Design Geek, Serious Cook, or Neither

Which Kitchen Renovation is Best for You? Take Our Quiz to Find Out.

Here’s a little secret about kitchen design that many high-end showrooms won’t tell you: Not every family needs a chef’s kitchen. If you don’t spend your weekends whipping up multi-hour recipes, then it’s silly to design a kitchen for someone who does. What you need is a kitchen built just for you.

When you’re planning a new kitchen, it’s vital to be honest with yourself. Don’t plan a kitchen for who you aspire to be; plan for who you already are. Maybe what’s most important to you is that your kitchen looks camera ready at all times. If that’s your dream (no judgement!), you don’t want a chef’s kitchen with a scarred professional range; a magnet bar of crooked, mismatched knives; a scratched, utilitarian stainless-steel sink; and cluttery crocks stuffed with every whisk, spatula, and spoon imaginable. That’s just not for you.

Similarly, what if you don’t place particularly high demands on your kitchen? Maybe you go all out on holidays, but your everyday recipes take five ingredients and come
together in about 30 minutes. If all you want from your kitchen is to look great and function for the way you use it, then just do an amazing kitchen update. Put your money toward something you really love.

What does how you live say about the kitchen project that’s best for you? Take our quiz to find out.


The Quiz

1. What’s wrong with your current kitchen?

A. Inside, the space is closed off from the rest of the house, and it doesn’t exploit our house’s views or natural light. (1 point)

B. There’s not enough natural light, storage, or counter space and the appliances are sub-optimal. (2 points)

C. It does the job but it’s ugly—it needs a facelift. (3 points)

2. When you picture a dream kitchen, what is it like?

A. It’s a soaring, uncluttered space where natural light, luxury finishes, and high-end appliances shine. (1 point)

B. It can store loads of cookware close to hand and has a ton of counter space and storage. (2 points)

C. I want my kitchen to function and look nice—but, if we’re dreaming, I’d rather have a pool. (3 points)

3. Where do you get inspiration for your kitchen planning?

A. We follow what’s happening in design magazines: Architectural Digest, Architectural Record, that kind of thing. (1 point)

B. My inspiration is frustration: My kitchen is a nightmare to work in. (2 points)

C. I’m inspired by the kitchens of my friends, family, and neighbors. (3 points)

4. What’s your cook-at-home to ordering in/dining out ratio?

A. We mostly cook at home for quality of ingredients. We go out/order in maybe once a week—if that. (1 point)

B. We both commute, so we order in/go out at least once a week, sometimes twice. (2 points)

C. Neither of us really loves cooking—we order in once or twice per week and go out at least once. (3 points)

5. How long do you think a major kitchen renovation should last?

A. Realistically, you need to start planning a do-over when a kitchen starts looking “last decade.” (1 point)

B. If you plan your major renovation wisely, it should last for decades with just painting and replacing the odd appliance. (2 points)

C. You can make massive changes without a gut reno. Paint and new countertops, appliances, and flooring work wonders! (3 points)

5–8 Points

Design Geek

You have a lot of design ideas and you enjoy putting your creative stamp on your home. You’ll be happiest working with an architect on a major renovation that incorporates superhigh-end cabinets, finishes, and appliances. You might even raise your kitchen’s ceiling height or expand your house’s footprint. You see your house as a work in progress—and you’re willing to invest in getting it perfect.

8–13 Points

A Serious Cook

You’re someone who lives to cook trying to function in an outdated space. You’ll be happiest consulting with a kitchen designer who is thoroughly briefed on efficient kitchen work zoning, modern cabinet design, and innovative storage solutions. You’re willing to invest in sturdy appliances that can take a beating, but you should steer clear of countertop materials that scratch, stain, or chip. You need flooring that won’t crack when you drop something heavy. Basically, you need a chef’s kitchen.

13–15 Points

Someone Who Cooks to Live

You cook, but it’s not what you live for—and that’s OK! Your current kitchen functions fine, but it’s getting shabby. You’ll be happiest with a thorough kitchen facelift: new flooring; changing the paint color of cabinets and walls; updating light fixtures, cabinet hardware and even door/drawer fronts; installing a new backsplash; and upgrading the countertop material to something modern. Maybe you’ll invest in a couple of new appliances and refresh the rest with new front panels.