Whether you need a place to perfect your favorite gourmet recipe or a place to heat up a frozen pizza, the kitchen is an integral part of any home. From enjoying your coffee in the morning to catching up with friends or family over dinner, most of us spend considerable amounts of time in our kitchens – which makes it all the more important that we feel 100% comfortable in the space.

It's no wonder then, that so many of us opt for a remodel to create a flawlessly functional kitchen that meets their highest expectations. But before you start fixing all of the quirks that bother you so much, take a moment – or two – to design your ideal space in your head. To keep things in perspective, we've put together this list of 10 top tips for creating quality kitchens beyond anyone's wildest dreams. Read on for matchless inspiration!

1. Haste Makes Waste

We can't say it enough: never begin renovating before you're perfectly clear on what you want to change. To help you figure out what needs to stay and what needs to go, spend a few hours cooking in the space, actively thinking about what's undesirable or inefficient. All quality kitchens are the result of meticulous planning, so never skip this step of the process!

2. Leave Plenty of Storage Room

Your storage room on both sides of your stove and near your refrigerator (and maybe even near your microwave) should be at least 15 inches long. Convenience is key, after all!

3. Let's Chat Countertops

If you're a cooking guru, go for spacious countertops that'll allow you to line up and reach all of your ingredients with minimal effort. Should you have children who like helping you cook up a storm, you may even want to consider installing lower countertops that your kids can reach with ease.

4. What's the Island For?

Many quality kitchens have an island, but you probably haven't considered what its purpose is. Well, now's the time, as your answer will affect its design and size! If you want to kill two birds with one stone and use the island as both a cooking and casual dining area, make sure that you leave enough room to accommodate both functions.

5. Keep Cabinetry Away from Corners

Don't just think about how amazing your new cabinets will look… also think about how – and in what direction – they'll open. A designer's worst nightmare is corners obstructing cabinet doors, or cabinet doors swinging in opposite directions and colliding. Blunders like that make for definite face-palm moments.

6. Power Outlets Are Priceless

Whether you're plugging in your new blender or want to charge your phone, installing power outlets in convenient locations, such as in your island or on the backsplash, is essential – but is often forgotten!

7. Consider Your Walking Paths

As a rule of thumb, all quality kitchens should have walkways that are at least 45 inches wide (if not more!) in cooking areas, and paths that are about 35 inches wide throughout the rest of the space. No one wants a kitchen traffic jam!

8. Tap Into Convenience

Wouldn't it be great if you could fill your pot with water right next to your cooktop? Well, ingenious pot fillers turn this dream into a very convenient reality. Why not give your arms a break and install one of these miraculous mechanisms?

9. Revolutionize Recycling

Recycling bins that are in plain sight not only take away from the beauty of a room, but can also get in the way. Resolve both of these problems with a simple solution: conceal your recycling in pull-out cabinets instead. If you're all about organization, you could even put your glass, plastic, metal, and paper containers in separate cabinets.

10. Consider Cleaning

No one likes to think about cleaning, but do yourself the favor when you remodel your shelves, countertops, and sinks. Although glass shelves or glossy finishes may look fabulous when they're first installed, consider how much longer these materials will take to clean after you've been baking with the kids or trying out a new, elaborate recipe. It often pays off to prioritize practicality over appearance, so give those matte finishes and flush-set sinks a second thought.

Quality kitchens strike the perfect balance between practicality and appearance, and – most importantly – put a smile on your face. Turn your dream into a reality with these 10 tips, which will make the make-over as easy as pie!

Source by Annie Taylor