Whether you hire an architect, a home designer, a contractor with design experience, or you plan to do your own design, there are several initial steps you must do.

The best place to begin is with a clear and detailed picture of the space you have currently. The next step is to analyze and list everything about the current space that does not work or that you do not like. Then make a list of what does work and what you do like.

Next, begin to develop your ideas and choices of the things that need to be added or replaced. For example, you currently have a fairly large galley-style kitchen, with a single-basin sink and an electric stove. What you want, because you and your spouse like to cook together, is a larger kitchen with enough space for two people to work without getting in each other’s way, a two-basin sink, plus a food prep sink, and a gas stove with at least six burners. This is your starting point.

The next step will be to decide where you will find the additional space you need for a different style kitchen. Will you add on, or will you take space from another room? Then you start sketching on paper, how your home will change. Then you proceed through each item in the kitchen and look at whether to keep what you have or install something new, whether it will remain in the same place or be moved, and to where?

Proceeding in this way, your remodel design will begin to emerge. You will then be prepared to talk with a professional to refine the design and create working drawings.