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Are you thinking about kitchen upgrades? If not, you should be.

The kitchen is a room in your home that you use every day. After all, you eat every day! And the best kitchens can become more than just places to prepare food – they can be enjoyable spots for the whole family to hang out.

However, if you find yourself spending less time in your kitchen, it might be a sign that you need a kitchen upgrade. Not sure which upgrades are right for you, and how you should spend your money wisely? We’ve put together some of the top things to splurge (or save) on in your kitchen – keep reading to find out what they are!

Why Splurge on Kitchen Upgrades?

As with all home upgrades, there are times when it’s best to save, and times when it’s worth it to splurge.

The things you splurge on depend in part on what matters most to you. For example, if you’re passionate about cooking, a high-quality range will be worth the money. But if you’re more into entertaining, a wine cooler might be the splurge you really want. And if you have a big family, storage might be the thing you spend the most on.

Some things are also worth the money because they’ll add a lot of value to your home. However, if selling isn’t in your future, you’ll just need to think about the things that will benefit you in the long term.

Let’s take a look at how to make the save versus splurge decision on various items in your kitchen.

1. Appliances

If you want to upgrade your appliances, make sure to choose energy-efficient models that come with warranties. Since appliances tend to get the most use in a kitchen, it’s worth it to spend a little more for models that will save you money on your energy bills each month.

However, you’ll need to balance the cost of your appliances with the cost of your cabinets, hardware, and other features. You don’t want to spend too much on your appliances and end up lacking the money you needed for other features of your kitchen.

You should also carefully consider which appliances you’ll splurge on, and which you’ll save on. Your refrigerator will probably need to be replaced in about 15 years, so you may not want to splurge as much on that as you would on your cooktop, which lasts even longer.

2. Countertops

If you want your countertops to become a focal point in the kitchen, you should definitely spend more on them. Countertops of fancy materials like granite cost a lot more than laminate materials. But they do look beautiful, and can add a lot of value to your home.

The countertop is a good thing to decide on first, since it might actually influence the other kitchen design choices you make. Your furniture, cabinetry, and colors might all be chosen to compliment the countertop.

However, don’t just make these choices to impress a potential future buyer. Everyone’s taste is different, and what’s most important is that you have a design that makes you happy while you use it.

If you want a lovely countertop but need to save money, there are some shortcuts you can take. For example, you can buy granite at a lower grade, which will cost less and give you a better return on your investment.

There are also certain types of laminate that do a good job of mimicking stone, and cost much less. Although you won’t be able to place a hot pan on the laminated surface, it will look the way you want it to.

For a nice compromise, consider splurging on an eye-catching surface for the kitchen island, and saving money on the rest of the countertops.

3. Cabinetry

Remodeled kitchen cabinets can drastically improve the appearance of the room, and they don’t have to cost a fortune. However, there are some times when you might want to splurge, such as deciding to add a lazy susan (these can cost more than $1,000).

Keep in mind that the costs of tax, delivery, and installation will add more to the cost of a cabinetry upgrade. If you extend the cabinet to the ceiling, add drawers, or want features like roll-out trays and more shelves, this will cost more too. But if you need more storage, the price can be well worth it.

There are a few things that are worth the investment, no matter what your budget is. Be sure to add a waste-recycling center, and get cabinets that have soft-close doors and drawers. These are now considered must-haves by almost every buyer.

You may not choose to splurge on the appearance of your cabinetry, but you should definitely splurge on the functionality. That’s what will have the strongest effect on your daily experience of using your kitchen.

You can save money on the material used to make the cabinets, though. Most people can’t tell the difference between a wood cabinet and a veneer one. You can get an inexpensive finish that still looks great.

However, make sure the sides and shelves of your cabinets are made of plywood instead of particle board. This splurge ensures they’ll stay strong for years to come, and can help with your resale value.

4. Hardware

If you want to give the appearance of your home a boost, you’ll be surprised at the difference kitchen hardware can make. But should you splurge on it?

You don’t need to splurge here to get a great look – although you can if you want to. There’s a wide range in kitchen hardware prices. However, one good way to save money is to buy the same kind of knob you already have. Exchange pulls for pulls and knobs for knobs, so you won’t have to cover up the holes in your cabinets.

If you want a really luxe kitchen look, it is a good idea to splurge on the hardware, though. Hardware is less expensive than other upgrades, so even a “splurge” can be relatively affordable.

Ready to Splurge on Your Kitchen Upgrades?

The things you decide to splurge or save on are personal, but no matter what, you should splurge on at least some aspects of your kitchen upgrades. The extra cost will be well worth it – if you spend more on the things that matter most to you.

When you’re ready for your remodel, check out our custom options here to get started!