/ Budget & Planning

Opening the Kitchen to the Home

Initial Budget: $40,000.


Final Cost: $40,000. The client saved $2,750 by keeping the same refrigerator and microwave ($1,800) and by doing all the painting ($950).


Client's Goals:

  • Have the kitchen feel more like part of the living area of the house.
  • Make more efficient use of existing kitchen, service porch and breakfast nook
  • Modernize kitchen fixtures and appliances
  • Move laundry area out of the kitchen
  • Create more counterspace and enlarge work area
  • Create a look that is unique yet does not work against adjacent areas


Designer's Solutions:

  • Removed wall dividing kitchen and dining room to create a more open feel and join the kitchen with the rest of the house

  • Installed a new header between the kitchen and dining room and added an arch, mimicking other arches in the house

  • Used space more efficiently by choosing frameless cabinets and by removing the walls that defined the service porch and nook

  • Relocated the water heater

  • Relocated the washer and dryer to the storage room, creating space for the refrigerator and microwave

  • Added a pantry cabinet to the laundry area

  • Installed a new downdraft range, eliminating the need for a hood and maintaining the openness of the new design

  • Chose slab doors to maintain the clean lines of the design and not compete with other colors and details


Cabinets: Custom, frameless cabinets with white melamine interiors and laminate slab doors with eased edge. Accessories: Roll-out shelves, adjustable shelves, tip-out shelf, cutlery insert, trash drawer and brushed stainless steel pulls.

Appliances: Thermador dual-fuel range with downdraft and remote blower, GE dishwasher

Countertops: Laminate countertops with a square edge and 4-inch backsplash

Flooring: Laminate

Sink: Kohler self-rimming sink in white, stainless strainer, disposal

Faucet: White Kohler faucet and soap dispenser

Lighting: 11 recessed lights, 3 low-volt lights over bar area, puck-type lights in soffit




An Efficient, Organized Kitchen

Initial Budget: $35,393


Final Cost: $38,691. The following client-selected changes increased the price: Adding a new front door and more trim work, and installing the floor tile on the diagonal, which required more labor.


Client's Goals:

  • Organize, organize, organize!

  • Bring in more light

  • Increase efficiency

  • Incorporate ample display space for collectibles

  • Create a soft, warm and welcoming kitchen

Designers' Solutions:

  • Relocated the appliances and sink to accommodate new layout

  • Removed existing closet and replace with new coordinating pantry cabinet

  • Bumped out open shelving unit to create visual interest and prominent display area

  • Mullioned glass doors on the flanking cabinets provided additional display space

  • Used an appliance garage to conceal most countertop appliances

  • Replaced double-hung window with an awning window

  • Repositioned the sink to establish a better work triangle and more efficient use of the countertop space

  • Replaced a fluorescent fixture with 4-inch and 6-inch recessed lights and undercabinet lighting

Option Kitchen stock and semi-custom frameless maple cabinets with a pearl finish. Beaded Shaker doors and glass doors. Dovetailed drawers with undermount glides. Accessories: Roll-out shelves, lazy Susan, recycle bins, tilt-out sink front, appliance garage, stacked moldings. Porcelain knobs with satin nickel back plates.

Appliances: Re-use of existing range. Client purchased Amana refrigerator, GE 18-inch dishwasher and GE Spacemaker microwave separately; cost is not included in budget.

Countertops: Corian in Maui color with full-height backsplash.

Flooring: Provenza tile in the Enigma style and Altamira color; 12-inch by 12-inch, 6-inch by 6-inch, 6-inch by12-inch cut from 12-inch by 12-inch.

Sink: Corian 871 large single-bowl sink in Bisque with stainless strainer.

Faucet: Grohe Ladylux Plus stainless steel faucet with black pull-out spray and stainless steel soap dispenser.

Lighting: 4-inch and 6-inch recessed lights; Sea Gull ambient lighting.




Making Room for Kids

Initial Budget: $49,000


Final Cost: $45,000. The budget only included cabinets, appliances, countertops and labor. The project came in under budget because the custom cabinets cost less than anticipated.


Client's Goals:

  • Integrate appliances

  • Transform a bilevel island into a single level to create more continuous countertop space

  • Create a traditional, hand-painted and glazed look

  • Increase storage

Designers' Solutions:

  • Removed soffits to increase cabinet height and therefore storage space

  • Enhanced traditional look with tall crown molding

  • Included rollouts, pullouts and deep pan drawers on either side of range for organization and storage

  • Relocated a combination oven/microwave to the island food preparation area

  • Installed a built-in range and refrigerator

  • Added a china cabinet for fine dishware

  • Featured a traditional custom hood

  • Created a single-level island with plenty of countertop space

Custom maple cabinetry on the perimeter with square, raised-panel doors with an applied molding. Painted finish with a pongee fume brown glaze. Dovetailed drawers with full-extension slides. A glazed dark cherry island with turned legs and beadboard paneling. Accessories: Pull-out trash bin, split onlays, detailed end posts and four-part crown molding with a dentil insert and crown extension.

Appliances: Integrated 48-inch Sub-Zero refrigerator, 30-inch Thermador wall oven, Thermador touch-control ceramic cooktop and GE Monogram built-in wine cooler. Kept GE Advantium combination oven/microwave.

Countertops: 3-centimeter Santa Cecelia granite

Backsplash: Tumbled marble

Lighting: Undercabinet lighting and multiple 12-volt pendant lights.




Old World Kitchen Remodel

Initial Budget: $38,000


Final Cost: $39,000.


Client's Goals:

  • Update a 20-year-old, builder-quality kitchen

  • Create an Old World look

  • Improve efficiency of workspace to suit two cooks

  • Remove soffits, especially the one over the island

  • Replace dated tile floor with new tile in kitchen and entry

  • Install new and better lighting


Designers' Solutions:

  • Moved refrigerator to more convenient place next to pantry

  • Removed soffits to allow for cabinets of varied heights, and to open space visually over island

  • Created focal point from family room with large hood and backsplash

  • Angled base cabinet to allow easier access through narrow dining room doorway

  • Included an 18-inch deep microwave wall cabinet with left end extended to hide kitchen appliances from view of family room


Cabinets: Medallion Cabinetry in maple with a cashew stain and raised-panel doors. Beadboard panels on custom wooden hood and island. Accessories: Roll-out shelves, trash pull-out, appliance garage, full-extension drawer glides, lazy Susan, burnished chrome cup pulls and knobs, undercabinet lights, and crown molding with rope insert.

Appliances: Pro-style stainless steel slide-in gas range. Dishwasher with cabinet panel.

Countertops: Granite countertop on island; laminate countertop with beveled edge on the perimeter.

Backsplash: 4-inch by 4-inch stone-like ceramic tile on a diagonal with sunflower raised decos.

Flooring: 12-inch by 12-inch ceramic tile floor with 2-inch by 2-inch teal deco inserts.

Sink: American Standard apron-front farm sink.

Faucet: High-arc Delta faucet in brushed nickel with separate sprayer and filtered-water faucet.

Lighting: Recessed lights




An Inviting, Updated Kitchen

Initial Budget: $45,000 to $50,000.


Final Cost: $48,972. To stay within the budget range, the designer used the existing dishwasher and microwave and suggested refinishing rather than replacing the existing floor.


Client's Goals:

  • Create a more inviting kitchen that would interact well with the rest of the home

  • Replace appliances and cabinets

  • Select cabinetry with increased efficiency and storage capabilities

  • Make the kitchen more aesthetically pleasing

  • Include a desk area

  • Improve lighting

  • Incorporate wine storage


Designer's Solutions:

  • Created a more open flow by removing part of an existing wall that separated the kitchen and dining room.

  • Moved the cooking appliances, allowing for more countertop and storage space by the open bar area.

  • Specified a refrigerator model that would not dominate the room.

  • Added a combination of general lighting (ceiling cans), task lighting (undercabinet lighting), and decorative lighting (three pendants over the sink).

  • Incorporated a wine cooler.


Cabinets: Custom frameless alder cabinets with beaded Shaker doors. Accessories: Pullout trash and recycling center, appliance garage, tray dividers, tilt-out sink tray, lazy Susan and black mirrored knobs.

Appliances: Jenn-Air refrigerator, U-Line wine cooler, Whirlpool convection oven and Jenn-Air cooktop. Existing dishwasher and microwave

Countertops: 12-inch by12-inch Ghibli granite tiles

Backsplash: 4-inch by 4-inch Rosso Verona tumbled stone field tiles and Crossville Tumbled Naturals Geo-Square border tiles

Flooring: Refinished existing floor

Sink: Elkay stainless steel sink

Faucet: Price Pfister chrome faucet

Water purifier: Water Inc.




Remove a Wall to Enlarge the Kitchen

Initial Budget: $50,000.


Final Cost: $69,250 (cabinetry and cabinet installation). The cost of the kitchen increased by nearly $20,000 when the client selected a different, more expensive style of cabinetry and added a butcher-block countertop. The clients chose not to relocate the kitchen to the home office area because of the expense and difficulty of moving plumbing, electrical and gas lines.


Client's Goals:

  • Open up the small kitchen, which was adjacent to a large, dark, unused living room

  • Possibly move the kitchen to the space used as a home office, which featured cathedral ceilings

  • Keep the space full of light

  • Create a kitchen with room to cook and entertain friends


Designers' Solutions:

  • Developed a floor plan that expanded the kitchen's footprint without completely relocating it

  • Took down a wall between the kitchen and living room

  • Opened a doorway between the living room and home office

  • Built a banquette with a farm table for meals in the former kitchen

  • Moved the cooking, cleanup and prep areas of the kitchen into the former living room

  • Turned the former office into a formal dining room

  • Installed a seating area by the windows for reading the paper in the morning.

  • Designed an island to create a division between cooking and living areas.


Cabinets: Cherry cabinets (on the island) and white painted cabinets (on the perimeter) from the SieMatic Hudson Valley Collection


Appliances: Sub-Zero refrigerator, Wolf range and hood


Countertops: SieMatic butcher block and honed black granite




Two-Cook Kitchen with Yellow Cabinets

Initial Budget: $40,000


Final Cost: $47,000. Ultimately the clients chose to remove a wall and open the kitchen to the rest of the house, adding $7,000 to the price of their kitchen remodel.


Clients' Goals:

  • Lighten up the dark, U-shaped kitchen

  • Create more functional storage space, especially in the corners

  • Create more countertop space

  • Allow two cooks to work in the kitchen at the same time

  • Have yellow cabinets

Designer's Solutions:

  • Removed one wall to open the kitchen up to the rest of the house, allowing for a more spacious floor plan

  • Added a post for structural support, which helped define the kitchen area

  • Raised the kitchen ceiling to open the space to the adjoining family room and its sloped ceiling

  • Added taller wall cabinets for more storage space

  • Added corner cabinets with an open shelf for easier access

Dutch Mills custom framed maple cabinets with Shaker-style doors and a painted, glazed finish. Accessories: Pull-out can racks, pull-out pantry cabinets, roll-out shelves, cove molding and oil-rubbed bronze pulls and knobs.

Appliances: Dacor cooktop, oven and warming drawer; Fisher & Paykel dishwasher drawer; Jenn-Air cabinet-depth refrigerator; Sharp convection microwave oven and Miele ventilation hood.

Countertops: Giallo Veneziano granite with an eased edge and matching backsplash

Flooring: Teak floors

Sink: Blanco stainless steel undermount double-bowl sink

Disposal: Insinkerator

Lighting: six recessed lights and track lighting over sink




Small Changes with a Big Impact

Mini Makeovers introduction

To give your kitchen a fresh look, you don't have to rip out and renovate the entire space. Try focusing instead on one or a few key products or design elements that can be updated to enliven your space. These mini makeover solutions will refresh your kitchen without emptying your wallet.

Add Crown Molding

Crown Molding by Focal Point
Photo courtesy of Focal Point

To create a strong, sophisticated look, add crown molding to your kitchen's ceiling. This molding will draw the eye upward, adding height to the room, while also adding elegance and creating the illusion that the room is older than it is.The style and size of crown molding you select can match your existing style while adding a finished look.

Goals and Costs of Your Remodel

A check book and pen lying on top of cash

Before looking at line items, determine how much to spend overall.

Your goals for the project will help determine your budget. You'll want to spend less, for example, if you're just refreshing your kitchen before selling your home. But if you want a dream kitchen in a house where you plan to live for a while, you'll want to invest more.

Many experts suggest that your kitchen should represent 10 to 20 percent of the fair-market value of your home. So if your home would sell for about $300,000, then spend between $30,000 and $60,000 on your kitchen improvements.

If you spend less than 10 percent, the kitchen may not meet potential buyers' expectations. If you spend more than 20 percent, you're less likely to make your money back at resale.




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