Kitchen Cabinet Guide

Modern Kitchen Design and Renovation: 8-Step Guide to Your Dream Kitchen

Welcome to your ultimate step-by-step guide to transforming your kitchen and bathroom. We’ll dive into the essentials of designing and budgeting for your dream kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities. From initial planning to choosing the right materials and finalizing your budget, we cover it all. Let’s start shaping the heart and soul of your home with style and efficiency.

Starting your kitchen remodel journey can feel like standing at the base of a huge mountain. But don’t worry, you’re not climbing it alone! Here at modernizer, we’re here to be your guides, every step of the way.

Table of Contents


Step One: Planning & Budgeting Before You Start

Welcome to the essential first step of your kitchen and vanities renovation journey! Before diving into colors, materials, and designs, let’s take a step back and lay the foundation for a successful remodel. This phase is all about setting clear goals, establishing a budget, and considering the structural and systemic updates your space may need. It’s like sketching out the map before a road trip – planning ahead ensures a smoother ride.

Budgeting & Initial Planning

Start by defining what you want to achieve with your renovation. Are you looking to refresh the look, improve functionality, or both? Set your priorities straight and then draft a budget. Remember, a well-planned budget is your best tool to keep the renovation on track. Consider setting aside a contingency fund for those unexpected finds.

Search Online & Visit Showrooms

Take a dive into the vast ocean of online inspiration. Websites like Instagram and Pinterest are goldmines for design ideas. Start a board or save images that catch your eye. But don’t just stop at what you like – notice what you don’t like. It’s all valuable information that helps us understand your taste better. 

Considering Other Renovation Options

Before you dive into renewing your kitchen, it’s crucial to ponder other changes that might need to accompany or precede this makeover. Sometimes, the best investment you can make is to undertake remarkable changes that enhance the entire living space, not just the kitchen. After all, what’s the point of a stunning kitchen if the rest of the house isn’t in harmony with it? Let’s consider the broader renovations that could amplify your home’s functionality and aesthetic.

Consider Structural Changes

Now, onto the heavy lifting – structural changes can transform your kitchen from a solo act to a symphony. Removing a wall can create an open-plan space that’s perfect for entertaining. But, remember, every wall has a story (and possibly electrical wiring or plumbing!). Consult with professionals to ensure any changes are safe and viable.

Plumbing & Electrical Changes

Plumbing and electrical changes are essential to the functionality of your kitchen. If you’re dreaming of a kitchen island with a sink or want to relocate your dishwasher or move your oven or install new lighting, your plumbing and electrical system will need to accommodate these changes. New fixtures or layout changes may require adjustments to your existing plumbing system.

New Flooring Considerations

Finally, don’t forget the floor under your feet. Your flooring choice should align with your kitchen’s overall design and withstand the hustle and bustle of kitchen life. Whether you’re considering hardwood, tiles, or laminate, think about durability, maintenance, and how it complements the rest of your space.

Remember, remodeling your kitchen is a big deal, and it’s okay to feel a bit overwhelmed. But with modernizer by your side, you’ve got a partner in this journey. Let’s create something beautiful together in Toronto!


Step Two: Figure Out the Kitchen Layout

In Step 2 of your kitchen remodel journey with modernizer, we’ll explore various kitchen layouts to match your space and lifestyle. Whether you have a compact city apartment or a spacious suburban home, there’s a layout for every scenario. From efficient Single Wall designs to expansive U-shaped configurations, each layout offers unique advantages for cooking, dining, and socializing. Let’s dive into finding the ideal setup that combines functionality with style, ensuring your kitchen isn’t just a place for meals, but a central part of your home life


U-Shaped Kitchen Layout

Surrounds the cook on three sides with countertops, cabinets, and appliances. Ideal for those who desire plenty of counter and cabinet space, this layout is suitable for larger kitchens. The U-shape provides ample workspace and storage, making it easy to establish an efficient work triangle. However, consider corner storage solutions to maximize space.


G-Shaped Kitchen Layout

This design adds a peninsula to the U-shaped layout, creating additional countertop and storage space, effectively forming a ‘G’. Ideal for larger kitchens, the G-shape offers extensive counter space and storage, perfect for those who love to cook or entertain. The layout maintains an efficient work triangle but provides an extra work and seating area, often used as a breakfast bar or for casual dining.

Island Kitchen Layout

Introduces a freestanding counter space separate from the main kitchen area, adding versatility and a modern touch. Islands can serve as additional prep areas, dining spaces, or storage. They are ideal for larger kitchens and can complement any other layout type, enhancing both functionality and social interaction. Ensure there’s enough space around the island for comfortable movement.


L-Shaped Kitchen Layout

Utilizes two adjacent walls to create a natural work triangle, offering flexibility for various activities and suitable for both small and large kitchens. This layout opens up space for dining and socializing and can accommodate a dining table or island if the space permits. It’s a popular choice for its adaptability and the ability to maintain an open-plan feel.

Galley Kitchen Layout

Named after a ship’s kitchen, it features parallel countertops creating an efficient corridor. Suitable for narrow spaces, it maximizes the work area and storage while maintaining the work triangle between the sink, refrigerator, and stove. The layout is streamlined but requires thoughtful placement of appliances to ensure sufficient counter space.

Single Wall Kitchen Layout

Ideal for smaller homes or open-plan spaces, this layout aligns all kitchen components along one wall. It works well in studios, lofts, and modern apartments, offering a contemporary look and maximizing open space. This setup allows for a combined living and dining area, enhancing the flow of the room.

For each layout, consider space, functionality, and your lifestyle needs. Whether you’re remodeling or building from scratch, each design offers unique benefits and challenges.


Step Three: Selecting the Right Cabinet Box Materials

In this crucial phase of your kitchen redesign, we distinguish between the core of your cabinetry — the cabinet box — and the face, or the doors and drawer fronts. The material chosen for your cabinet box is vital for the durability and functionality of your kitchen. It’s the backbone that holds everything together, often hidden from view but never in importance. We’ll explore various materials used for cabinet boxes, evaluating their strength, cost-effectiveness, and suitability for different kitchen styles and needs. Understanding these options will help ensure your kitchen’s foundation is as solid and tailored to your life as the beautiful exteriors we’ll select next.


Particle Board

An affordable, engineered wood product made from wood chips and sawdust bonded together. It’s lightweight and cost-effective but less durable than other materials and prone to water damage.


MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard) offers a smoother surface than particle board and is well-suited for paint finishes. MDF is denser and more durable than particle board but still vulnerable to moisture.


Comprised of layers of wood veneers, it’s strong and more resistant to moisture than MDF or particle board. Plywood is generally considered the best material for cabinet boxes due to its durability and strength.


Step Four: Picking the Perfect Cabinet Doors

Alright, now we’re getting to the fun part – choosing your cabinet doors! This is where your kitchen starts to show its true colors and personality. Just like picking out an outfit for a big event, selecting the right material for your cabinet doors can make a huge difference in your kitchen’s look and feel. Whether you want your kitchen to be the sleek James Bond of the neighborhood or the cozy Mr. Rogers, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive into the wonderful world of cabinet door materials – where the options are as varied as the toppings at a gourmet pizza place!

Particle Board

Lightweight and cost-effective, particle board is made from compressed wood chips and resin. It’s often finished with laminate or wood veneer, but be warned – it’s not the Hulk of the cabinet world. Moisture can be its kryptonite, so it’s best used in drier environments.


If solid wood is the seasoned actor, MDF is the talented understudy waiting in the wings. It’s cheaper, can be painted any color under the sun, and doesn’t warp like wood. Perfect for a smooth, contemporary look, but it might not stand up to heavy-duty slamming from your future Top Chef.


The unsung hero of cabinet materials, plywood is strong and resists warping better than solid wood. It’s often covered with a wood veneer or laminate, giving you the look of wood without the hefty price tag. It’s like having a designer dupe that only you know isn’t the real deal.

Solid Wood

The classic choice for a reason, solid wood doors bring warmth and natural beauty to your kitchen. Available in countless species from oak to cherry, each has its unique grain and color. They can be painted or stained to match any decor but keep in mind, wood can warp over time due to changes in humidity.


For those who want to show off their fancy dinnerware or just feel more open, glass doors are the way to go. They can make your kitchen feel larger and more welcoming. You can go for clear, frosted, or tinted – just know that you’ll be putting everything on display, for better or worse.

High-Pressure Laminate (HPL)

These are the Iron Man of kitchen cabinet doors – sleek, durable, and ready to handle just about anything. HPL doors are made by pressing layers of kraft paper, resins, and a decorative paper under high temperatures and pressures. The result? A surface that’s incredibly resistant to scratches, stains, and heat – ideal for kitchens that see a lot of action.

Remember, your cabinet doors are the face of your kitchen, so choose something that you’ll love coming home to. And don’t fret – with all these options, there’s definitely a material out there that’s just right for your culinary castle. Let’s turn that kitchen dream into reality, one cabinet door at a time!


Step Five: Popular Countertop Materials in Canada

Welcome to the grand world of countertops and backsplashes! In Step 5, we’re diving into the surfaces that see all the action – from slicing and dicing to the backdrop of your new favorite pasta sauce. Countertops and backsplashes are like the dynamic duo of your kitchen; not only do they need to stand up to the daily grind, but they also play a huge role in defining your kitchen’s style and personality. Let’s slice through the options like a hot knife through butter and find the perfect match for your culinary stage.


The rock star of kitchen counters, granite is known for its durability and unique natural patterns. Heat-resistant and strong, it’s a solid choice for those who love to cook.


If granite is the rock star, quartz is the pop idol. It’s engineered from crushed quartz and resin, offering a wide range of colors and patterns. Plus, it’s nearly maintenance-free!


For that touch of elegance, nothing beats marble. It’s timeless, but remember, it’s more prone to scratching and staining. It’s like the delicate silk of countertops – handle with care.


On a tighter budget but still want style? Laminate’s got you covered. It’s come a long way with options that mimic wood, stone, and more. Just keep those hot pans away!

Butcher Block

Bring the warmth of wood to your kitchen with a butcher block countertop. It’s perfect for that rustic, homey vibe, but remember to seal and oil it regularly to keep it in tune.


For an industrial edge or modern look, concrete is your go-to. It can be customized with different colors and finishes, making it as versatile as a jazz musician.


Step Six: Selecting the Best Backsplash Materials

Ah, the backsplash – that stretch of space that can turn a kitchen from flat to fabulous! In Step 6, we’re zeroing in on the unsung hero of kitchen renovations: the backsplash. This isn’t just about protecting your walls from splashes and spills; it’s your chance to inject personality, color, and texture into your kitchen. From the rugged beauty of natural stone to the sleek sheen of glass, let’s explore the top backsplash materials that can withstand Canadian cooking while making your kitchen shine.

Ceramic/Porcelain Subway Tiles

Durable, affordable, and versatile, ceramic tiles allow you to create any pattern or color scheme you want, turning your backsplash into a masterpiece. Classic, simple, and always in style, subway tiles give your kitchen a timeless look that’s as comforting as a bowl of chicken soup.

Glass Tile

Add some shine and open up your space with glass tiles. They reflect light beautifully and make your kitchen sparkle like a diamond.

Stainless Steel

For a sleek, modern vibe, stainless steel backsplashes are easy to clean and can give your kitchen a professional edge – think of it as the chic, stainless steel watch of kitchens.

Stone Slab

Continuing your countertop material up the wall creates a seamless and luxurious look. It’s like wearing a designer dress with a matching purse – pure class.

Whether you’re going for a kitchen that’s sleek and modern or warm and welcoming, the right countertops and backsplashes can elevate your space from ordinary to extraordinary. Let’s cook up a storm with the perfect materials for your kitchen sanctuary!


Step Seven: Faucets & Other Plumbing Elements

Welcome to Step 7, where water meets style – the realm of faucets and other plumbing fixtures! This stage is crucial; after all, these elements are the workhorses of your kitchen and vanity areas, responsible for delivering water smoothly and efficiently. But beyond functionality, they also play a significant role in defining the style and comfort of your space. Let’s dive into the wet and wonderful world of plumbing fixtures to find the perfect balance between practicality and aesthetics.

Choosing the Right Faucets

The right faucet combines functionality with style. Whether you prefer a single-handle for simplicity, a double-handle for traditional elegance, or a hands-free model for modern convenience, your choice will impact your kitchen’s look and user experience. Consider the finish – stainless steel, brushed nickel, chrome, or matte black can complement or contrast with your overall design.

Sinks and More

The sink is more than just a basin; it’s where most kitchen tasks happen. From single to double, undermount to top-mount, the right sink can enhance your kitchen’s functionality. And don’t forget about materials – stainless steel for durability, granite composite for style, or porcelain for a classic look.

Additional Plumbing Elements

Remember to consider other fixtures like pot fillers, which add a professional touch to your cooking area, or water filtration systems for cleaner, tastier water. In your vanities, thoughtful details like vessel sinks or waterfall taps can turn daily routines into luxurious experiences.

While aesthetics are important, functionality reigns supreme. Ensure that your plumbing fixtures are compatible with your home’s water pressure and that they meet local plumbing codes. Also, consider the ease of installation and future maintenance – your future self will thank you.

By selecting the right faucets and plumbing fixtures, you’re not just choosing how water flows into your kitchen and bathrooms; you’re deciding how style and function merge in your daily life. Now, let’s turn those waterworks into a work of art!


Step Eight: Appliances - The Heartbeat of Your Kitchen

Moving on to Step 8, we’re talking about the real MVPs of your kitchen: the appliances. These are the tools that turn your kitchen from just a room into a chef’s paradise. They’re the heartbeat of your kitchen, responsible for cooking, preserving food, and making your life easier. Let’s gear up to choose appliances that not only match your cooking needs but also fit seamlessly into your new kitchen’s design.

Function First

Start by listing what you need from your appliances. Are you a bake-off contender in need of a double oven? Or a busy parent who needs a high-capacity fridge? Prioritize based on your lifestyle and cooking habits.


Consider how your appliances will integrate with your kitchen layout and design. Built-in ovens, integrated refrigerators, and under-counter dishwashers can provide a sleek and cohesive look. Measure spaces carefully to ensure a perfect fit – remember, an inch too small or too large can throw off your entire design.

Style and Finish:

Stainless steel appliances offer a modern look and are easy to clean, while panel-ready options can blend seamlessly with your cabinetry for a more integrated look. Colorful appliances can add a fun pop of personality to your space.


Energy Efficiency:

Prioritize based on your lifestyle and cooking habits. Are you a bake-off contender in need of Look for energy-efficient models to reduce your utility bills and environmental footprint. Or a busy parent who needs a high-capacity fridge? Appliances with ENERGY STAR ratings can save you money in the long run while also being kinder to the planet.

Today’s appliances come packed with features. Consider which ones will genuinely improve your life. Wi-Fi-enabled smart appliances can be controlled from your phone, induction cooktops offer quick and precise cooking, and modern fridges can even help you keep track of groceries.

In selecting your appliances, you’re choosing the tools that will fuel your culinary adventures and make your daily routines more enjoyable. Invest in quality, think about the long term, and ensure they reflect your style and needs. After all, the right appliances don’t just make meals; they make memories.


Conclusion: Bringing Your Kitchen and Vanity Vision to Life

And there we have it – your comprehensive guide to navigating the exciting journey of kitchen and vanity renovation! From considering initial structural changes to selecting the perfect materials for your cabinets, countertops, and backsplash, we’ve covered the essentials to help you make informed decisions that reflect your style and meet your needs. Whether you’re transforming a cozy nook or designing a culinary masterpiece, remember that every choice you make contributes to the heart of your home.

Renovating is not just about the end result; it’s about crafting spaces that inspire, comfort, and bring joy to your daily life. As you embark on this adventure, keep your vision clear, but also embrace the journey of discovery and creativity. Your perfect kitchen and vanity await, and with these steps, you’re well on your way to making that dream a reality. Now, let’s roll up our sleeves and bring your vision to life – one tile, one cabinet, and one appliance at a time.


Frequently Asked Questions

A: The timeline can vary based on the scope of your project, but on average, expect a kitchen renovation to take 6 to 12 weeks once construction begins.

A: It depends on the extent of the renovation and your comfort level. For major overhauls, it might be more practical to stay elsewhere due to noise, dust, and interruptions in utilities.

A: Budgets can vary widely based on finishes, appliances, and structural changes. A minor remodel could start from $10,000, while major renovations can exceed $50,000. Always include a contingency fund for unexpected costs.

A: Absolutely, if they're still in good working order and fit into your new design. However, consider their efficiency, appearance, and size.

A: Look for licensed, insured professionals with good reviews and a portfolio of completed projects. Obtain multiple quotes and ask plenty of questions before making your decision.

Remember, every renovation has its unique challenges and surprises. Stay flexible, communicate openly with your team, and focus on the joy of creating a space that's truly yours. Happy renovating!

Scroll to Top