First off, have your kitchen designed professionally. The design is a small fraction of the cost and can make all the difference. All the professional craftsmen in the world can’t make a poor design functional no matter how beautiful the granite or how amazing the convection oven. A good designer puts your individual needs at the forefront of the design process creating your own unique signature kitchen. He/she will look at such things as placement of the work triangle for accommodating single or multiple cooks, traffic flow, creative storage solutions, eliminating traffic bottle necks, allowing for eating space if desired, and the effective placement of lighting over workspaces. The designer can also help you to evaluate the possibility of any structural changes such as moving doors, walls, windows or adding on space. As the designer walks you through the different options you will be able to determine whether the existing space can be modified adequately or if structural modifications are necessary.
Some remodelers have a designer on staff, while others can usually recommend a reputable one that they have worked with in the past. The designer will create working drawings that will put you well on your way to the kitchen of your dreams.