Keeping Your Kitchen Re-Do on Budget

Save money on cabinets.
Resist the temptation to fill all available wall space with cabinets. Buy only the cabinets you need. Don’t build so many that you are forced to shop to fill them when the kitchen is complete. Flush-overlay cabinet doors generally are less costly than inset doors. Open shelves are decorative, provide easy access and also save money.

Add life.
Real life makes any kitchen more beautiful, often at little or no extra cost. Plants and fresh flowers enrich any kitchen design.

Do it yourself.
Lots of money can be saved by doing some of the work, such as demolition or painting, yourself.

Avoid construction changes.
Nothing can drive up the cost of a new kitchen like making last-minute changes in the design plans. They can really throw a “money wrench” into the best-laid blueprints!

Shop at home … literally.
Bring in accessories and furniture from other rooms or the attic. And shop less by eliminating items you don’t need.

Create a single focal point.
Focus your investment where it will have the biggest impact. Then balance your design and your budget with more modest selections. A professional-style cooktop can add functional power and great presence to a kitchen, carrying the “weight” of the entire design. Make your design statement once, with one truly beautiful focal point; then allow the rest of the design to do its work with modest simplicity.

Avoid current trends.
For example, if you are flexible enough not to go with the current color trends, you can pick up a fine stone countertop at a more affordable price.

Choose a style that suits your pocketbook.
Some styles themselves suggest ways to economize. A minimalist approach can save you spare change if you really keep it minimal.

Make choices that perform a double function.
Plants can serve as a window screen and also bring their own beauty and vitality to your kitchen. A decorative chest can hide the kids’ toys and also serve as a window seat.

Monitor your momentum.
As the design process starts moving forward, it is easy to get carried away. The most dangerous words for a design budget can be “While we’re at it … ”

Kitchen design is not a race.
There is no finish line. Savor the pleasure of letting your kitchen design evolve and grow with you. Design is a lifelong process. Let your kitchen build slowly, one idea at a time.

Paint a new kitchen picture.
Painting one wall, an alcove or the interiors of your cabinets with a strong shot of color can provide just the boost your kitchen needs. Pantries, mudrooms and other small spaces adjoining your kitchen are also good candidates for new colors. Even appliances can be painted!

Final Thoughts
Spending less money on your kitchen does not mean spending less creativity or enthusiasm. In fact, choosing to solve a design issue with an affordable solution often stimulates extraordinary thinking and leads you to a brand-new vision.

All kitchens include some ideas that are old, some that are new, some that are borrowed … but each must be you.

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