A Budget Kitchen Update with Big Appeal

A Budget Kitchen Update with Big Appeal

Like many homeowners, Jessie wanted to make some changes to her kitchen but she didn’t want to spend a lot of money doing it. She and her family have lived in their home for about 5 years, and a budget kitchen update was needed.

Painting the cabinets was the first order of business. “We have a lot of white and grays in our home and so we wanted a more cohesive look for the rest of the house,” she says. But the newly painted cabinets made the white appliances look “dingy.” Jessie looked for sales and ultimately found some gently used stainless steel appliances on Craigslist to add to the new look. The couple also added concrete countertops.

A few browsing sessions on Pinterest later, Jessie was convinced the kitchen needed a little something extra. “A backsplash can just add so much,” she says. She knew she wanted a white backsplash and chose Aspect Peel & Stick 3×6 metal tiles in white. Although Ben is considered more of the “handier” of the two, and Jessie is more obsessed with the designing and decorating aspect of a project, installation was a breeze.

“For my first backsplash, it was great!” she says. “I drew the lines on the walls to make sure it was going to be level and the peel and stick application was so easy. I think it turned out really nice.”  

Jessie is very pleased with how the kitchen looks today. “This project started with us saying we’d just do a little bit and then it turned into a whole remodel,” she says. “We are really happy with how it turned out.”

Considerations for Great Kitchen Design

While there are countless ways to beautify a kitchen, good design, functionality and layout are just as important as cosmetic fixes. There are a number of considerations for great kitchen design.

What you want to accomplish will help determine your budget. Most experts agree that the kitchen should account for 10-20 percent of the fair market value of your home. But if your goal is to simply spruce up before putting your home on the market, you can spend less.

Lifestyle is another important factor in kitchen design. Do you need something family friendly or a larger space that works better for entertaining? Would you rather have an upscale showpiece with the latest technology and gadgets, or something with a simpler aesthetic because you eat out more than in?

Layout is another factor to consider. Consider the “work triangle.” The work triangle is defined by the National Kitchen and Bath Association as an imaginary straight line drawn from the center of the sink, to the center of the cook top, to the center of the refrigerator and finally back to the sink. The triangle minimizes traffic and interruptions to the cook. This is especially useful in a small kitchen.

Other factors to consider in kitchen design include: appliances, flooring and surface materials, and lighting options.

Finally, don’t overlook the ceiling. You can add interest, variety and style to any room with paint treatments, different textures and shapes.

Ceiling options:

  • Modular wood ceiling systems, including lay-in wood ceiling coffer panels, provide a custom-crafted look at a low cost and are easy to install.
  • Decorative thermoplastic panels are an elegant, yet cost-effective way to revitalize any interior, and with countless style and finish combinations available, including faux metal and faux wood, the possibilities for expressing your own unique style are endless.
  • Change the look of any suspended ceiling with lay-in ceiling tiles, which range from simple to elaborate. Or, choose glue-up ceiling tiles, which make changing the look of your room easy without the hassle of a suspended ceiling system.

What do you think are considerations for great kitchen design? Let us know in the comments!


5 Budget Considerations for Kitchen Remodels

It’s fun to fantasize about all the changes you’d make to your kitchen if money were no object. But money is a major issue for many when it comes to such a project. Before you start selecting new appliances and looking at paint chips, check out these 5 budget considerations for kitchen remodels.

1.    Ask yourself how long you plan to stay in your home. If you plan to stay for a few years, you’ll want to spend what you can afford to get the most bang for your buck. On the other hand, if you plan to leave soon and just want to optimize the space for a sale, you can choose to do some quick, yet inexpensive, cosmetic updates that will make an impression but not break the bank. This article explains where to splurge and where to save.

2.    How do you use your kitchen? That will help determine the kind of changes you’ll want to make. Are you a gourmet cook who’d love a professional range or other high-end appliances? Do you require an eat-in kitchen for family meals? Or is your kitchen used mainly as a place to unpack takeout meals? Your lifestyle should help you determine the “nice to haves” vs. the “need to haves.”

3.    Do you plan to remove walls or add architectural details like arches or skylights? Then keep in mind you’ll have to re-route plumbing and electrical lines, which increase the cost of a kitchen remodel significantly. Simpler is easier on the budget. Work with what you’ve got to keep costs in check.

4.    Are you handy with tools or a seasoned Do-It-Yourselfer? Since the majority of a kitchen remodel budget is spent on labor, you’ll want to do as much of the work yourself to save money. You can remove old cabinets or fixtures before the pros come in. You can also help with finishing the project by painting and attending to other details. If you do opt to work with a contractor, be sure to get references. Talk to other homeowners to get names or check a national registry like Angie’s List, which lists reviews thousands of service providers in more than 700 categories.

5.    Look for deals. It’s seems like kind of no-brainer, but there are deals to be had. Look at clearance racks at your nearby home center and watch for end-of-season sales. Don’t dismiss floor models out of hand. Just make sure to inspect them thoroughly for damage or use.  Check this out for even more ways to save.

What are your budget considerations when it comes to kitchen remodels? Share your ideas in the comments!