When considering a new kitchen there are many things to consider. The design and layout are what people often think about when planning for a new kitchen, but there are many other things of even greater importance, such as budget, resale, but above all the overall goal of designing the kitchen in the first place. Personal convenience and enjoyment should be second to overall functionality.
Functionality is the heart and soul of smart kitchen design. The trick here is that all people use a kitchen differently. The way you may use a kitchen is not the same as even your spouse. It is always good to get as much input as possible before even entering the planning stage. People will often start the bidding process without really nailing down what they are trying to accomplish. This can easily lead to unnecessary expense and a finished product that, with better planning, could of been cheaper and more satisfying overall.It is not uncommon that kitchen sales people are very experienced in getting you to spend more money. But if you know what you want and have a clear plan with you goals neatly set you will not be with other 'great ideas'.
This is why it is nice to have a kitchen designer come in an consult with you before a contractor. The designer is there to give you the best plan. A contractor is there to sell you the biggest job. This is a major distinction and could well be a very costly one.Most designer will give you computer spec drawing for around $350 to $700 depending on the overall complexity of the project. Kitchen design companies are also very likely to be able to refer you to contractors that are much more likely to get in and get out (a rarity in the business) and save you money over the larger contractors that always charge a premium.