Where to Save or Splurge in your Kitchen

Where to Save or Splurge in your Kitchen

Kitchen Economics 101

Renovating your living space is an investment most people enjoy because it is where we care for our family, spend our time with guests, and create memories. 

If it is time to improve your kitchen lifestyle, or stop the cantankerous chatter about the selections of the previous owner; there are factors that will help you decide what is important and how to prioritize your needs and wants. This isn’t a thrift store article on where to get the best deals, it’s a guide to understand your needs and blend that with the things that will get you the best outcome, free of regret. Here are some kitchen economics to help you understand the swing in scale and what you can expect to budget for your space.


Kitchen Floorplans: From updating the current space to full-blown floor plan change.


Cabinet and appliance replacement in the same format is the simplest type of kitchen project. With less mechanical work and remediation, this type of project will take less time and have the least disruption, however; your choices will be limited to what will fit in your space. If you like your current layout and just want to update it, you can expect to spend $60K-$100K depending on the quality level of the finishes.


For the more adventurous renovator… we can achieve completely re-imagined spaces by adding on, moving walls and sometimes flipping kitchens from one side of the home to the other. These projects start off in the $150K range, and some homes end up with a much needed first floor re-engineering that can create a lot of value even when the budgets surpass the $400K mark. The important thing is to know what you want your space to do, and then create a plan that will work for you long term.


Appliance Choices: How to choose the right appliance.


Range vs. Wall Oven: Are you are a cooktop specialist, a baker, or both? That should be an easy start to direct your decision-making. Double ovens grabbed the hearts and minds of families with the thought of participating in cookie sales, and large family dinners with multiple appliances at work. One of the wall oven benefits is that it leaves the range or cooktop with drawer space below to keep the pots and pans handy. There are a lot of great reasons for a range too. Ranges help when space is limited, create their own focal point and can sometimes reduce cost because of additional installation requirements.


Refrigerator: Do you entertain a lot and need extra space for serving platters? Would increasing the size of your refrigerator save the need for a separate beverage fridge or will it make sense to offer separate refrigeration for entertaining or ease of access to family members who want a drink without bumping into the chef. The most important part of refrigeration is understanding your true needs. We have seen under-counter refrigerators that are unused and homes with extra-large refrigerators with multiple additional refrigerators that have a good turn-over. Think about your shopping and entertainment practices before you end up with too much or not enough.


The Must-Have: For everyday living and entertaining.


Kitchen Island: Is your island designed for utility or a custom centerpiece in the kitchen… or both? The basics to consider are making sure there are well thought out ergonomics, keeping in mind the relationship to the stove, sink and refrigerator. As well that guests can gather round when entertaining or family can be given a quick meal. Splurges we love: adding some beautiful and practical cutting space, a counter top with waterfall edge, or extra thick surface and architectural woodwork as part of the island base.


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