When considering the investment for a kitchen remodel you’re probably wondering, what are the non-negotiables (must haves) and where can you cut corners? I first look at one of the main design elements of the kitchen, which can determine the budget very quickly: Cabinets. Can we reuse the existing cabinet boxes or do we need to demolish and replace everything?
Other factors that can easily affect the cost are – countertops, flooring, appliances, and backsplash.
Cabinets: Cabinets are a big driver when it comes to the investment. There are some cases where the box or frame of the cabinets are in good condition and just need a face lift to give them a contemporary look. This option can lower the cost in the thousands, while also repurposing rather than disposing cabinets in good condition. You can have the boxes fitted for new fronts with a cabinet line or have a cabinet maker custom build the drawer and door fronts. You can also purchase maple wood boxes if you can’t reuse the existing boxes and paint them to match the new faces.
Countertops: Man-made countertops are a great option vs real stone and can be a big cost savings while still giving you the look of stone. Man-made countertops are sold by the slab and can range from $7k – $15k + and real stone countertops $20k – $50k + for the entire kitchen depending on square footage.
Flooring: I like to continue the wood flooring into the kitchen that is used through out the house for a cohesive look, but sometimes it’s nice to add a different design or pattern if it fits the style of the kitchen. From highest cost to lowest, a tiled floor will be at the top due to labor, wood flooring will be in the middle, and luxury vinyl will be the most cost effective. Try luxury vinyl in 16” x 16” or larger with grout lines for a beautiful stone look.
Appliances: There are MANY options that will take your kitchen from “I don’t cook” to chef level. If you’re not crazy about name brands like Sub-Zero or Wolf, then something mid range will give you exactly what you need. Make sure to check out reviews and what type of amenities you want before purchasing.
Backsplash: I think tile is the icing on the cake and will set the tone for your entire kitchen. You can get a beautiful and timeless look with pretty inexpensive white tile in different shapes – 4×4 or 3×3 square, 2×8 rectangle, subway pattern or stacked. These won’t go out of style and will keep your kitchen looking clean and classic. If you want a splash of color, this is also a great way to add a little something special to the overall look and feel of your kitchen. Try concrete or porcelain tile to save on cost in this area. Zellige tile has a more luxe look and also one my favorite types to use if you want something that will stand out amongst the crowd.
When all said and done, cabinetry is a place I wouldn’t skimp on. It’s the hero of your kitchen and will make a huge difference in the overall design. If you’re going to make an investment, you should do it right and know that you will not need an update or remodel for another 15 – 20 years. That’s a significant amount of life to live, and your cabinetry will withstand all of it if you invest in something made with quality and a timeless style. You can also save here too: consider no upper cabinets which can look dated over time. Instead, open shelving or hanging artwork will make your kitchen seem bigger and expansive.
If you’re ready to remodel or build new, I’d love to hear about your project and see if we’re a good match (yes, just like dating 🙂
Calnin Design Studio is a full-service interior design firm serving Wisconsin and beyond. Katie and her team specialize in designing laid back luxury homes for clients seeking an intentional and slow living lifestyle.
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