What do you do when you want to renovate your kitchen?
The first rule before you do anything else is: Know Thyself.
Before jumping in, take a very long think and decide what your cooking style is. Ask yourself what kind of cook you are - how you work your kitchen and how you want your kitchen to work for you.
If you're like me, you've been saving pictures of kitchens for a long time, dreaming of sailing around in your gleaming domain, giving something a stir or hauling a delectable symphony of roasted things out of the oven.
You must be ze detached, calculating Hercule Poirot and analyze how your kitchen works just for you. What kind of a cook are your? A baker? A vegetarian is always working between the 'fridge and the sink? A cookbook librarian with shelves and shelves of cookbooks? Someone who buys lots of vegetables and needs a big crisper storage area in your refrigerator? Or you like to make meals ahead and freeze them? Do you cook on the fly just throwing things together?
Do you bake a lot? if so, are you tall or short? (Stiff or limber, I might add) At what height do you visualize opening an oven door and hauling out a turkey?
I am a baker (who happens to be short. There's a joke in there somewhere.) and when we went to look at stoves at Sears, I visualized lifting my much-loved, giant pro baking pan out of an oven. Honestly, some ovens on some stoves are so low, you feel like you would have to be on your hands and knees to get something out of there. You might as well kiss your back goodbye some Thanksgiving.
On the other hand, some wall ovens are mounted so high, I couldn't see into them well enough to know if something was done let alone maneuver around enough to haul anything out.* I'd need to stand on a step or something and that's not a good idea.
I know I could have an oven mounted especially low, but then just about all the storage space above and below would have to be special ordered and even then, whatever I put in the above area or the below areas would be practically dead space. So that's a waste. And boy, do I hate waste.
*I used to have a big block of wood next to my tall kiln to stand on in order to reach the bottom for loading and unloading. I had visions of my husband coming out to the studio after hearing my yells to see only my feet sticking up in the air out of the top. Now I have a 'shorty' Skutt.
Why oh why don't they make wall oven doors that ratchet upwards like a car hatchback, out of the way so you can reach right into them? Instead, you must fetch from one side of the oven or the other and rotate the dishes out to a heat-proof surface.
I did find to my surprise that I liked one particular stove with two ovens--the large oven just below the cooktop and a shorter, smaller one nearly on the floor. I reasoned that the heavy stuff would be high enough to remove comfortably and the smaller oven would work well for smaller things. Lifting small pans and dishes from nearly floor level would be easy. (Great for proofing bread, Yea.)
And, of course, for artists, looks are important. We 'see' everything. And if you're like me, you see it every time. The room you walk into and work in a good deal of the time needs to please your eye.
So the upshot of this tirade is this: Figure out what your 'Style' is; aesthetically and operationally and then start looking and looking and looking and looking and looking.......