Prioritizing your Needs in a Renovation Budget

If you’re like most people, you’ll have a set amount of funds you’re willing to spend on overhauling an area of your home. Whether you’re developing a basement, redesigning a bedroom or updating a kitchen, prioritizing your needs in a renovation budget is essential to meeting your goals.

How To Prioritize a Renovation Project Budget?


There is a popular story of a professor who placed a glass jar on her desk and filled it with rocks. She asked her students if the jar was full, and they agreed it was. She then took a handful of pebbles, and as she poured them into the jar they settled into the spaces between the rocks. She again asked her students if the jar was full, and again they agreed it was. She then took some sand and poured it into the jar. Now the students were certain the jar was full, but she surprised them once more by pouring a glass of wine into the seemingly full jar.

The professor explained that the rocks are the important things in our life, and as long as we fit them in first, we will have room for all the little things – even a glass of wine. But if we start with the little things, the sand and the pebbles, we won’t be able to fit the important things in.

This analogy is just as relevant for interior design as it is for life. The important items will be different for different households, depending on lifestyle, family size, and a multitude of factors.

During a recent kitchen renovation in the scenic riverside community of Diamond Cove, we worked with the homeowners to determine their primary needs. The resulting budget allocation prioritized quality appliances, plumbing and countertops.

A Revitalized Elegant Kitchen that Meets Needs and Budget

With those goals in mind, we selected a European-style integrated fridge and freezer, a dishwasher, double wall ovens, and engineered quartz countertops. For the fridge and dishwasher, we opted for fully paneled fronts to match the cabinets, which gives the kitchen continuity and a spacious, uncluttered feeling. The built-in double wall ovens are wonderful for conserving energy, and also for accommodating multiple dishes during busy family gatherings and holiday entertaining. As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, nothing compares to engineered quartz for durability, style, and ease of maintenance.

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A Central Place to Reconnect with Family

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Having met the primary needs, we were able to accommodate the budget by keeping the original layout, with the exception of adding an island. Using the bay window and back door as a frame, we incorporated the island in a way that provides a natural flow of traffic, maintains a spacious, uncluttered atmosphere, and adds easily accessible storage. The island is an ideal place for conversation, and we added seating for when the grandchildren are over for casual meals.

Complementary New Design with Pre-existing Flooring

The pre-existing flooring is a luxurious high-quality hardwood, which lends a feeling of warmth and coziness to the brightly lit kitchen. We complemented this with a careful palette selection for the cabinets, counters and subway tile backsplash. The two-tone cabinets in a shaker style help to add substance and depth to the lower portion of the kitchen, while gun metal handles in a slim profile maintains the clean, uniform feeling. Another detail the family wanted to preserve was the crown moulding. To accommodate this, we decided not to take the cabinets to the ceiling. This decision, combined with the glass-encased hanging lights, gives the illusion of height and spaciousness to the 8’ ceiling.

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By taking the time to determine the primary needs of the household, and prioritize those in the budget, we were able to craft a kitchen that is easy and pleasurable to cook, live and laugh in. Another benefit of taking the time to understand our clients is the amazing relationships we’re able to build – one of the most important aspects of interior design, and one of the first rocks we place in our jar.