Designing a Kitchen, Bathroom, or any other renovation can be an easy task (for the true experienced) or a difficult task for those who "haven't got a clue". Generally it is quite easy to tell the difference. Things do not fit, wrong sizes delivered, wrong colour, etc... Now, nobody is perfect but mistakes cost money. Who's paying for them? Remember it costs money to save money.
Know Your Budget.
Put together the numbers on a piece of paper of how much you are willing to spend on the renovation, make-over, etc... It helps when the actual shopping starts and allows a spending limit.
Don't rely on the builder to tell you what you are going to get, you need ideas. Read some magazine articles, look at pictures and see what's out there. Check prices and availabilities, these are all things that will help when putting together your budget.
Now you're on your way to the design stage. You are responsible for choosing your contractor. Choose wisely. This article gives insite on how to do this. Choosing the Proper Contractor
APPLIANCE SHOPPING. Generally this should be sorted out before the designing begins. Sizing the spaces are dependant of the appliances and when the size ordered is not the size of the one that needs to be installed, will create problems that have to be fixed. Changes cost money. Who's paying for them?
Hint: Know the appliances you are going to buy. The design team will need the specifications on these units to properly design your kitchen. If they cannot be supplied it will be a down-hill battle to get things rite.
In most cases it is not as simple as tearing one out and putting one in. Sometimes you're new kitchen is going into an old house. This means that a few things like wiring, plumbing, and framing may need to be brought up to code.