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Kitchen Upgrades: What’s Worth the Investment?

Deciding to make improvements to your kitchen is exciting.

If you’re working within a budget, it can be difficult to determine what items are worth spending your money on and which ones you can take a pass on.

The tighter your budget, the more important it is to get the most bang for your buck.

Take a look at these upgrades that are worth every penny.

Add an island

Instantly add value to your kitchen by building an island. It will increase your counter space, as well as provide you with some extra storage.

A custom-built island can be made to fit the unique dimensions of your space.


New lighting fixtures and/or recessed lighting can dramatically change the look of your kitchen.

While it’s not a difficult job, it’s probably best to let the pros handle the installation.

Install a tile backsplash

Tile can protect your walls from cooking stains and water, plus they are a snap to clean.

The best part about adding a tile backsplash is the character it will add to the look of your kitchen space.

New cabinets

While it’s a big undertaking, replacing old cabinets are worth the effort and money.

If you’re on a budget, a good rule to follow is to splurge on functionality. It’s hard to tell the difference between cabinets that are solid wood or wood veneers because the veneers look so much like the real thing.

Go for a cheaper material and spend more money getting features that will make your life easier, like a lazy susan or building cabinets up to the ceiling for the maximum amount of storage.


If you want your countertop to be the design focal point of your kitchen, then it’s worth it to replace them with something that stands out.

Granite is a popular choice and it’s available in different grades, which means there are more expensive options and less expensive options.

Some laminate designs will have the same eye-catching effect without the eye-widening price tag.


Putting a new coat of color on your walls has one of the highest returns on investment. It’s not too costly but packs a style punch, especially if you aren’t afraid to get bold.

If you’re making upgrades in order to sell your home, you’ll probably want to take a safer bet and stick with neutral tones like grays or beiges.

Open up

Sometimes knocking out a wall isn’t a bad idea.

Opening up the space can have a major impact on the feel of your kitchen and how it flows with the rest of your home.

You’ll definitely want to consult a contractor before you get out the sledgehammers, though. They can let you know if it’s worth it for your particular home and space.


It’s pretty much always the right time to switch out your older appliances for energy-efficient ones. You’ll notice the savings right away.

While they’re not appliances, a couple other worthwhile upgrades are standalone oven hoods for better ventilation and pull-out pantries, which take up less space and are easier to access.

What’s important to you?

When all is said and done, you probably have projects that are higher on your radar than others.

The important thing about any upgrade or change you choose to make in your kitchen is that you love it and it adds value to your day to day life.

Even if you can only make one change at a time, do so with thoughtfulness and with the advice of a trusted contractor.