When buying new fridges, ranges, and dishwashers, stick with the same brand. Fortunately appliance manufactures have begun to create good-looking, low-priced lines that include matching sets. With a little research and some smart shopping, you can find affordable appliances that look very high-end – and when they all match, you get a designer look for much less.
If you do have the budget to rearrange appliances, make sure to keep your floor plan in mind. Does it follow the natural triangular traffic pattern between the refrigerator, stove, and oven? Is the dishwasher next to the sink? It should be, because otherwise, you create a mess every time you walk across the room with a dripping dish in your hand. To save money, I once put a dishwasher in the counter opposite the sink – and as a result, I cleaned up drips on the floor for years.
Once you get beyond $20,000, your wish list is almost endless (without going crazy). After replacing all counters and refacing or installing new cabinets, focus on the flooring, backsplash and island. If you don’t have a kitchen island, go out and find a kitchen pro to add one right away. They are becoming a staple in kitchens across the country. They not only add a new and improved design feature, but also improves your storage and expands your seating.
Keeping your existing kitchen appliances can save you money in the short-term. If your stove, oven, dishwasher or fridge isn't Energy Star-certified, however, you should consider upgrading them. Energy-efficient appliances pay for themselves over time by lowering your utility bills, and they help to preserve the environment, too. Additional electrical rewiring may be required to accommodate Energy Star appliances.
If you’re thinking about updating appliances or adding new ones, a kitchen remodel is the perfect time to do so, as your cabinet design will be built around your appliance specs. New appliances can give your kitchen a fresh look, but it’s important to choose the right appliances for your needs. If you don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen, standard appliances might be sufficient. If you enjoy cooking, baking and entertaining, top-of-the-line appliances may be essential.