Planning a renovation is a financial balancing act, no matter the budget. I’m not going to sugarcoat it – home renovations are always more expensive than you think they will be no matter how carefully you plan. If you allotted for a $30,000 remodel, it’s going to cost you $40,000 and if it’s a kitchen you will probably see a bill of $50,000 by the time you are finished! Not that kitchens are not worth it, after all they are the key when its time to sell your place.
Every kitchen is different and every cook has a wish list. For the at home Chef, gourmet top of the line appliances are at the top of the list, the hostess with the mostest needs a luxury wine fridge and the busy family needs storage. So, how do you do it all on a budget? It’s all about prioritizing and knowing where to spend or skimp. But how do you make the right choices? I went to the expert – Ulya Jensen from RONA Home & Garden for her tips on when to splurge or when to save.
Worth the Splurge
“The number one things to splurge on in the kitchen are the appliances”, recommends Ulya. “Since you’re going to be using them everyday you want to invest on things what will work well and last”. [For example] if you drink a lot of coffee, get a good [coffee maker]. You will save money on going to the local coffee shop if you can make the best coffee at home. [Additionally] a home chef or an entertainer extraordinaire needs a great stove to create their masterpieces.
“Splurge on countertops”, reveals Ulya. “Stone counters are quickly becoming the standard for surfaces, so for resale this is a good option as well”. A good stone counter-top is durable. Counter-tops take a beating everyday with dishes clanging, spills, knives scraping, and so much more. Making the investment in something that won’t easily get damaged is well worth the price.
Ulya’s tip, “You really get what you pay for as far as faucets go. It’s the inside mechanisms that will give out and breakdown if they’re inexpensive”.
“No one wants a bad smelling kitchen”, Ulya tells us “Removing smells from oil fumes and gas from your kitchen is very important. Most importantly the more expensive it is the quieter it is”.
Make the Save
“Always aim to save money on floor tiles”, advises Ulya. “There are a large variety of inexpensive styles to choose from. You can save on floor tiles as long as they are installed correctly. Why pay more?” You may love to have a luxurious marble floor, but porcelain tiles look just as beautiful at less than half the price.
“Paint is good bang for your buck,” says Ulya. Sure you can go for a designer paint if you have the cash, but if not stores like RONA have their own high quality brands at a more affordable price.
Ulya points out, “lighting is important in every space but it doesn’t need to cost a lot. Inexpensive pendants have an industrial feel and make an impact.” However, under cabinet lighting can be worth the splurge. It adds a nice ambiance of light in your space and will illuminate it well.
“When it comes to kitchen cabinets, go simple and affordable”, Ulya informs us. “The impact can come from unique hardware and handles that catch the eye”.
Custom cabinets are great if you have the budget, but if you’re looking for a place to save money go with standard-size cabinets (available at many big box stores like RONA Home & Garden) you can get great-looking, well-made cabinets for a fraction of the cost of custom.
To give them a custom look, make the splurge on the hardware. Cabinet knobs, pulls and handles are used all day everyday so it’s worth the investment. By updating handles, you can give old looking cupboards a more chic contemporary feel rather than spending money on a full cabinet renovation.
My own tip for any renovation or remodel – buy once, buy right! Value is the key. Get the best quality you can afford and prioritize depending on your needs.
About the author: Natalie Deane is a lifestyle connoisseur who shares tips for achieving chic everyday style through decor, entertaining, food, trends and more.