When considering a home renovation, the kitchen can be the room in the house that provides the largest return on investment. And because St. Louis has been a traditional market when it comes to the heart of the home, tried-and-true design elements are strongly recommended by local experts.


  •  Maximize counter space and create work areas with a good work pattern, within the existing space. If that does not work, you might consider going outside the footprint of the kitchen to create more work surfaces.
  • Granite is the best natural stone for a kitchen: It’s durable, and it has a lot more interest than something that is manmade.
  • Recycling centers have been coming on strong in the last five to 10 years, mainly consisting of two separate containers—one for waste, the other for recyclable materials.


  • When considering appliances, homeowners have to look at the value of their home and make their decisions based on that. Sub- Zero and Wolf are two very good brands, and we recommend to affluent homeowners.
  • Any specialized features or stations will not be attractive to everyone. That can involve a certain lifestyle, and I would not bet on it as being a good investment.


  • If you plan to sell, stick with the standards and stay away from the trends. I would suggest a more transitional cabinet rather than an ornate one with a standard finish on a cherry or a maple.
  • For countertops, go with stock granites, which have a more consistent pattern without a lot of movement. An exotic granite has a lot more movement and different color variations through the stone. Pick something neutral with a medium variation—the price point is better, as well.
  • If planning to remodel, make notes while in the kitchen regarding what you do and don’t like about the function, storage, lighting and layout of the space. Also, talk with friends who have recently remodeled: What is the one thing they wished they would have done in their new kitchen?