Money-Saving Kitchen Ideas

by | Jul 9, 2021 | Designing, How-To, Kitchens, Room-By-Room

In every issue we will bring you money-saving ideas for your new log home. This time we focus on kitchens.

Include a functional built-in pantry. Save money on purchasing a tall pantry cabinet from your cabinet supplier and make a pantry closet on the job site. Use commercial-grade, long-lasting shelving for super function, recommends Susan Serra, a certified kitchen designer in Huntington, New York.

Use open shelves. Open shelves in place of full-wall cabinets enhance the look of your kitchen while cutting the cost. “Open shelving adds charm and decorative interest for many useful items we currently hide in our cabinets, such as bowls and dishes,” says Susan Serra. “Arrange according to color, size, or other decorative detail. Shelves can be made of any material; they can be painted or stained or left in their own rustic patina.”

Smartly place kitchen appliances. Consider what type of log walls you will have in your kitchen before placing appliances. “You wouldn’t want to place an ‘in cabinet’ wall-mounted coffee maker, which requires a water line, on an exterior full log wall,” says Greg Richards, finals selections manager of Golden Eagle Log Homes in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.

Purchase Energy Star® appliances. Efficient Energy Star-rated appliances save on energy costs right away and over the years. To save on the additional cost of running appliances, carefully assess the size of the appliance that you truly need. “Beware of large-size ovens or refrigerators that do not fit your lifestyle,” Susan Serra says. “Try to find the right fit for your real-life needs.”

Look for affordable flooring alternatives. Nowadays, vinyl flooring options come in a variety of colors and patterns that mimic travertine and stone tile. Laminate floors look like wood, but are much cheaper than real hardwood floors.

Use standard 1/2-inch trim. Thicker log trim around kitchen windows and interior doors may butt up against adjacent cabinet drawers, making them inoperable. “Fillers would need to be used to move the cabinet past the protruding log trim so that the drawer can open completely,” says Greg Richards.

Consider countertop tiles. If you are set on having marble or granite countertops, but the cost is daunting, look at 9-inch or 12-inch square tiles that are easier to fabricate and install, and are much less costly.

Take exact measurements. This is especially crucial before buying cabinets. And don’t forget to take ceiling height measurements. “Large overhead log beams will affect the heights of the cabinets and may prevent wall cabinet doors from opening,” says Greg Richards.

Utilize the sun. Make use of your kitchen window’s exposure in the planning process, which is dependent on your geographic location, to warm or cool your home plus add natural lighting, recommends Susan Serra. Passive energy savings can result in real money saved.

Do some of the labor yourself. Be realistic about what you can accomplish. Take on the doable tasks, like refinishing stock cabinets, tiling a backsplash, or even screwing in the switch plates, to save on labor costs.