Save or Splurge: how to focus your budget when remodeling your kitchen

Renovating your kitchen is a huge investment so nearly everyone is budget conscious throughout the process. But, when it comes to picking options for your kitchen, it’s good to remember that getting rock-bottom  prices on every feature might not be money well spent. Often you’ll end up paying more in the long run if you choose low quality items that need to be fixed or replaced in a few years. The best use of your kitchen renovation budget is actually to know when to save, and when to splurge. Obviously this may be different for every family as needs and passions are different for every household, but we have some hard and fast advice to help keep you on track, and know when to hold back, and when to indulge. Generally, we recommend that decorative items that are low-use (lighting fixtures, backsplash tiles, decor and window treatments, etc.) can be a place to save some money. But, when it comes to the high traffic, high use items that will do the heavy lifting in your kitchen, you might think twice before going for the bargain-basement options. Here are some ideas for smart spending and how to help focus your budget on your upcoming kitchen renovation:


Spend: countertops
Save: backsplash

Countertops are one of the highest use areas of your home so it is important to choose wisely and pick a quality material. Stay away from things that are easily scuffed, scratched, stained, or melted. Formica, tile, or other alternatives do not offer the durability or quality that you’ll find in a hard surface option, and they can often harbor stains, mold, and germs that are impossible to clean. Worried about the cost of a material like granite, marble, or quartz? Do not despair – there are an infinite number of options in natural stone and quartz within a large range of pricing, so you won’t have to compromise style if you’re trying to work within a budget. And, these are the by far the most durable countertop options you can think of, so you won’t have to worry about replacing them any time soon. It is important however to be sure to choose a material that is fitting for your lifestyle and personal style – for example, granites are a natural material that come in a HUGE variety of colors and characteristics, and offer a more unique custom look, while quartz is a man-made option that will allow for a slightly more modern, streamlined look with less variety. Our design team are experts in almost every stone and every brand of quartz and can easily help guide you within your budget and lifestyle needs.

Your backsplash on the other hand is not going to to suffer anywhere near the abuse of your countertops, so it is a great area to save a bit of dough. With so many tile options out there, we are certain you can find something that meets your style desires but won’t break the bank. We work with most every vendor in the Denver area and can either sample options to you directly from our showroom, or can coordinate with each supplier to bring in options that we might not be able to house in store. Once your selection is made, our expert installation teams will get to work.


Spend: cabinets
Save: hardware

Cabinets are the component of your kitchen that will do most of the heavy lifting – literally and figuratively. They are of course one of the most used features of the kitchen but they also hold up your countertops and house all of your dishes, pots, pans, and other storage needs so they make a big impact on function. Cabinets can also be one of the most difficult things to replace, even above and beyond countertops and flooring and the design and layout of the kitchen can make or break the space. For all of these reasons, we recommend that this is a area not to skimp. We offer all of the popular cabinetry brands like Aristokraft, Kemper, Decora, and Kraftmaid Vantage, and even offer a fully custom option with Tischlerei. Yes, some of these brands can be found at your local box store but don’t be fooled. The box stores often offer these brands in a “light” package – meaning that they don’t offer all of the available options from each vendor or may have a limited catalogue to choose from meaning you may not get the design or features that are best for your family. With our team however, the sky is the limit – we offer full catalogues, all the custom features of each brand, and are uniquely trained and partnered with each of our vendors to help provide the very top-of-the-line experience while staying within any budget constraint you might be needing. And, of course, if we can’t fulfill your dreams in the traditional brands, we can always go fully custom if your heart desires.

Now, we understand that sometimes, nothing sets off your gorgeous cabinets and design like some fun, functional, design inspired hardware. However, we really think that this is somewhere that you can save – no need to go all in on bling. And, since these are usually easily replaceable options, you can always change them out as your style or the style of the times change.


Spend: natural light
Save: lighting features

Lighting can be a make or break feature of an otherwise perfectly designed kitchen. But as mentioned before, you don’t need to go out and spend all of your money on an expensive lighting package, especially if you have access to natural light streaming in through windows or large doors. That’s where our design team can really shine and bring the light into your home. We believe that designing kitchens AROUND those natural features, helping to decide on replacement windows or doors as needed, and then helping you choose ideal places to include any additional lighting can make all the difference. We also pride ourselves in partnering with trusted local businesses to help you find unique lighting solutions with experts you can trust that you won’t find in the big box stores.


Spend: range and oven
Save: small appliances

We like to be clear upfront that if you are not a very frequent or active cook, an oven is a great area where you might be able to save. Ovens are relatively simple and can last for a long time without much maintenance. A quality stove, however, even if it is not the top-end option, is where you don’t want to skimp. If you are a passionate, frequent cook, save room in your budget for a good-quality, long-lasting range with a good warranty and that promises to last for many years. We also recommend looking for an appliance that is easy to maintain AND replace parts for.

For small appliances (i.e. coffee makers, toaster ovens, and microwaves etc.), you might be tempted to go get high-quality, gourmet items, but these are actually great features to save on. They’re all available in relatively good quality, and incredibly cheaply these days, and far easier to replace than a range or oven would be.


Spend: shelving
Save: refrigerator

Believe it or not, even if you have a large family, and do lots of cooking, you can usually find a way to save on a refrigerator. With so many brands and options available, you can easily fulfill your functional needs, without breaking the bank.

When it comes to shelving and pantry however, this falls back to the category of cabinetry. You’ll want to be sure to choose a sturdy, quality, long-lasting options. And even though it might not be a huge portion of your overall cabinetry budget, dry food storage that’s accessible, durable, and stylish, is a great small investment to make for the overall function of your kitchen.


Quality investments aren’t necessarily a big splurge, but choosing to spend more for a longer-lasting, more reliable, and high-quality product will, in many cases, be a much smarter use of your precious kitchen renovation dollars.