How to be successful with your kitchen remodeling? Learn to avoid mistakes! Almost every homeowner who have done home remodeling has their share of shouldn't-have-done's. Whether it's a big project or a small one, keep your dream kitchen from becoming a wreck project by avoiding these common first-timer mistakes. Mistake 1: Micro Before Macro It may be true that your countertops are unattractive or your appliances are outdated, it's still advisable to look at the big picture. It's important to identify the lifestyle you want your kitchen to have before choosing its design elements. These factors can determine what types of materials, layouts, and appliances you should and shouldn't choose. Bottom line: Determining your preferred kitchen lifestyle before choosing a design will save you time and money down the line. Mistake 2: Thinking Fad, Not Function Beware of the '"what's in" kitchen. They are sometimes misleading. Kitchen renovations should last 12-15 years at an average, and you don't want to make your kitchen feel dated before it's even paid for. Beware of trendy colors and shapes because they are short-term and seasonal. Trendy chandeliers might be impressive and make a statement, but they typically don't provide proper lighting for the space. Similarly, avoid over-customization. What may work for you today may not work well for the next owner of your ho????me-or even your own family as it evolves. Be true to yourself. Before committing to fancy stuffs, consider long-term consequences. Mistake 3: Not Hiring Multiple Professionals Most people think that going DIY (do-it-yourself) is the cheapest route. It's not! Some aspects of the kitchen are best left for various professionals. A kitchen designer is not a contractor, a contractor is not an architect, and an architect is no interior designer. If someone tells you he can handle the job of these professionals along, don't be easily fooled. Hire skilled and licensed professionals who not only understand your needs, but can also simulate your working budget and see if it's sustainable. In addition to hiring reputable contractors, these professionals can also help homeowners make informed and cost-saving decisions-like swapping a kitchen isle for a more useful chef's table or butcher block-that will keep the aesthetics high, lower prices, and value priceless. Mistake 4: Letting a Contractor or Design Professional Make Decisions For You Although it's tempting to assign all decisions to the professionals (decision-making can be quite stressful for kitchen renovations!), it's still the homeowners who understand their own habits better than everyone else. Is the kitchen where you spend most of your day, do your kids join you in your dinner preparations, is it one of your recreational spots in the house? These activities might influence your decisions in terms of your kitchens design and functionality. Also important, is to visit showrooms, browse online or flip through pages of the magazines, and educate yourself about materials, products, fixtures and costs so you will have logical opinions when it comes to decision making with professionals. Bottom line: Assess your realistic needs-or even better, figure out what you don't need-and convey them with confidence.