Updating the South One Space at a TimeUpdating the South One Space at a Time

Budget Kitchen “Refresh”? When a Refresh Becomes a Remodel

March 1, 2019

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Does your kitchen need a refresh or a remodel? Can I really pull off a budget remodel? Do I need a refresh or remodel? What is a budget kitchen refresh anyway? These may be some of the things you are asking yourself if your kitchen isn’t singing for you. Read on and I will clarify.

I just finished reading an HGTV magazine article, “Budget Refresh”. Its one of those picture articles, you know? Not too deep but glorious all the same! It inspired me to think about how a refresh becomes a remodel and how that is defined.

Budget Kitchen Decor

This article has some great ideas on how to perk up your kitchen if you already have a fairly decent working kitchen. Maybe its  just  a little drab. There are some great ideas for accessories, great rugs, small appliances and rather inexpensive ways to personalize your space, totally worth taking a look if this is you!

There are some great suggestions that will help to personalize a builder basic kitchen which may be new and not necessarily need a kitchen remodel however it looks just like your next door neighbors, and their neighbors and so on and so on!. An afternoon drive by at HomeGoods or Target can accomplish this on almost any budget.

Kitchen Refresh Pitfalls

The writer  gets into some territory that for for most people, is not considered “budget. Also,  some grey areas that can be budget friendly IF you select the right materials and are somewhat handy. In this designers humble opinion, we are now into more than “budget kitchen refresh”  for most people.

Upgrades like back splashes and faucets can be costly, especially if you happen to fall  in love with a handmade tile or expensive mosaic. If your kitchen is large it will also cost more for materials and labor. And faucets I beg you, are nothing you want to try to save money on. Cheap faucets can be good looking but  are chocked full of plastic parts that will be leaking and dripping in a years time so choose wisely and plan to spend a bit more on an item like this.

Budget Kitchen Refresh 2.0

The article also goes on to talk about islands and counter-tops and pictures a gorgeous quartz counter-tops. I live and practice in Ponte Vedra Beach Florida. I do have my share of clients that like what they like and purchase it, that is not me and  that’s not most people, even  in my ocean-side community.

Quartz counter-tops for most of us, is an investment. It will certainly add  value to your home and make your kitchen shine! I question it being dropped in there with  budget friendly upgrades,( for most peoples budgets anyway.) New counter-tops, usually means a new sink and faucet too and often times new or refaced cabinets. After all, you don’t want to put that nice quartz on old and creepy cabinets, am I  right? Are we creeping towards a remodel?

Refresh or Remodel?

As a kitchen designer I do’t usually recommend a  full blown remodel unless it is something that is genuinely called for. Most of my heavy duty remodels have been because the original layout is bad and does not function well for the homeowners or because the contents of the space, (flooring, cabinetry, counter-tops) are seriously crumbling. A full blown remodel is also not very budget friendly. most of the time if you are looking for a budget refresh.

True remodeling is dusty dirty and disruptive work. The less we have to inconvenience the occupants, the better. Eating is pretty much a round the clock activity, right?At least in my home it is! Kitchens are also the brain enter of the home too, especially for families, so having it torn to the studs can cause a lot of turmoil which is good to avoid if possible.


The Hybrid Kitchen Refresh/ Remodel

Many of my projects fall someplace in between a refresh and remodel. Each one is of course with its own unique requirements. Often times it is possible to to keep the same footprint and even the cabinets themselves if they are tired looking but still in good condition! If you can save the cabinets your refresh gets a lot more budget friendly!

Cabinet refacing and new backsplash

In this kitchen budget was not the issue. The clients had gorgeous granite but the cabinets were in rough shape. We simply had them refaced as we did not want to risk having the granite break or crack trying to remove it. Granite is especially susceptible to this! Some new appliances, a great looking back splash, gorgeous hardware and some painted bead board on the ceiling made the entire space look new! All in all, a pretty non-invasive option!

Kitchen refresh in Jacksonville FL

In this kitchen we simply updated the appliances,  painted the existing cabinets, added new quartz counter-tops and with all that savings, we were able to splurge on a beautiful handmade sub way tile back-splash!

These cabinets were great! Original to the 1940’s house and very sturdy, they were painted with a marine grade paint, (by a pro) and sealed. The cost for this budget kitchen refresh was under $10K….(a very small kitchen as a disclaimer!)

New quartz, sink, faucet, revisions to the bar height and fresh paint!

The kitchen above was slightly more involved. We stayed with the original cabinets. We lowered the bar height to counter height, installed new stone flooring,(throughout the house.)  A new sink and faucet, quartz tops, a new back-splash, tiled the knee wall and a fresh coat of  paint!

We also pulled a small desk area out and added a wine fridge in its place. These kitchen desk areas were all the rage at one time.  I think that was before the ipad came along! I love finding creative new uses for formerly “dead” space! As you can see this kitchen refresh was a bit more involved but still pretty non invasive to the occupants!

For another post on  creating a great kitchen without braking the bank click here!

IT IS POSSIBLE to create a beautiful kitchen without breaking the bank. It just takes a little ingenuity and creativity. If you need assistance with a kitchen refresh please feel free to reach out  I would love to help you with a solution ! Click Here to Subscribe to my list to get more information on kitchen and bath renovation solutions as well as my FREE GUIDE to selecting the perfect  cabinets and updates on projects I am working on!



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