6 “No-Fail” Considerations for Renovating Your Kitchen
considerations for remodeling/renovating your kitchen


When clients come to us and ask, “Is remodeling my kitchen worth it?” For so many reasons we say, “100% - yes! It is.” And here’s why.

Why renovate Your Kitchen

At Foxglove Design, we believe the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where families gather, where friends connect over food, and where our clients can relish in a little ‘me-time’ experimenting with new recipes. If you find your kitchen looks dated, feels cramped, or the layout makes you cringe, read on for planning advice for renovating your kitchen to turn it into a conversation piece for all the right reasons.

1. Project Scope

Renovating your kitchen can be one of the largest projects you ever tackle in your home, and determining the scope of the project, meaning how small or large the project is, can help you determine the type of work required. Do you wish to move walls and doorways to expand the cabinetry area? How about swapping an “L-” or “U-shaped” island for a freestanding one? 

Michelle’s Tip: Only install a kitchen island if you have at least 36 inches of clearance on all sides, though 42 to 48 inches is preferable.

There are many options when doing a kitchen reno, and working with an interior and kitchen designer who has access to quality tradesmen, knows exactly what questions to ask, and has mastered how to keep the project on time and on budget, will help ensure your project plan goes perfectly. 

Michelle’s Tip: Work with trained professionals who are qualified specifically in kitchen design, and have the skills and capacity to take on larger projects. This will remove any of the headaches that can go along with the oft complicated kitchen reno. 

2. Review the Bigger Picture

When thinking about renovating your kitchen, reflecting on how the kitchen connects to the rest of your main floor living space is imperative. It is especially important if your space has an open plan. Thinking about other eating and living areas in your home and how they will connect to the kitchen. For example, consider whether you want to remove your formal dining room. What about incorporating a kitchen table with seating for the whole family in your new space? These kinds of questions will help solidify the scope of your kitchen remodeling.

Michelle’s Tip: Don’t forget to look down! Thinking about your kitchen flooring in connection with the rest of your house is vital, especially if the existing floor runs throughout. 

Foxglove Design Aurora - Kitchen Renovation Tips

One question we get asked is, “do kitchen renovations require a permit?” It is important to know that if your kitchen requires structural changes such as moving load-bearing walls or utilities, it absolutely requires a permit!

3. Cabinetry

At Foxglove Design Inc., we are here to answer all your pressing questions. Below is a list of the top most common questions and our expert answers to help save you time and avoid costly mistakes:

1. Can kitchen cabinets be repainted?
Yes. If you love your existing kitchen cabinets, a fresh coat of paint can be a more cost-effective quick fix.
2. Are kitchen cabinets a standard depth?
Cabinets come in several quality grades either in standard sizes (more affordable) or  custom (because the cabinet sizes can be changed to accommodate your space). There are also multiple finishes to choose from. Custom cabinets are an investment and not recommended if you’re planning a resale but it’s a “return on enjoyment” for our clients who prefer to remain in their home for years to come.
3. Are cabinets made from real/solid wood? How can I tell?
One way to tell if your cabinets are plywood or particle board is to look at the interior of the cabinet. If they are smooth and shiny, then it is likely a melamine finish, but if it’s a wood grain then it is likely plywood construction.
4. What colour should I paint my cabinets?
Although the colour white remains the most popular preference for kitchen renovations, choosing from a range of neutral colours will ensure you extend the life-span of the design (typically 25-30 years). That being said, cabinet palettes have expanded to include a range of soft taupes, linens, greys and dark blues like this one in our recent Project. Did you know that Foxglove Design sells kitchen cabinets? 

4. Budget

Once you have determined your wants and needs, it’s time to discuss your budget. If you want to remove walls, first determine if they are structural and understand how any additional costs to remove them will impact your overall budget. 

Renovating to sell in a few years? Creating your forever home? Knowing the answer to this question will help determine how much you want to spend on your kitchen renovation.

Michelle’s Tip: Evaluate your return on investment (ROI), particularly if you plan to sell your home within a few years. This can also help determine the quality or colour of the finishes you choose. I recommend employing more neutral colours if you’re considering a re-sale.


5. Lifestyle and Function

Determining who is using the space and how each family member utilizes it is important for understanding how the space will work for you now and in the future. (For more on this, view our blog on Aging in Place). Is your home a multi-generational space? Do your kids do homework at the kitchen table? Does one person use the space more than the others? 

Michelle’s Tip: If you or a family member enjoy baking, then additional storage space may be another consideration. What about how tall the family members are? Your shelf and cabinet heights will require a deeper review. Such details can help inform your decisions throughout the remodel. 

6. Aesthetics and Design

The best part about planning a kitchen reno is determining the style and aesthetic you want it to have. From colours and fabric choices, to cabinetry, hardware and appliances choices, the options are endless. Each decision you make will help to bring the whole look together. Consider how the new kitchen fits into your existing space. If you’re doing an entire main floor remodel, how do you want the house to feel when walking through it?

Michelle’s Tip: The smallest details of a new kitchen can really showcase your personal style, and turn a basic design into a beautiful one. Be the envy of your neighbours and friends! Think about natural and ambient lighting, your backsplash, and cabinet hardware. Light fixtures can also add that pop of personality. The good news is, you can take your fixtures with you if you decide to resell.

Embarking on a kitchen renovation is a very exciting time, but there is a lot to factor in. Working with qualified professionals will ensure the entire process goes smoothly and leave you with the best results imaginable. At Foxglove Design, we pride ourselves on more than 30 years of experience designing, renovating and building beautiful kitchens that are inviting, eye-catching and functional. 

Curious to see our work? View a recent Kitchen Renovation Project.

Ready to get started? Connect with our certified Kitchen Design team now.