For many of us, our kitchens are often the hub of the household. Sure we love to lounge in our living rooms, but when we’re talking about the sheer volume of activity any one room receives, the kitchen is the favorite forerunner.

We cook, we entertain, and if you have children you might find yourself struggling to do both at the same time. A poorly designed kitchen can create a stressful environment while lending itself to clutter. But a great kitchen does just the opposite.

So you want a place where you can comfortably cook, entertain, and optimize for functionality? If you’re lucky then you might have all the pieces you need in place. Plenty of counter space, area to move around and maneuver, a bar for entertaining and that big bucket of a sink that gives you room to scrub even the largest of cookie sheets.

But for many of us, those elements aren’t there. Rearranging counter space can only go so far. Sooner or later you’ll need to remodel your kitchen if you want the perfect space for the hub of your home.

What should you consider before delving into this remodel? Plenty. You’ll need to take into consideration the size of the space and plan to optimize it accordingly.

Everything in remodeling is a give and take, especially in the kitchen. More counter space can create an atmosphere that facilitates cooking rather than facilitating stress like too little space can. But room to maneuver goes a long way too. If you have limited space, think about how to best use it before diving into the remodeling fever.

When choosing features, be sure to bear in mind the amount of maintenance those feature might require. The kitchen often requires the most attention when it comes to cleaning and maintaining. Don’t unwittingly curse yourself with hours of additional work by choosing a high maintenance feature.

Finally, consider what should stay in your kitchen after the remodel. There are likely components that you might miss if they are replaced, so make sure you keep that in mind.