One Kitchen, Two Budgets: Traditional

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 Ken Kelly 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 traditional-style kitchen plans is more expensive?

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The Value Kitchen

Entry-level appliances and a backsplash of simple ceramic subway tiles keep costs in check.


Frigidaire FFHS2612LS side-by-side refrigerator $1,099
Frigidaire FGGF3041KF 30-inch gas range $899
Frigidaire FPHD2481KF 24-inch dishwasher $599
Frigidaire FFMV164LS over-the-range microwave $289


Brookhaven semicustom, full overlay cabinets in Nordic White by Wood-Mode $16,100


Cambria quartz-surfacing countertops in Nottingham $6,500
Minwax Dark Walnut stain for existing oak floor $40
United Ceramic Tile 3x6-inch white subway tiles $102


Elkay LKGTPKG1CR Gourmet undermount sink $950
Elkay LK2444NK Victoria faucet $621
Willoughby Mini pendants by Savoy House $120
American Lighting LVPX Xenon Puck undercabinet lights $96


Total cost: $ 27,415

Prices are estimates, excluding installation

Create a Traditional-Style Kitchen on a Budget

Tip No. 1. Work within an existing footprint. Keep electrical and plumbing lines in place to reduce labor costs and free up more of your budget for materials, fixtures, and appliances.

Create a Traditional-Style Kitchen on a Budget

Tip No. 2. Create the look of built-in appliances. Opt for an affordable slide-in range or counter-depth refrigerator to create a streamlined, built-in look for less.

Create a Traditional-Style Kitchen on a Budget

Tip No. 3. Choose durable surfaces. Glossy quartz-surfacing countertops mimic the look of natural stone but are much easier to maintain. A simple edge profile will help reduce costs. For an even more affordable alternative, consider stone-look laminates.

The Custom Kitchen

Pro-style appliances and distinctive semicustom cabinetry create a custom look and cost considerably more than stock offerings.


Sub-Zero BI-36U 36-inch built-in refrigerator $7,995
Wolf DO30-2U/S 30-inch double wall ovens $5,299
Wolf CT36G/S 36-inch six-burner gas cooktop $3,259
Miele G2472SCVI dishwashers $2,698
Wolf IS15/S 15-inch steamer $1,979
Best K260A42SS range hood with remote blower $1,744
Dacor IWD27 warming drawer $939


Brookhaven semicustom, inset cabinetry in Nordic White by Wood-Mode  $46,500


Caesarstone Raven countertop with ogee edge $7,500
Akdo 2x4-inch brick mosaic tile in Calacatta $1,224
Minwax Dark Walnut stain for existing oak floor $40                 


Rohl Perrin & Rowe bridge kitchen faucet $2,045
Rohl Perrin & Rowe single-hole kitchen faucet $1,213
Rohl RC3618 Shaws Original fireclay sink $1,175
Cenflex undercabinet lights by Starfire $606
Top Knobs M1266 pulls in brushed satin nickel $536
Millenium LSM1509PS Mini Pendants by Quoizel $306
Kindred QSU1820/8N bar sink $239


Total cost: $85,297

Prices are estimates, excluding installation

Create a Custom Traditional Look

Tip No. 1. Splurge on stone. For timeless elegance and enduring beauty, opt for a countertop or backsplash made of natural stone. Marble and granite are the most popular material types, but soapstone and limestone are other options worth considering. Keep in mind that natural stone requires regular sealing and maintenance to keep it in like-new shape.

Create a Custom Traditional Look

Tip No. 2. Customize your island. Furniturelike details add traditional character while amenities -- such as a second sink, or built-in appliance below the counter -- enhance function.

Create a Custom Traditional Look

Tip No. 3. Aim high. Extra-tall upper cabinets create the illusion of a higher ceiling -- and boost storage space. Top with crown molding for a polished look.

Create a Custom Traditional Look

Tip No. 4. Add chef-worthy appliances. Extra appliances ease meal prep: A double oven boosts baking capacity and makes it easy to prepare multiple dishes at once. Below-the-counter dishwasher drawers ease cleanup tasks. And specialty appliances, such as a built-in coffeemaker, steamer, or wine fridge, customize a kitchen just for you.

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