DIY-ing Your Kitchen—How to Choose the Perfect Cabinets, Countertop and Backsplash

Posted October 26, 2016

So you’ve decided it’s time to renovate your kitchen. That’s great—a huge first step—but where do you begin? This is the number one question DIYers face anytime a major room renovation is on the table.

In our experience, the best place to start is by choosing your cabinets, a backsplash and a countertop. These are undoubtedly three of the most important elements in your kitchen. They set the tone and atmosphere of the space, and require careful selection. But with so many options and possible combinations, this decision can seem intimidating. To help you through it, we’ll narrow down your choices to make things simpler all around.


Choosing your kitchen cabinets sets the stage for your overall design theme and color palette. With popular styles ranging from contemporary, traditional and cottage to light and dark color options, you’ll have to zero in on the statement you want to make with your kitchen. Warm and cozy? Cool and modern? Rustic? Urban? Making this choice will make your countertop and backsplash decisions much clearer.


Once you’ve chosen your cabinets, the countertop is typically the next piece to select before moving on to the backsplash. This is because countertops are generally the foundation of a kitchen’s design and therefore a larger part of the budget. Plus, the selection of countertop materials is not as diverse as backsplash materials, so it makes things easier to make this larger, simpler choice first.


If there is a backsplash that is an absolute must-have, it’s okay to make that selection a priority. Ultimately, making either decision first will help you narrow down the field, and the goal is to make the process as simple as possible. If selecting a loud backsplash, choose a quiet countertop. Make it a goal for one of the two elements to be the star of the show with other material playing a supporting role.


To be inspired by the style options that best suit your taste and budget needs, we recommend getting connected to Pinterest and Houzz. Roadmapping your project with inspiration should help keep your design focused, and assist with the decision-making process.

However, if the selection process becomes lengthy and strenuous, turn to friends and family members with taste you admire and trust. Whatever you do, don’t give up! While no renovation is perfect from beginning to end, narrowing your options and making simple choices can help ease any home improvement project—even your kitchen.

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