How to Properly Assess These Major Trade-Offs in a Kitchen Remodel

Over the years, the kitchen has taken on a very important role within a home. It’s not just a place where you prepare meals; it’s a place where you catch up with family, socialize with friends, host get-togethers, and much more.

Well-designed and striking kitchens have the tendency to attract guests and improve the property value. However, kitchen remodeling projects can be extremely complicated, as homeowners find it tough to make decisions that are cost-effective and support their goals.

If you are planning to upgrade your kitchen in any way, here are four major trade-offs you must consider.

1. Value versus Project Cost

On an average, American homeowners report that a kitchen remodeling can cost anywhere between $25,001 to $50,000, depending on the size of the kitchen, the quality of the materials used, and the nature of the project.

A well-designed kitchen can be extremely rewarding in the long run, fetching you a significant payoff if you consider selling your home. An article published in the Remodeling Magazine shares that a minor kitchen upgrade, such as replacing the cabinet doors and drawers, installing new faucets, and investing in an energy-efficient cooktop and oven can add as much as 82.7 percent of the remodeling cost back into the home value.

When planning a kitchen remodel, sit with your contractor and determine the elements you want to modify with respect to your requirements and budget. Every item, from kitchen appliances to faucets, are priced differently; consequently, it is crucial for you to gauge the quality, the aesthetic value, and the utility of each upgrade, enabling you to frame your choices based on the project cost versus the value added to your property.

Consider mulling over the following questions before deciding whether to splurge on high-quality upgrades or save your dollars for something more critical.

  • Will this upgrade meet your requirement?
  • Will this investment address a pet peeve?
  • About how much value will this investment add to your property?

It is also important to prioritize your upgrades with respect to the frequency and duration of usage, enabling you to assess the value it brings in terms of convenience and comfort. For instance, if a smart dishwasher can eliminate the need to pre-rinse dishes and reduce your time around the sink, it would make sense to invest in one.

2. Flashiness versus Functionality

According to the 2018 National Kitchen and Bath Association Design Trends Study, which surveyed 822 designers, remodelers, architects, dealers, and manufacturers, recently shared that the contemporary-styled kitchens have overtaken the traditional ones, making them the most preferred kitchen design style in the U.S.

Without a doubt, it feels great to be a proud owner of an attractive kitchen; however, ignoring the functionality can pose serious operational challenges in the future. In many other cases, lack of budget may cause homeowners to compromise on several aesthetic features, forcing them to settle for a basic functional kitchen.

When considering a kitchen remodel, many homeowners envision stainless steel appliances, smart equipment, granite kitchen countertops, and professional-grade cabinets. Though incorporating these upgrades into your dream kitchen sounds like an exciting idea, it is wise to consider your lifestyle and how you and your family use the cooking area.

For instance, if you do not cook frequently, yet are conscious about the visual appeal of your cooking area, you may consider dedicating more of your budget to adding attractive, high-end cabinets or appliances.

On the other hand, if you enjoy cooking and entertaining your loved ones, it is worth scaling back on the aesthetic features and investing in a design that prioritizes workflows.

3. Special Occasions versus Daily Use

Before deciding on the style and the layout of your kitchen, you must consider the main function of the kitchen.

  • How often do you cook?
  • Do you have many visitors?
  • What’s the typical number of people the kitchen will serve?

For example, if you are remodeling your kitchen to be used for special occasions or serve a large family, you may consider upgrades such as building a separate pantry for storing the groceries, leaving more floor space for seating, and investing in larger appliances.

On the other hand, if you are refurbishing your kitchen for daily use, you may choose features depending on your lifestyle and eating habits. For instance, if you have a kid who is used to doing his/her homework or conversing with you in the kitchen while munching on a few freshly-baked muffins, you may consider including a desk or an island.

Regardless of the kitchen design you choose, make sure you consider the maximum capacity of your dwelling, enabling you to effectively serve and entertain your guests.

4. Trendy versus Timeless

Trendy kitchen designs are highly appealing as they give your cooking space an instant curb appeal, which in turn, boosts the overall value of your property. However, some of these design styles focus on the current trends without considering possible style changes in the future. Consequently, when your trendy kitchen cabinets or flooring run out of style, you still have to live with them.

Timeless designs, on the other hand, can be appreciated for a long time as they enjoy a widespread appeal and are generally easier to implement. However, over a period of time, these kitchens tend to look unexciting. Moreover, timeless design features, such as ultra-durable countertops and wooden cabinets are expensive and can adversely affect your budget.

When looking for a kitchen upgrade, strive to maintain a balance between trendy and the timeless features, enabling you to incorporate the best of both worlds. Choosing styles that border timeless and trendy will help you create a cooking area that maintains its artistic appeal for years to come.

For instance, open shelves are trendy and timeless, as they have been used in kitchens for a long time and are still in vogue. Similarly, the timeless all-white kitchens can be combined with trendy accents to give your cooking space a bolder, more stylish look.


A kitchen remodeling project is an exciting, yet stressful undertaking. Regardless of whether you are an epicurean or an entertainer, consider the above-mentioned trade-offs when remodeling your cooking area, enabling you to build the kitchen of your dreams in the most cost-effective manner.

At San Diego Kitchen Pros, we have been helping clients strike a perfect balance between these trade-offs for nearly three decades. We are happy to sit down with you and discuss your current situation, needs, wants, and budget to determine a solution that serves you well for the long term.