Kitchen Renovations on a Budget

Everyone dreams of renovating their home at some point in time.  Sometimes we have the opportunity to completely change and make over an area, but is this always the way to go?  Sometimes just updating an existing space is all you need to give you the perfect combination of functionality and current design.  Working with a Professional Designer will help you determine exactly what you need to do to achieve your goals while still staying on budget. 

How does your current space function for you?  The most critical is the cabinet layout.  Does the layout work for you?  Does your work triangle between fridge range and sink work well or is it dysfunctional?  What would you like changed? Do you dream of an island work space/sitting area?  Sometimes as we age, our knees and back age faster. Digging out pots and pans from the back of the cupboard on our knees becomes more and more challenging.   The solution is obvious – pot drawers.  Quite often cabinets can be modified into drawers that can save our knees and backs without having to replace them with new cabinets!  If your space works well for you and is functional but you want an updated look refacing your existing cabinets can save you significant budget dollars.  They can even add those pot drawers you dream of!  Is it a one or two cook kitchen? The top priority is function – we have to make sure the space works well for who is using it, then we make it “pretty”. 

Appliance choices seem limitless and can easily become overwhelming.   Again we focus on usage.  Do you want/need the fancy gadgets because you LOVE to cook and spend your free time baking and whipping up new recipes, and entertaining?  Are you a basic cook who makes the family meals but wouldn’t know how to use the fancy gadgets if you had them?   This makes a huge difference in the appliances we recommend.  It’s critical to find the right appliance for your needs and budget. Do you really need to spend the extra money for a higher end piece if you will never use it?  We could allocate those budget dollars to something really important to you. Where are your electrical and gas connections?  If we are simply replacing appliances, we still need to verify the existing connections so we order the correct appliance.  This may seem like a trivial exercise, but you never know what is behind the wall until you take the appliance out and find out for certain.  I always recommend an electrician/gas fitter verifies existing connections before we order to avoid costly modifications after the appliances have been purchased. 

Once we’ve covered functional issues, I always ask my clients for a must have list and a would be nice “wish List”.  This allows me to allocate the budget according to what is most important to the client.  Basic updates to flooring, lighting, countertops and tile can really impact the final design.  If your cabinets are working but you simply want a fresh look, updating the basics can give you a whole new look at a fraction of the cost.  We look at each of these individually and determine what we have for the budget to update and then go from least important “want but do not need” to the most important “need” item on your list. Once we have taken care of the much needed items and addressed your functional issues, then we have some “play money” in the budget to cover your wish list.  This might be a new light fixture; granite countertops; new flooring; wall tiles; sink faucet; etc…  The beauty of these items is that this is where we can really change the look without spending a fortune! 

Let’s presume your cabinets work well.  You add a few pot drawers and change your knob pulls so your cabinet expense is minimal.  Then you update your appliances. So now you can spend the balance of your budget on counters, lighting, and a faucet; flooring, etc.  Each of these items has a range from budget friendly to luxurious and expensive.  We find the item right for your design and your budget!  The end result is a beautifully finished new kitchen space that you will enjoy spending time in.  I plan the design to allow for future updates to the items on the “wish list” that we do not have money for left in the budget right now.  You would love a fabulous tile backsplash – but your priority is spending that money on getting a double wall oven instead.  No problem, the tile can be added at a later date!  Or you would love granite counters but it’s not in the budget right now. There are some fabulous laminate designs that look like granite, at a fraction of the cost!  They are a wonderful compromise that allows you to update to granite down the road when budget allows, but doesn’t sacrifice the final design in the interim. 

Once we know what your priorities and budget are, we can plan the design to give you a fabulous space! With your priorities taken into consideration, you can plan to update the easy things at a later date but love the most critical areas now. This way you love your space, today and tomorrow! Its budget friendly, functional and looks fabulous!