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One Kitchen, Two Budgets: Contemporary Style

Before you start a kitchen remodeling project, you need to determine how much you're willing to spend. But what do you really get for the money? See one kitchen's makeover potential based on two very different budgets.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Splurge or Save: Can You Guess?

      We asked designer Julie Clayton to sketch plans for a kitchen remodel based on two different budgets­ -- a value budget and a custom budget. Can you tell which of these contemporary kitchen plans is more expensive?

      Learn more - Get our Price Guide here.

    • The Value Kitchen

      When it comes to appliances, it's worth shopping around for the best deal. Big-box stores often offer discounts if you purchase an entire suite of appliances from a single manufacturer.

      APPLIANCES
      KitchenAid 36-inch side-by-side refrigerator $8,299
      KitchenAid combination oven and microwave $3,249
      KitchenAid 36-inch cooktop $2,949
      KitchenAid retractable downdraft ventilation $1,199
      KitchenAid Superba series dishwasher $1,099

      CABINETRY
      Martha Stewart cabinetry with Ox Hill doors $7,500

      SURFACES
      Honed Carrara marble perimeter countertop $3,750
      Antique white oak flooring $3,000
      Ann Sacks Cappricio 3x6-inch field tiles in Dove $800
      IKEA Numerar butcher-block island countertop $169

      MISCELLANEOUS
      Kohler Alcott apron-front sink $1,356
      Newport Brass 9911 faucet in polished chrome $1,025
      Schumacher High Voltage fabric in Smoke $800
      Hive Modern Charles Ghost chairs in Yellow $510
      Ralph Lauren paint in Crescent Moon and Stone $200
      West Elm globe pendants $179
      Martha Stewart 3-inch finial pulls in polished nickel $80
      Martha Stewart finial knobs in polished nickel $56

      Total cost: $36,220

      Prices are estimates, excluding installation

    • Create Contemporary Style on a Budget

      Tip No. 1. Update cabinet doors. Paint existing cabinet doors, or replace them with Shaker-style or slab doors that offer a simple, clean profile -- perfect for contemporary settings.

    • Create Contemporary Style on a Budget

      Tip No. 2. Mix countertop materials to add visual interest. For example, choose stone or laminate for the perimeter countertops and butcher-block for the island or play with light and dark tones of the same material.

    • Create Contemporary Style on a Budget

      Tip No. 3. Have fun with the backsplash. Basic white subway tile is a safe choice, but smaller-format tiles or an eye-catching mosaic adds instant personality.


    • Create Contemporary Style on a Budget

      Tip No. 4: Patterned fabric for the window treatments personalizes your kitchen and can easily be switched out down the road. Bold, geometric patterns work well in a contemporary space.

    • The Custom Kitchen

      Distinctive tilework can set a kitchen apart, but be prepared to spend a little extra for that one-of-a-kind look. 

      APPLIANCES
      Thermador built-in French door refrigerator $8,649
      Thermador stacked combination ovens $6,599
      Thermador Professional series gas cooktop $3,699
      Thermador Sapphire six-wash-cycle dishwasher $2,349
      Thermador Masterpiece downdraft ventilation $1,399

      CABINETRY
      Custom Shaker-style cabinetry $14,000

      SURFACES
      Polished Carrara marble countertops $5,950
      Antique white oak flooring $3,000
      Ann Sacks Elements collection 2x6-inch Chevron tiles in London Sky, Dense Fog, and Cloud $1,375

      MISCELLANEOUS
      Rohl Perrin & Rowe bridge faucet and side spray $1,919
      Design Within Reach Icon counter stools $1,250
      Circa Lighting large Hicks pendants $1,050
      Christopher Farr Belfour fabric in Lemon $1,000
      Design Within Reach Icon chairs $830
      Ralph Lauren paint in Crescent Moon and Stone $731
      Barclay white fireclay apron-front sink $204
      Top Knobs Nouveau III collection Square Bar pulls $200
      CB2 Odyssey white dining table $199
      Top Knobs Nouveau III collection Bergen knobs $98

      Total cost: $54,501

      Prices are estimates, excluding installation

    • Create a Custom Contemporary Look

      Tip No. 1. Splurge on custom cabinetry. Deep drawers maximize storage space. Top with oversize stainless-steel bar pulls to enhance the contemporary vibe.

    • Create a Custom Contemporary Look

      Tip No. 2. Trick out your island. Built-in appliances -- warming drawers, dishwashers, microwave drawers -- boost function in the main work core, while customized storage keeps clutter at bay.

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      Create a Custom Contemporary Look

      Tip No. 3. Make a statement with tile. Colorful rectilinear tiles are distinctly modern, particularly when paired with a sleek chimney-style range hood.

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      Create a Custom Contemporary Look

      Tip No. 4. Splurge on pro-style appliances. If you have a sizeable budget, consider customizing a standard range or cooktop with special features, such as a built-in griddle, wok burner, or steamer.

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      Next Slideshow 25 Tips to Get the Ultimate Kitchen

      25 Tips to Get the Ultimate Kitchen

      Take your kitchen to the next level with these 25 can't-miss ideas for boosting style and functionality.
      Begin Slideshow »

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