Building a home is a major investment of time, energy, emotions, and money. You have to make some hard decisions and put value vs cost to the test. One of the most expensive rooms in a home is the kitchen. You have to get it right to make it efficient, functional, and beautiful. There are so many decisions to make in this one area of the home that you can spend many hours dwelling on which options are required and which can be given up. The kitchen is almost always seen as the social center of the home from after school homework to the dinner parties. Having an understanding of how to put the pieces together is not something that you simply stumble upon through building. There is an art to the pieces and it is hard to quantify until you have worked in a well proportioned kitchen that has been designed. The finishes of the cabinets, their placement, and there sizes all play into the functionality of the space. The countertop surface not only provides an aesthetic statement, but also could be the source of major headaches in the long run if the wrong option is selected. The hardware, door closers, lighting, appliances, and flooring options are endless and all have a real impact on the durability and functionality of the space. It is worth the time to hire someone who has gone through the process with others to help you make decisions. While most cabinet suppliers offer an in-house design service, I tend to not want them to do the design (they may carry a bias as they make money on the choices you make). Look for a CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) interior designer that not only understands kitchen design, but also can help you make a functional kitchen that lasts a lifetime.