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Kitchen Remodeling: What’s Worth Splurging On (And What Isn’t)? 

  • June 7, 2024
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Kitchen Remodeling: What’s Worth Splurging On (And What Isn’t)? 

The kitchen is the most expensive room in your home to renovate because it calls for expertise in many areas, such as plumbing, electrical systems, building walls, and so on, so even minor improvements (e.g., adding pendant lighting) can cost a lot of money. At the end of the day, the price is driven mainly by your own choices. Your budget can go from manageable to astronomical in the blink of an eye, so take time to work through decisions carefully if you want to save money that can be put to good use in other ways. Digging deep and being honest to make the most of your kitchen renovation is critical. 

Try out some of these tips to have the kitchen of your dreams while keeping costs down; with some strategic thinking, you can cut costs without cutting corners. There’s no reason why you can’t roll up your sleeves and do some of the work, although we recommend you let a professional do it. 

Save Money by Handling Your Own Planning 

It’s definitely not the most exciting part of a kitchen remodel, but mapping your money, timeline, and restraints helps ensure nothing goes wrong and you don’t undercut your success. If you’re up for it, do the work on your own to end up with a space exactly how you hoped – even so-called professionals draw lousy plans. Designing floor plans isn’t difficult anymore, thanks to online tools with customizable templates; with your phone, the impossible becomes possible with a few taps. Equally, many retailers offer free in-person design consultation, so they’ll happily advise you on the next steps. 

Splurge When It Comes to Countertops  

Pay attention to aesthetics. Not only should cabinet and countertop colors be complementary (or contrast with one another), but they should also fit into the bigger picture, influencing the serenity and equilibrium of your space. It makes sense to look for cheap kitchen units since they make up a big part of your remodeling budget. As countertops are some of the most prominent features, invest in high-quality materials and skilled craftsmanship to have a design you’ll love for years to come. These artificial surfaces make a big impact in cheap kitchens, so select the most resilient and hygienic materials, namely quartz (engineered stone), granite, soapstone, marble, or ceramic tile.

Expensive Kitchen Designer Lighting Isn’t Necessary 

Good lighting provides the much-needed visibility to prepare and cook meals, and it’s a powerful tool for setting the mood and ambience, drawing attention to the architectural details that may go unnoticed. Even so, it’s not worth investing in expensive light fixtures. By saving here and there, you’ll have the money to buy that refrigerator you set your eyes on. From a performance standpoint, the higher price doesn’t give you any benefit, so be clever and mix and match different types of light fixtures to create dimension and improve the versatility of the space. 

Many of the higher-priced lights are works of art, so if it’s worth the cost to you, by all means, go for it. It pays to shop around because prices fluctuate a lot; buy multiple things you need when the price is right. Take your kitchen’s design from simple to striking by adding under cabinet strip or spot lighting, which reduces annoying shadows from ceiling lights, making it easier for you to prep meal ingredients, read recipes, and reduce the likelihood of accidents. If you have a kitchen island, place pendant lights right above to give a sense of flair and refinement to your kitchen. Unlike chandeliers, they’re easy to fit (and can look premium, too). 

Add A New Island or Upgrade an Existing One 

If your kitchen doesn’t have an efficient work triangle to create a sense of flow or enough workstations to accommodate multiple cooks, an island is a fantastic option, as it gives you ample countertop space. Sometimes, working on an island is better than staging meals on a perimeter countertop, where you’re facing the wall. You can include multiple appliances in your kitchen island – the stove, dishwasher, microwave, and beverage/wine fridge – to help the room appear airier and less cluttered. If you need another reason to like the kitchen island, it can increase your home’s resale value because it’s a desirable feature for many buyers.  

Maybe the kitchen island hasn’t been updated at all. In that case, re-dressing it can completely transform your home, but be confident in your choice and create a vibe that reflects your personality and style. The renovation can vary in cost depending on the materials you use and the extent of the project, which might be prolonged due to a lack of time and knowledge. If you feel guilty or hesitant about splurging, repaint the kitchen island to add a dash of drama – all you need is an acrylic primer and a coat or two of enamel. Pair the island with contrasting bar stools. 

Ditch The Farmhouse Sink for A Standard Undermount 

There’s a limited demand, so production costs are higher, which explains why some sinks are tremendously expensive. Farmhouse sinks have been designed to blend effortlessly with the kitchen counter for aesthetic purposes, and while not many are used for heavy-duty roles, they add rustic style to the home, creating a charm you won’t find anywhere else. If your pockets are almost empty and it feels like a long way until the next paycheck, a kitchen sink is the biggest waste of money. When someone steps inside the kitchen, they rarely notice it, even the sink plays an important role in creating an impactful design, so it doesn’t matter if you opt for stainless steel, ceramic, or composite. 

The takeaway 

Quick fixes can help for a while, but you ought to consider planning and budgeting for a kitchen remodel because they won’t do the trick. No matter what your budget is – big, modest, or shoestring – spend your money wisely during the renovation to strike a balance between quality, affordability, and your needs/goals. If you’re in over your head, find a reliable contractor to finish the project. 

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