Kitchen Design on a Budget: Yes, it can be done…Beautifully

If you find yourself thinking, ‘What’ the point? I can’t afford that,’ as you ogle gorgeous kitchens on Houzz and Pinterest, it’s time to rethink things.

“Everybody has budget, even the owner of a ‘dream kitchen,’” says Julie Lyons, senior designer at our South Shore kitchen and bath showroom. “When it comes to designing a kitchen for a client with a smaller budget, the ‘expensive jeans-white t-shirt’ approach yields amazing results.”

“When I work with someone with a smaller budget, the first thing is to establish the key things, the same as it is with any client” she explains, adding, “The difference in working with a smaller budget is to really drill down to what’s super-important, and be aware of incorporating it in the design while being more cautious with other items.”

If that “super-important” item is a particular high-end finish, Julie’s ‘expensive jeans-white t-shirt’ concept might be to suggest incorporating it only on the center island – where it would be a focal point – and using a something with a lower price point on the remaining cabinetry.

With cabinetry typically one of the larger investments in a new kitchen, it is here that our designers will look for cost-cutting options to allow the inclusion of that “must-have” item for a client. Options can include using larger cabinets, so that fewer are needed overall, or forgoing upper cabinets which, Julie points out, is on-trend right now.

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When it came to designing a new kitchen for a beach house in Hull, MA, Julie was “incredible,” says the homeowner, Margaret Donabed.

Soon after purchasing the 110-year-old home, which had been in her husband’s family, the couple did what Margaret describes as a “Band-Aid fix” which included refinishing cabinets, and installing new flooring and countertops, without reconfiguring the space or doing any major construction.

Between the recent purchase of a new townhome, the Donabed’s primary residence, and buying the waterfront home in Hull, “We bit off a lot all at once,” Margaret explains of their need to do this second, much more involved remodel on a budget.

“Julie didn’t ever show me things that were out of my budget,” Margaret explains. “She did show me things she liked that I hadn’t thought of.”

kitchen design ideas“We were set on some cabinetry and it was fine; expected, but it would have been perfectly fine,” says Margaret.

Julie, however, had another idea.

“”Just take a look,’” is how Margaret describes Julie’s approach to showing her an alternate cabinetry design and finish, the design which would ultimately be used in the kitchen. “Julie was always playful about bringing in a new idea. She has a knack for it which I think is just awesome,” says Margaret. “Nine out of 10 times, I went with Julie’s suggestions.”

South Shore Kitchen and Bath ShowroomAnd the end result?

“I love it!” says Margaret. “We stayed on budget, and it was done sooner than I thought it would be. Everything was seamless; delivered, installed and signed off in one fell swoop.”

The Donabed’s new kitchen is, in fact, their dream kitchen. It just happens to have been done on a budget.