Advice I can offer:
1. Think a lot about the stuff you have. Are you a baker with lots of cake pans and cookie sheets? Do you have a lot of tall items, like juicers, blenders and mixers? How many wineglasses do you have? The configuration of your cabinets and drawers should be designed with all of this in mind. Make lists of what you have and go from there.
2. You probably don't need a fancy restaurant-style $6,000 stove, even though they are pretty.
3. Think about the light you need and then increase it by 50 percent. Our contractor talked us out of additional pot lights, and it is my biggest complaint about the new kitchen. Light that baby up like a football stadium.
4. There is almost nothing as useful as really big, deep drawers for pots, pans and other large items.
5. A tile backsplash is not necessary, but if you can swing it, it sure does make a difference. Tile is the jewelry of the kitchen.
6. There is no such thing as a perfectly indestructible countertop. I love our white Caesarstone — it doesn't stain, it doesn't burn, and it doesn't need any special care, but it has a few small chips in it already.
Those are my pearls of wisdom. If you've gone through a kitchen remodel, what are yours? Feel free to share before and after photos. We can't get enough of those transformations.