Chances are you already have a kitchen design and merely need to replace old cabinets with new. If this is not the case, there are many good kitchen design books that you can purchase to help with this part of the project. However, if you are replacing the cabinets, it is also a good time to consider replacing your floor, lighting, and appliances. Shop for appliances first to ensure that you leave enough room to fit the models you prefer. Today’s refrigerators keep getting bigger, so make sure you leave plenty of space. If you want to move, rotate, or expand your kitchen island, now is the time. Make sure the floor underneath is usable and the lighting above can be moved so it will be centered above the new island. More drastic changes might involve tearing down a wall between kitchen and family room or opening up a space in the wall with installation of double-sided wall cabinets hanging above. See below for some tips on the order in which you should install the various parts of your kitchen.
Most kitchen cabinets can be measured exactly and replaced with new ones of the same size. However, you could also consider changing the layout slightly to give you wider cabinets for storage of large items or narrower cabinets with more small drawers or pull-out trays. If you have a wall of cabinets that are placed between two walls, you have to carefully measure the amount of space you have. Make sure you buy cabinets that fit within that space even if you have to buy them an inch or two smaller and use a filler piece. There is nothing worse than finding out your walls are warped and the cabinets are a quarter inch too wide to fit!