Do You and Your Kitchen Have A Dysfunctional Relationship?


Kitchen DesignPart I – What’s Wrong With This Picture?

If all you make for dinner is reservations, you probably don’t need to give this room a lot of thought.

Otherwise, there often comes a time in a home owner’s life when denial hits a wall and your dysfunctional relationship with your kitchen needs to be addressed: it’s just plain hard to function in there, for a lot reasons.

What if you want to be able to actually cook the turkey yourself, not just serve it from a deli container with pre-cooked stuffing?

However, if you decide now is the time for an upgrade, don’t think all will be well with a minimum of effort on your part and the rest taken care of by your local contractor. Remodeling either a kitchen (or a bath for that matter) has more potential for problems and a true blowout of your budget than you want to imagine. Even if you plan to hire a kitchen designer to help you, your best bet is to outline the project in advance. This will help you communicate your ideas effectively to ensure the result will be your dream kitchen and not an expensive nightmare.

What works or not about your kitchen now?

Take a mental walk-through and see yourself doing the usual tasks. Do you have everything you need and where you need it for convenience and efficiency? For example, it’s great to have counter space near the fridge to set down grocery bags. How about counter space near to the wall oven too? You have to put the turkey somewhere when you take it out of the oven.

Write it out

Draw a line down the middle of a sheet of paper and list on one side all the things you like about the way the kitchen looks and functions now. Maybe you like the location and proximity to the dining room, or perhaps the layout of the room works well for efficiency.

On the other side, note all the things that are “less than”. Would a bigger refrigerator make you happier? Do you get depressed looking at those old cabinets? Speaking of cabinets, do you have enough storage? As you think about each detail that could use improvement, write out your proposed solution. For example, if the lighting is inadequate or not task oriented, would lights under the overhead cabinets help?

Now is the time to make a “want list” as you decide how you want your kitchen to be used. Do you see your kitchen as the heart of your home to gather family and friends so that dining is the extension of cooking? Should a plan be made for two cooks to work at the same time? Do you want a cook top instead of a stove? Would you like to have more than one sink? Would an island workspace solve a lot of problems?

Clarifying your vision for the perfect kitchen design to meet your needs is the first step to making your vision a reality.

Guest post by Cindy Lee Bergersen for


  1. Love the title-very appropriate! Great article and I love the suggestion about “writing it out”, very helpful in developing a plan. We do Kitchen Renovations in Toronto and we generally help the customer develop the plan but I like the idea of possibly having them take this step prior to our arrival so that they have their thoughts on paper and we can discuss and develop it at that point.


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