One Kitchen, Two Budgets: Contemporary Style

Pro-Style Appliances
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.

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.

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.

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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