When we remodeled, my wife wanted a large kitchen. Our family spends a lot of time there and indoor parties generally center there. It would be money well spent from a resale standpoint as well. So, that's where we dropped around $65,000.
My son and I demoed the house. We wanted to create as much floor space as possible for easy circulation. We had low ceiling beams and many windows that opened to the garden. DIY demo saved us a lot of money, especially since we were willing to haul debris away. We extended 8 feet at the far side for a nook and great room.
My wife and I did much of the design, and I managed the project with various subcontractors. The large store where we bought the cabinets and many appliances and other furnishings threw in finished design. They also built the two islands. We used granite (about $5,000) throughout to complement the cabinets, but there are much cheaper options that give a great look. From the same contractor we bought the "splash" tiling, which my wife installed. The small island has a wine cooler and vegetable sink; less than $500 for both.
Reducing the natural lighting, we put in two rows of large canisters (very cheap), one row of decorative drop lights over the islands (fairly expensive), and rope lighting over and under the cabinets (also cheap). Overall, we opted for necessary lighting options that did not cost much.
One of the major showpieces of a kitchen is the cabinets, and we spent $35,000 for cherry to match the flooring. I don't recommend wood flooring in the kitchen for most households; it's expensive and easy to damage. We decreased the windows, raised the ceiling for a more open look with a coffer, and used crown molding because the cabinets stop at window height. Because of the high ceilings and centered cooktop, we used an expensive downdraft instead of the traditional hood.
Outside we built a deck instead of stairs with French doors. Much more expensive than the usual, but we wanted an elegant look. The bar stools on both islands were more than $100 each, but fashionable and practical for parties. The small island and center cabinet are green to contrast with all the cherry while matching the granite. All the countertops are bullnosed, which did not cost much more but looks great.
Two cabinets feature double ovens on the left and the fridge on the right, both fitting into the designed space. That means we had to choose the appliances before designing the cabinets. The dishwasher and compacter were also fitted in. We bought them all at the same place in advance and got a discount! The top of the opening to the pantry and dining room is arched at the top for interest, a small framing cost.
The final touch: a desk with glass top and above a display cabinet. We saved a lot of space and money by eliminating these. There is a return on the wall to again separate the kitchen from the family room.
With some knowledge and willingness to do some of the work ourselves, we were able to create an elegant kitchen to match our upscale house without breaking the bank.
- Home & Garden