Save or Splurge Series: Kitchen


As the budget queen around here, this is one of my favorite topics to discuss! Where to invest your big dollars and where you can save! Although it’s one of my favorites to discuss, I do have to offer the caveat that every individual is different and personal priorities are different!!! This is only a guide!


Tile and Countertop – Let’s start this party off with a big one! Countertop and backsplash!! Now, to be clear, a kitchen remodel is in general, a splurge, but I’m here to help you find places to shave down that price tag to fit into your budget and this is where I would start!! I’ve learned that nearly all products have a similar but more price conscious counterpart. Are the colors, shapes, textures exact? No. Will there be a slight compromise? Yes. But we’re trying to save here!! If you can capture your personality in other components of the kitchen, then these components can fall into a more budget-friendly category and save you some big money!

Details (lights, wallpaper, accessories) – This category is a hard one to write because I feel so conflicted about it, and yet, I do believe it’s a SAVE category. While a $2,000 light fixture will undoubtedly be high quality, last forever, and have absolutely incredible design details that would make anyone gasp in delight, I feel compelled to say that a $200 light fixture may do the job credibly in a pinch. If we have to find a place to save, this may be a great place to start. While the gorgeous hand-stamped leather wallpaper would literally make me cry from joy, I wonder if we couldn’t find a budget option that could make a similar impression for less money? You get the picture!


Paint – lol stop it y’all. STOP IT! When I sit in a meeting where someone suggests a DIY paint job on $40,000 worth of new cabinets I feel like ripping my hair out. I have said it before and I will shout it from the roof tops for the rest of my life!!!! Just because you painted an old woman’s house on a mission trip one time, does NOT make you a professional painter! Just because you painted and repainted the walls of your daughter’s bedroom does NOT make you a professional painter! Look, there’s a time and a place. There are times where absolutely, you can go to Home Depot and pick up a few gallons and some rollers and DIY your paint work! (Think, spare bedroom walls, or redoing a piece of furniture for fun!) But your kitchen remodel is absolutely NOT the place! A talented professional painter is an absolute MUST and a SPLURGE! SPEND THE MONEY HERE! Trust me!!

Hardware – Yes, your cabinet hardware must be a splurge. Even if each piece is $30, it must be done, friend! The worst thing you can do is finish off your beautiful new kitchen with discount $2 hardware pieces that look and feel inexpensive and sad in the hand. Your hardware should feel heavy, sturdy, and ergonomically pleasing to grip. And a pro tip: View your dream Pinterest board where you’ve collected photos of your dream kitchen. Now notice the hardware. I guarantee you it’s the good stuff.


Cabinets – Okay this category is a combination! We always want to splurge on hard wood cabinets, made in a cabinet shop by a true craftsman. There are places in your home where you can get away with pre-fab cabinets. (I’m thinking laundry room, kids bath, etc.) but the kitchen is not one of these places. So we will certainly SPLURGE on a craftsman. Now we can SAVE on material and build and design. We can save by opting for paint grade instead of stain grade wood. We can save by selecting standard overlay as opposed to inset construction. And we can save by opting for clean simple doors like shaker or flat panel fronts.

Appliances – Appliances is a combo category too! It’s a choose-your-own-adventure type category. If you love to cook and do so daily with delight: SPLURGE!! If you never cook and don’t care to: SAVE. Easy!

One of my favorite parts of my job is working arm in arm with a client to wrestle their bid into submission. If the number comes in higher than we all wanted, it is my joy to work together to come up with solutions! And these are typically my top go-to edits! What do you think? Where would you save/splurge?



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