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Remodeling Your Kitchen: What Comes First? The Kitchen Layout or the Cabinets?

We all have ideas on how we would like to make our kitchen ideal. There is not much we can do in some cases, perhaps just a new coat of paint, lighting, and updated faucet. But for most homeowners, going from an old kitchen to something fresh and modern requires more than just paint and new light fixtures. Whether you plan on completely remodeling your kitchen or adding an island with additional counter space, the layout and the cabinetry come first in any kitchen design project. Your cabinets are everything that is not the walls or counters. Making sure these two areas are in order will help you avoid wasting time and money by having to redo all the work.


Know Your Kitchen Layout Before You Shop

You might be like many homeowners who dream of having a fabulous kitchen but have no idea where to begin; that is why it is crucial to know your kitchen layout before you shop. It will help you avoid making costly mistakes like purchasing the wrong size appliances or cabinets and wasting valuable time and money. 

The first step to creating your dream kitchen is familiarizing yourself with your existing layout. You may have purchased the home several years ago or inherited it from a family member. There is a probability that the original design may not suit your current needs. If you get lucky, the previous owner or contractor may have left a blueprint or layout plan. If so, great! If not, you may have to do a bit of detective work. Considering you have purchased a new home, the builder may have left a kitchen layout diagram. Otherwise, start by looking at the appliances. It will help you narrow down the approximate location of the sink, range, and refrigerator.


Why is Knowing Your Layout so Important?

Knowing the layout of your current kitchen is crucial when planning for a new addition or remodel. Otherwise, you risk wasting both time and money. In some scenarios, you might have to partially or fully tear out the new addition to correct a mistake in the original layout. But how do you determine the design layout of your kitchen? At this point, things might get a bit tricky. There’s no specific blueprint you can follow to figure out the design layout of your kitchen. Hence, you might have to get a bit creative. But don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.


How to Discover the Layout of Your Kitchen

There are a few different ways you can discover the design layout of your kitchen. The best way to start is to look at the appliances. If you’re lucky, these have been in place long enough for you to determine the layout of your kitchen. It is helpful if you’re planning to add an island; the design layout and the cabinetry come first in any kitchen design project. If there are three appliances in the kitchen and two are across from one another, the third appliance is most likely directly behind the two. If these are more than ten years old, you may want to consider replacing them with new energy-efficient appliances.

Modern appliances come with a wide range of advanced features and functions. It can make your kitchen layout more efficient by reducing the need for extra home appliances used once or twice a year. Here is an example of an energy efficient customizable fridge. How about those colors, YUM!


What Are the Most Important Things to Decide First?

Before you can even begin the layout process, several things that need to be analyzed. It is crucial to decide these before making any final decision. 

  •  Function – What do you want your kitchen to do for you? Will it be used for entertaining? Is it a space for the entire family to gather? Will it be used for entertaining? Is it a space for the whole family to gather?
  • Space – How much space do you have to work? Is there enough room for a table or island?
  • Budget – How much can you afford to spend on the remodel? 
  • Appliances – What appliances do you have now? What appliances are available on the market? 
  • Layout – Where do you want your appliances to be? 
  • Materials – Using what materials will your new kitchen is made? Wood? Stainless steel? 
  • Lighting – What type of lighting do you want in the kitchen? Table lamps? Track lights? Pendant lights? Or something more unusual?


Which Comes First: Layout or Cabinets?

Designing the layout of your kitchen and cabinets installation can be done separately or simultaneously. While most homeowners like to tackle the design layout first, it may be wise to focus on the cabinets to start. The cabinets can be your starting point when planning your new kitchen. It is because cabinets are tangible items that you can see and feel. They are also less subjective when compared to a layout diagram. After identifying the cabinets you would like to use in your new kitchen, you can create a kitchen layout diagram that works with the cabinets.


Finding Proven Quality Cabinets for Your Remodel

When you’re ready to start shopping for your cabinets, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. You’ll want to find proven-quality cabinets for your remodel. It means that the manufacturer of the cabinets has been in business for at least five years and has a proven track record for quality products. You’ll also want to make sure that the manufacturer has a good amount of positive reviews online. Closed-loop Facebook groups are a great place to ask questions and find reviews on different cabinet companies. Most clients prefer to go with an Ikea Kitchen for authentic quality.

Finally, you’ll want to be sure that the cabinets you’re looking at have the proper certification. It means that the cabinets have been certified for safety and quality. You’ll want to confirm certification for the type of wood used in making the cabinets also the finishing materials utilized.



There are many things to consider when remodeling a kitchen; correct measurements and design layout of the room are arguably the most essential. It is important to make sure that there is enough room for all the new appliances and cabinets. Once these two things are taken care of, the design can be tweaked and improved as much as desired. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the importance of knowing your kitchen layout before shopping.

If you need any assistance or want to discuss your kitchen redesign idea, book a free consultation today!