Office Kitchen

Follow along with my remodel on instagram using the hashtag #cfckitchenremodel!

Thanks for reading!

5 Tips for Planning a Kitchen Remodel

Disclosure: I am working with Kitchen Mart on my kitchen remodel and posting about them for a discounted fee. DuPont is providing us with countertops and I am receiving a discount on backsplash tile. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Crazy for Crust possible.


Last Updated on September 10, 2022

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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  1. The remodeling tips for are just amazing. Just to add up, we should always first set our budget and according to it we should plan further.


  2. I wanna treat my mom and she’s on a vacation right now, my plan is to have her kitchen remodeled while she’s away. I was thinking of some sophisticated style, I want it to have a bit luxurious touch. Of course, I was planning to hire professionals for this project I totally like the idea of seeing the finished look right before the project starts. Thanks!

  3. Impressive and informative tips for kitchen remodeling! Firstly, we should plan for the renovation of the kitchen and need to take the professional advice, time estimate. Home contractor gives the latest, luxury design and we have to choose the one of the best design for the kitchen.

  4. One way you can incorporate better functionality via your building materials is with your countertop. It would suit you to splurge on a countertop that is durable and will last for a very long time. Consider the type of wear and tear your average kitchen counters see on a day to day basis, from hot pots and pans being placed on it in food being chopped directly on it to harsh chemicals used to clean it.

  5. I agree. Do your research when it comes to your local contractors. Find the excellent source for kitchen renovations in terms of asking questions and contacting folks who are going through the renovation process.

  6. This is some really good information about kitchen remodeling. I have been wanting to do a remodel of my kitchen for several months. So, I liked what yous aid about keeping a look around for materials. That does seem like the best way to make sure that you are finding materials that you like and cost the right amount of money.

  7. Before getting into kitchen renovation, you have to first prepare a wish list, which must contain the future design along with the modern appliances. You may not be a DIY fanatic. So, you have to assign the job to a home remodel company. While choosing a player, you have to check its expertise in the domain. When you go for shopping, avoid unnecessary items. If you have to choose between a large size and small size appliance, you should do the right thing evaluating your requirements. Besides, you have to undertake the maintenance work be it floors or wall, or cabinets.

  8. I did not realize that a huge part of a kitchen remodel expense involved appliances. It would be good to look into possibly keeping old appliances that still function. My mom says that having appliances of the same color makes your kitchen look and feel newer and can also add to property value.