Where to Splurge and Save on Your Kitchen Remodel
By Jennifer Ribek
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Kitchen remodels can come with a hefty price tag so you want to be strategic when planning your remodel. I have been designing kitchens for over a decade and have learned some tricks of the trade. There are some places where you must splurge and some places where you can cheat a little and save.
CABINETRY – The cabinets and their installation are the biggest ticket items for this project. I have had the pleasure of working with some of the finest cabinetry in the world so quality is important to me. When you are spending this kind of money you need to be sure the cabinetry will last. You don’t need top of the line, but you want a nice solid construction, dovetail drawers and a durable top coat finish. If it’s a cheap material it will look dated quickly and won’t be able sustain daily wear and tear!
COUNTERTOPS – Countertops are a worthy investment because it is a surface you use everyday. When making your selection it is important to know what material will cater to your needs. Marble is a classic and timeless material but isn’t for everyone. It is a natural stone so it is porous and can scratch easily. White marbles are a very popular choice in kitchen design today like a Calcutta and a Carrara. Natural countertops are beautiful, but a lot of our clients don’t love the maintenance or wear overtime, so we’ve been using a lot of quartz! Quartz is durable and does not stain so families who like to entertain and or have children prefer this type of material. Quartz has become so popular that it can have a high price tag close to that of a marble.
BACKSPLASH – The backsplash is a great place to save. There are countless backsplash options to choose from which means you can find something you will love for the right price. Look at the subway tile for instance. While the classic subway tile measures three by six inches, the definition is expanding. Subway tile now can be square and installed in different directions to change it up a bit. You can buy some for as little as $1 per tile.
photo courtesy of Lifeonhillst.com
photo courtesy of Homebunch.com
LIGHT FIXTURES – Lighting is definitely and important element in your new kitchen design. Light fixtures help create the style you want the kitchen to take on and also set the overall mood. They need to function properly by brightening the space while adding a dramatic focal point over the island or sink. Pendants can run as low as $150.00 ea. Sizing depends or your island or peninsula size but we like to design our kitchens with large pendants around 21″ in diameter, bigger is better.
HARDWARE – Hardware is what we call the kitchens “jewelry”. It is like the final touch you need to finish the look. It varies dramatically in price but you can find some beautiful low cost pieces. We use a polished nickel finish most of the time, it is more elegant then chrome and has more shine then a brushed nickel. Hardware is a great area to start to introduce mix metals. For example, all of our hardware is one finish, and we might have the pendants and faucet be another finish. We don’t like to use more than two or three different metal combinations in one kitchen.
APPLIANCES – Appliances have come a long way in the last several years. Many appliance manufacturers now offer commercial style appliances at affordable pricing. What use to be a luxury is now attainable because of the variety of options available. Unless you are a “chef” there isn’t really a need to buy top of the line appliances. Select a quality product and spend the most on the one or two items you use the most like the maybe the refrigerator and stove.