From Margaret on October 21st, 2010 in Kitchen Remodel
Sometimes a kitchen reaches the critical remodel-me-now stage regardless of how much cash you have to put into it. While it’s easy to get caught up in the fabulous commercial products and beautiful choices for all areas of a kitchen, you can have a beautifully remade cook space without gutting the entire thing and breaking the bank.
In fact, you can simplify the whole process by getting a few price quotes for your own kitchen tune-up. Once you have an idea of what it will cost, explain to your contractor that you want a few of the following essentials.
While good-enough appliances can get you by, the right appliance can make a world of difference in your cooking routine—and can even encourage you to do more (with less strain) in the kitchen.
Consider replacing the three main appliances: the stove, oven, and dishwasher. An Energy Star dishwasher, which uses 10-50% less energy and water than a standard washer, can save up to $160 annually on water bills and $125 on energy bills. Also, don’t forget that the government is offering federal rebates for old appliance trade-ins. There is money to be saved!
If there’s one area to splurge in a kitchen remodel, it should be your countertops. As the workspace for your creations, your countertop must be quality and durable, especially in a place that you plan to inhabit long-term.
Consider paying slightly up for better materials, such as stainless steel or granite surfaces (which come in subtle, timeless finishes). Soapstone, pictured above, is a low-maintenance surface that doesn’t require harsh cleaners.
If those are out of the budget, engineered countertops can mimic the look of natural stone and cut hundreds off the cost. Ask your contractor (or get referred to one) for more help deciding which direction’s best for your home.
How you store not only your pots and pans and equipment, but your serving ware, can entirely change the flow of your kitchen. Where open shelving allows for a casual convenience, closed and formal cabinetry, such as those at Plain English, adds sophistication and privacy.
Don’t disregard the value of even the smallest kitchen island, providing another work surface, eating surface, and even storage in some instances. Keep in mind that enduring, beautiful storage need not be custom and built-in—meeting your storage needs allows you to personalize your kitchen space and make it work for you.