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  • Writer's pictureLDD Interiors

Kitchen Costs: Breaking it Down Into Bite Sized pieces

The kitchen really is the castle itself. This is where we spend our happiest moments and where we find the joy of being a family.

~ Mario Batali

Mario’s cooking philosophy is simple. Good Italian cooking is characterized by simplicity. Don’t we all wish designing a dream kitchen that executes those perfect dishes was this simple!?

As we continue to navigate through this budding year of the new decade, we all have found ourselves spending many more hours in our kitchens. Naturally this has led many of us to examine the functionality and overall aesthetic of our kitchens, which often has led to the desire to seriously update and renovate! *Pssst* The kitchen is one of my favorite rooms to redesign, but it is also one of the most difficult spaces to help clients understand the real costs associated with updating it.

Unfortunately, consumers have been misguided for years on actual costs. DIY networks share great ideas and trends but more often than not neglect to share with their viewers true costs and timeframes. I truly wish they would share that much of the labor associated with the remodel is donated, materials are bought below wholesale cost, or just simply speak to the difference in costs due to the regions people live in. Avoiding these real conversations only creates disappointment for consumers when they decide to tackle an update or renovation. So, welcome to a ‘Come to Lisa Moment”! This is how many of my friends, family, and colleagues often refer to my approach to straight talk. I don’t sugar coat; I just tell it as it is…with a smile of course.

Let’s break down kitchen updates or remodels into three levels, Facelift, Moderate Updates, and the Ultimate Dream Kitchen! These numbers will help you realistically budget your new kitchen space in the markets LDD Interiors is familiar working within: New England, DC Metro, Dallas Metro and Southwest Florida.

Photo credit N-Hance


This is really just a basic kitchen remodel. Now don’t confuse ‘basic’ with ‘blah’ or ‘boring’; it still offers a fresh new look at an average cost of around $35,000 to $55,000.

A Face Lift kitchen remodel keeps the same layout of your current kitchen. This cost-effective approach can be achieved by leaving existing big-ticket items, like appliances and cabinets, in place to free up funds for new finishes that will refresh the appearance. Also bear in mind, keeping your cabinets doesn’t mean you are pigeonholed into the same color or finish, instead consider repainting or refinishing them to update the appearance of your kitchen. This decision is always more cost effective than installing completely new cabinets, which generally runs you at least twice as much as painting. So, what does a Face Lift remodel include? Well…here’s my list:

· Cabinet re-finishing or painting

· New cabinet hardware

· Backsplash

· Countertops

· Plumbing fixtures (i.e. new sink and faucet)

· Flooring

· Wall paint

· Decorative lighting

Additionally, Face Lift kitchen renovations can be completed in shorter timeframes than more extensive remodels. Conservatively plan on four weeks to complete a kitchen Face Lift, but this is only if you have all your ducks in a row and new products are purchased and onsite.

Photo credit Landino Photo


Some of us are living with kitchens that don’t quite cut the mustard. Maybe you have always desired an island or that space next to your stove just isn’t large enough for food prep. If your design team can reconfigure your kitchen without moving major walls and only have minimal changes to plumbing and electrical systems, then most likely your kitchen will fall into the Moderate Update category. Depending on the size of your space, these remodeling projects cost between $55,000-$120,000.

Typically, these projects require ‘gutting’ the kitchen. Here at LDD Interiors we work hard to create temporary kitchen spaces for our clients during the remodeling process. If this isn’t an option, then add meals out to your budget during the remodel…that can add up fast!

Your Moderate Update kitchen includes:

· New layout customized by your design team

· New cabinetry, upper end box or semi-custom

· Upgraded interior cabinet storage or rollouts

· New appliances

· Moderate level plumbing fixtures

· Upper end backsplash

· Stone or quartz counters

· Wood, stone, or porcelain flooring

· Decorative lighting

· New layout for task lighting & undercabinet lighting

Moderate Updates require a little more patience, plan ten to twelve weeks to complete a remodel at this level. The wait will be worth it!

Photo credit Landino Photo


This option requires a serious commitment to your home and the design, but it will yield awesome results! Remodels of this level often seep into adjacent living spaces, require moving walls, relocating plumbing and reconfiguring electrical layouts. Typically, these remodels start around $125,000 so you can understand why this requires commitment.

Your Ultimate Dream Kitchen should be designed and created in partnership with a design team. They will walk you through the process by first understanding your needs and wants for the space, then executing the design, followed by guiding you through the selections and construction process.

Ultimate Dream Kitchen includes:

· Full Design Package with ID Drawings

· Architectural molding details

· Custom cabinetry and customized storage solutions

· Built-in appliances (like refrigerators and dishwashers)

· High-end, professional grade appliances

· Custom backsplash

· High end counter tops (i.e. quartz, granite, marble)

· New flooring

· Decorative lighting

· New layout for task lighting & undercabinet lighting

Now let’s remember Rome wasn’t built in a day, and design at this level does require commitment and patience. Projects at this level are difficult to estimate, although one can minimally plan on fourteen weeks after the plan is finalized. Remember, the level of detail in a project like this takes time. For example, your cabinetry is being built to your specifications…this process alone is eight to ten weeks.

Additionally, I’d be remiss in not sharing that in the third quarter of 2020, building material costs have jumped 20% overall. Contractors are in high demand, which leads to increased labor costs. Many products, such as appliances and box cabinetry can be delayed due to high demand. These budgetary numbers reflect these most recent increases, although if we continue with this high demand, we could continue to witness rising prices.

There you go! Your “Come to Lisa Moment” on kitchen redesign. Whichever route you choose for your new kitchen, I want you heading into the process with your eyes wide open. After all, your home is your oasis, never compromise…but creating it should be stress free too!


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