Anytime I am going over a kitchen design and layout with a client I always advise them to use their upgrade money in their kitchen. Kitchens sell homes and there are a few easy tricks to really upgrade the look of your kitchen without spending a ton of extra cash.
#1. Built in Appliance Package Vs. “Apartment” Appliance Package. Below are 3 tiers of kitchen upgrades.
Option 1: standard slide in range with microwave hood above. This option does not allow you to have a decorative hood or show piece in your kitchen. For clients who want to add a little more character to their kitchen but don’t have a huge budget, I always suggestion option 2.
Option 2: Keep the slide in range but upgrade the range to a backsplash range (Usually about a thousand more). Move the microwave to a wall cabinet or pantry, this is minimal in cost, just the trim kit for the microwave and a cabinet panel and some electrical but this will make a huge impact because it now allows us to design a decorative hood for above the range that will act as the centerpiece of your kitchen and in the end give your kitchen a custom look. Adding a cabinet hood will be slightly more expensive because the custom hoods will cost more money and a vent insert will also be needed but this is the best way to upgrade your kitchen for the lowest cost.
Option 3: Go all out! A built in single/double wall oven package with a built in microwave and custom cooktop/grill will give you kitchen a high end look. The gourmet appliance package will be a great selling feature down the road. You can still upgrade your hood but because cooktops are usually 36″ as opposed to a 30″ slide in range, this allows you do go bigger and better on the cabinet hood allowance for a 48″-60″ hood giving the kitchen a grand look.
Bookshelves (Don’t forget to add detail to the sides of the island/bar, not just the back)
Cooktop Area: Add drawers and posts for added detail and pot storage. Posts also allow for extra granite dimension. Add detail to the backsplash or a pot filler in this area. Where you’ll be cooking is where you’ll be looking, keep it interesting!