If you’re my age or better (yup, I’m in my “second half” – though barely!), you’re mentally singing a catchy little song right now. I digress…

Whether you’re walking down the street passing by a kitchen showroom, or at your local Home Show strolling the isles, it’s hard not to notice the stunning new kitchens on display. Your mind begins to drift…

You work hard. You’re a good person. If anyone deserves a new kitchen, it’s you, because, you know, your current kitchen drives you nuts. But then reality rears its ugly head. The pleasant vision of standing in your new kitchen, effortlessly preparing a gourmet meal, is replaced with a view looking out from the poor house. And so you walk on, regrettably abandoning the momentary dream of what you truly deserve.

It doesn’t have to be that way, folks. If you’re inspired by beautiful displays and lovely magazine images, there are steps you can follow that can lead to a new kitchen without sacrificing everything you hold dear. The most important of these steps is to determine the budget that you are comfortable with. More than ever before, there are cabinets, countertops and appliances available to fit into almost any budget.

If you’re not sure what your budget should be, the general rule of thumb for a new kitchen is about 20% of the value of your home (of which you could recoup around 85% of the expense in a resale). As a general guideline (yours will be somewhat different), this breaks down to include: Cabinets (30%), countertops (15%), appliances (15%), flooring (5%), fixtures (3%) and labor (32%). This, of course, is only an estimate, and will be affected by your choice of materials, the age of your home, and if you are making any structural changes to your house.

Once you’ve determined your budget, you should deduct 10% and set it aside. Those funds will be your reserve for the unforeseen expenses that may arise during the project. If everything goes smoothly you can use that money towards your next trip to Vegas. But, when planning a renovation, if you don’t have a cushion, it may create a hardship later on.

While determining a budget that you’re comfortable with, it’s a good time to do your homework. Think about your current kitchen and what you like and dislike about it. Make one list of what you absolutely must have in your future kitchen and another “wish list” of things you’d like, but really could live without if necessary. Pick up some kitchen magazines and look through them. When you see something that interests you, tear it out and put it into a folder so that you can show it to your kitchen designer. Or if you’re Internet savvy, check out great home design sites like Houzz, or see what your friends are pinning on Pinterest (check out our Pinterest boards here), and collect your own favorite kitchen images there. It’s easier and safer to show someone a specific concept than to try and explain it, leaving less chance for misinterpretation of what you have in mind.

Now it’s time to meet with us and one of our kitchen designers. We work as a team with several affordable and experienced certified kitchen and bath designers. Based on what we learn from you in our initial conversations, we’ll recommend the one we think will be the perfect fit. Or we can work with a designer of your choosing. Together, we’ll truly get to know you and your vision, and then transform them into a working design based on your basic needs, your “wish list” and your budget. Don’t be afraid to share your budget with us, since it is another tool that we will use to create your “Dream Kitchen”. Whether your proposed expenditure is $15,000 or $100,000 or more, if we don’t know this, chances are the design will not meet your expectations and you’ll have wasted both your time and ours.

As your creative design/remodel team with whom you’ve shared your innermost kitchen desires, we should be able to produce an affordable, functional, and stunning new “dream” kitchen, just for you. You may have to compromise here and there (unless you have an unlimited budget), but the end result will be something that you not only can afford, but truly be proud of as well! After all, you are a good person and who deserves a new kitchen more than you?

We want you to live happier in your home! Can we help you? Call us at 425.890.9000 for a quote!