Americans’ fixation on their kitchens continues to drive a large chunk of the remodeling business. At the heart of our national (and expensive) spiff-up fever: cabinets and countertops, which usually consume about half the budget for most kitchen redos. That means cabinets and their countertops could amount to a few thousand bucks as part of a so-called “light remodel,” to $25,000 to $50,000 or more if you’re going for a bells, whistles, and Sub-Zero-fridge kind of renovation.

Getting started can be tough. Are there cabinet styles and colors that won’t quickly go out of style? Should you change your kitchen’s layout, and, if so, who can help with that? Here are ideas on how to design your new cucina and find cabinet suppliers that offer great service and low prices. Also need countertops? Click here for advice on that and ratings of local suppliers.