You are unhappy with your outdated kitchen, but unsure of just what you need done to make it work for you, and look good!
Here are some ideas:
First, think about how you use the kitchen; are you a gourmet cook, spending hours in the kitchen? Do you have a family and need to get the dinner on the table for 4 or more people every night? In which case efficiency and ease of cleaning will trump style. Perhaps you only need to satisfy yourself, and you like to get into and out of the kitchen fast!
Another criteria is style; do you lean toward old world, antique appearances; or perhaps you prefer a modern, sleek style?
Color and light are critical, whatever your preferences from the above analysis. As much light as possible should come through windows, skylights and sun tunnels; this reduces electrical use, and natural lighting is just more pleasant. Task lighting uses less wattage than is required to light up the whole kitchen, and puts the light right where you need it. Colorful designer pendant lights are a nice design element, located over a kitchen island or strategically put at another useful spot.
Countertop materials are a critical element, as the countertop has a large visual impact.
Custom cabinets will allow you to select your storage needs to fit what you will use. Pick cabinet hardware that is easy to use; some are beautiful, but impractical; be sure to get something you will be happy with for years to come.
Flooring can be selected to be both beautiful and easy to clean.
There are many surveys that tell us what is popular and trendy, but remember that while you will probably sell your house someday, so you don’t want to get too radical. However, it is your kitchen and you want to have it designed to please yourself most of all.