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When To Save When To Splurge – Dec/Jan2016

When To Save When To Splurge - Dec/Jan2016

Know where to spend design dollars on a kitchen renovation

Kitchens rank in the top three areas of the home for the greatest return on invest (ROI). If done correctly, the return at point of resale is 80 to 100 per cent of the investment value. However, kitchens also carry the biggest price tags, which can quickly escalate, eating away at the potential forced equity.

When approaching a kitchen renovation or remodel, you can save by salvaging or repurposing elements of the existing kitchen. This may allow for splurges where they count most, providing the opportunity to carefully select where to spend versus where to save.

My top kitchen renovation splurges and saves may help you stretch your renovation budget where it counts most.



If your cabinets are in good shape, the layout works, and the style is fine, consider updating in one of two ways. Send the doors to be professionally painted in a fresh white or a contemporary soft grey. Or keep the boxes and have new doors made. This allows you to update the colour and the door profile while minimizing the investment.


With sinks, there are two common styles: undermount (mounted under a solid-surface counter material) and countermount (mounted on top of counters like laminate). There was a time when investing in a high-end sink offered a more streamlined look, like square corners and deep bowl, but today the options are vast and pricing is very reasonable.

Blanco is one of my favourites. They offer basically any size, style and configuration you can imagine. No need to spend the entire budget.




Akin to a piece of jewellery, the faucet can offer instant interest and is a great way to deliver your style message. If your kitchen is modern, selecting a slick singlelever or, alternatively, an eye-catching brass or bronze classic beauty will be worth the investment.


If you have the budget to update your counters, it’s worth it every time. Solid surface composite like Caesarstone and Cambria offer the natural look of stone and incredible wearability with their non-porous properties. This means the wear and staining seen on laminates or even natural marbles simply won’t show, which means a greater long-term investment.


Like the faucet, clean and contemporary cabinet hardware can add major design impact. My advice to clients looking to minimize their expenses is to save on the cabinets and opt for a basic clean style. Then invest in some really special hardware.

My go-to source is Lee Valley Tools. With everything from solid brass ornate pieces to crystal and resin artistic creations, this is a great place to express your personal style, knowing you can change it with ease for a minimal investment.

Toronto-based designer and contractor Melissa Davis is known for her appearances, creative design and reno work produced for various HGTV shows. Her work has also been profiled nationally in print publications. With almost two decades of reno and design experience her firm continues to service clientele throughout Ontario and the GTA, specializing in value-adding ROI and resale consultations. @melissadavis