Remodeling your kitchen is a great investment for any homeowner. In addition to creating a beautiful, functional place to cook delicious meals, entertain guests, and spend family time, a kitchen remodel offers a high return rate in the real estate market. Such a large project does require careful planning to ensure its affordability, since certain factors like the amount of labor, the kitchen's size and the chosen materials can greatly affect the overall cost.
Task Lighting: Under-cabinet lighting should be on your must-do list, since cabinets create such dark work areas. And since you’re remodeling, there won’t be a better time to hard-wire your lights. (Here’s more about under-cabinet lights.) Plan for at least two fixtures per task area to eliminate shadows. Pendant lights are good for islands and other counters without low cabinets. Recessed lights and track lights work well over sinks and general prep areas with no cabinets overhead.

Hardware Updates: Hardware is often referred to as the jewelry of the cabinetry. Luckily, certain styles and types of hardware are cheap, but can still transform the look and feel of any kitchen. Just know that a typical kitchen can have anywhere between 20-40 knobs and pulls. Remember, the cheaper items will not last as long as the more expensive purchases.


More often than not, we keep food cold until it comes time to cook. In order to make that famous lasagna or spaghetti and meatballs, you need a reliable oven/stove combo. Like many other kitchen appliances, the oven and stove have come a long way. While stainless steel is undoubtedly preferred materials nowadays, appliance manufacturers are creating updated versions every single day.

You can remove walls and cabinetry if you have the space and the budget to do it. You can even combine this space with the dining room for one large, unified area, instead of having a bar or tall wall separate the two. If you live in a condo, check building codes to make sure you can knock out walls. Also, consult with a contractor, as they could recognize that the wall is connected to a supporting beam.
Case in point: Photographer and designer Erin Kestenbaum transformed her kitchen as part of this fall’s One Room Challenge and thoughtfully included enhanced storage space. Kestenbaum’s creative solutions included vertical tray storage above the fridge, a narrow drawer for oils and spices by the range, and a coffee bar built into a full-height cabinet. "I love designing upfront ways to hide the clutter and appliances that, without a home, will inevitably end up on your countertop occupying space," she says. 
Think about how you can function without a working kitchen. Utilize small appliances and keep your pantry stocked with nonperishable grab-and-go items. Use biodegradable plates, cups, and utensils since you won’t have a working dishwasher. Take advantage of a grill or outdoor cooking area if you have one. You may also want to consider eating out with family or friends more often. Being prepared ahead of time will greatly alleviate any stress you may have without a functioning kitchen during the remodel.
Personal loans tend to be a good option for kitchen remodeling projects because you may have a good idea how much cash you need before you start demolition. This is especially true if you’re using a contractor for your kitchen renovation. Once they assess your project and draw up a proposal, you can use that information to compare loan options for the amount of capital you need.
The kitchen is probably the most used room in your house, so you want it to be a space you enjoy spending time in. And aside from functioning appliances, a kitchen design you'll love for years to come is of utmost importance. So whether you're renovating or simply looking for some inspiration, we found 85 kitchen ideas that will help you optimize your own—and the best lessons to take from them. From country casual to sleek and modern—and literally everything in between–we've got all the kitchen remodel inspiration you could ever need. Gorgeous countertops, unique backsplashes, and statement lighting, we're coming for you.
Building a budget should be your number one concern when planning a kitchen remodel. It determines how much you can accomplish, the materials available, how much professional help you’ll need, and what the final product will look like, among other aspects. If you don't plan appropriately, there's a good chance that you will find yourself in debt by the end of the project or left with a half-finished space after the funds run out.

When planning for this project, ask yourself how long you plan to live in your house from the time of the remodel. If you plan to sell shortly after, you shouldn't spend too much money on it. The rule of thumb is that you should spend between 5 and 15 percent of your property's total value. This is the optimum range for homeowners to spend and expect to recoup.


When estimating the cost of a kitchen remodel, there are various factors to keep in mind. The most important include budget, longevity, and what other homeowners in the neighborhood are doing with their spaces. By planning around these factors, it's possible to come out with results that meet expectations, last for a long time and recoup most of their original cost in the resale.

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.
While most people do not realize this, dishwashers are much more energy efficient than washing dishes by hand. Individuals use too much water and soap when washing their dishes by hand. Dishwashers have been proven to save about 5,000 gallons of water each year and up to $40 on utility bills. This equates to a savings of over $400 during the average life of a dishwasher. Because this easily falls within the average price range of purchasing a dishwasher, it is possible to break even on a dishwasher at the end of its life cycle. 
I shopped for days to find the perfect tile backsplash. I spent hours looking for the one in that pin. Then I walked into Emser Tile in Sacramento and it was on the wall of one of the displays. The clouds parted and angels sang…and then I found out it had been discontinued and the wall was getting demoed the next week. (#saddness) Luckily, while we were looking around at Emser Tile, I found another subway tile I loved: Lucente Cascade.
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