Where To Save And Where To Splurge On Kitchen Renos

It’s an age-old question: Where should you splurge and where should you save on a kitchen renovation or refresh?

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splurge or save kitchen renos are hard decisions. This photo shows a trendy all-white kitchen with a little girl reaching for an apple on a white counter.

Kitchen design, Jodie Rosen Design. Photo, Alex Lukey.

A place of gathering, chaos, cooking and even relaxation, the kitchen is one of the most-used rooms in any home. If you’re thinking of a renovation or upgrade, knowing where to spend the big bucks can be tricky. Here a few things that are worth the splurge, and where it’s safe to save.

Splurge-worthy: Tradespeople

Illustration, Corina Lo.

“They will save you money in the long run by using their knowledge, sources, subtrades and tips to make your project stay on track and go from potential disaster to ‘wow.’ ”—Sappho Griffin, Halifax-based designer and founder of Henhouse.

Safe to save: Finishing Touches

Illustration, Corina Lo.

“I find that things like hardware and tile can be found at lower price points but can be used in creative ways to bring style to your space.” —Sappho Griffin.

Splurge-worthy: Lighting

Illustration, Corina Lo.

“It’s the jewellery of our homes and one of the few items that sees minimal wear and tear. Selecting great light fixtures not only adds an aesthetic feature but also contributes to great ambience and function.” —Gillian Segal, Vancouver-based designer and founder of Gillian Segal Design.

Safe to save: Cabinets

Illustration, Corina Lo.

Cupboards and drawers from big-box stores have come a long way and now include soft-close features and organizing inserts. Customize the look by trimming them with side gables or crown moulding.

Splurge-worthy: Faucets

Illustration, Corina Lo.

One of the hardest-working fixtures in the kitchen, faucets must embody form and function. New innovations—like hands-free motion sensors—are super practical and may even reduce water consumption.

Safe to save: Counters

Illustration, Corina Lo.

“We will often do a cost-effective solid white quartz on the perimeter of the kitchen and spend more on the island counter, which becomes the gathering place.” —Gillian Segal.