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How to Budget for a Kitchen Renovation

Updated: May 12, 2023

One of the most common questions I get is: What's a good kitchen budget?

It is extremely tough to figure out a budget - the choices are limitless when it comes to renovating your kitchen. But - you're in luck! This post will look at a kitchen renovation from start to finish. We'll help you pick the right elements for your home based on your style and budget as well as where they can be sourced.

In this post, I'll answer all the FAQs I get about:

  • Kitchen Appliances

  • Countertops

  • Kitchen Lighting

  • Plumbing Fixtures

  • Kitchen Cabinetry

I'll also share specific examples of where I splurged and saved in my own mid century modern kitchen (see image above). You’ll be able to take what I’ve done here and apply it to your own kitchen renovation!


To help homeowners get the right budget for a kitchen remodel, the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) offers a recommendation for an average kitchen remodel:

  • Cabinetry and Hardware: 29%

  • Installation: 17%

  • Appliances and Ventilation: 14%

  • Countertops: 10%

  • Flooring: 7%

  • Lighting: 5%

  • Walls and Ceilings: 5%

  • Design Fees: 4%

  • Doors and Windows: 4%

  • Faucets and Plumbing: 4%

  • Other: 1%

What Are the Best Kitchen Appliances?

I can answer this question before it’s done being asked: Gaggenau appliances are my absolute favorite! The steam-powered, self-cleaning series has a sleek, ultra-modern design that's cutting edge.

Gaggenau kitchen...Swooon.

For something with a versatile aesthetic and that’s slightly less expensive but just as good, Thermador is an excellent brand. The pieces are all carefully crafted with long lasting materials and a great attention to detail.

Best Affordable Kitchen Appliances

For something more affordable, my favorite source is Kitchenaid. They have great customer service and always run fabulous deals. I have them in my kitchen and they don't disappoint. My fave? The double 48” oven - we use it every day and love its versatility. It's a game changer when you need to bake or roast 2 things at once but dont have the room for a double wall oven.

This 48" range and oven combo is a showstopper in red!

Best Luxury Plumbing Fixtures

Waterworks has the most amazing fixtures around. There is just something amazing and unique about the craftsmanship and styling on these fixtures.

These fixtures by Waterworks are so sculptural and has the coolest finishes in the business
Did you know Waterworks make custom cabinets? So good
I am also design-crushing on Rohl’s Eclissi Collection - wonderful craftsmanship and statement making designs!

Brizo faucets and pot fillers are reliable and the line has something for every kitchen, no matter the style or budget! There is a wide variety of finishes available from Brizo, and their modern aesthetic is one of my favorite things about them. Ferguson has been my go-to source for cabinets and plumbing fixtures for years. They own now which means that they can order you almost any appliance or fixture out there! From budget-friendly to high-end products, they have it all.

love the wood touch here

Brizo faucet and pot filler - in 2 different gold finishes

How Much Will I Spend on Kitchen Appliances & Plumbing Fixtures?

The chart below will give you an idea of what you can expect to spend on your kitchen

If you want an even more comprehensive budget breakdown for every room in your home, you can download my complete home renovation budget guide here.

The Best Kitchen Countertop Stone

What Are the Most Durable Kitchen Countertops?

When designing your kitchen it's always a good idea to think long term – rather than look at the initial sticker price, think about what surfaces will hold up overtime given all the wear and tear of regular everyday kitchen use. For this reason, quartz, granite, and laminate countertops (in that order) continue to be the most popular and best deal when you take durability and cost in mind. Truly anything that is not too porous, like marble, concrete, or soapstone, and has a good seal on it will hold up well. Selecting the most durable is going to be the best and most cost-effective choice.

Quartz counters and backsplash at client's home. Design by Margaret Carroll Interiors
How Much Do Kitchen Countertops Cost?

It is difficult to estimate how much your kitchen countertops will cost because in addition to the material chosen, you also have the square footage to take into consideration as well as the labor. But in the case of this mid century modern kitchen (which falls into the midrange budget, for frame of reference), we spent $9,277.00 on the countertops and used a sustainable countertop from Silestone. (Check them out online – they have an amazing green story!)

Photo of yours truly showing the appliance garage. Silestone top went inside the garage for a seamless look
Best affordable Kitchen Countertops

Looking for something that’s durable, on trend but has a lower sticker price? MSI Surfaces is an excellent option. I have been using MSI Surfaces for years - mostly in commercial / coworking spaces. They require little maintenance and are stunning as well!

MSI quartz used in a bathroom

The Best Kitchen Lighting

What Are the Different Types of Kitchen Lighting?

You may see similar lighting schemes in kitchens because it's practical and it's essential to safety - under counter lighting is great for illuminating work areas, overhead lighting ensures a well-lit space throughout, and you can add some visual interest with an over-island chandelier.

Lighting by Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams (pendants) and Regina Andrews (Chandelier)

How Do You Choose the Best Kitchen Lighting for Your Kitchen?

All of your kitchen lighting should be damp-rated and easy to clean because it will get dirtier in the kitchen than in other places of your home. I like to avoid glass light fixtures in the kitchen- in my opinion I can see every piece of dust and dirt on the glass.

How Much Does Kitchen Lighting Cost?

The cost of kitchen lighting can vary dramatically depending on how many fixtures you need (Do you need 2 or 3 or 4 pendants over the island? ), the quality of the fixtures, and the labor involved in installation. Kitchen island lighting can start anywhere around $800 and can cost well over $10,000. In the mid mod kitchen, we spend $400 on the recessed lighting, $1,200 on the island pendants, and $60 on the undercabinet light strips. The undercabinet light strips are from Amazon but the bigger cost was the installation and labor for having an electrician hard wire them in.


One of my fave vendors that carries budget friendly and high end lighting is Lamps Plus. Lamps Plus carries over 80,000 SKUS of lighting at nearly every price – if you can’t find something you like there, I don’t know what to tell you! But the decision fatigue is overwhelming and sometimes you need to go right to the brands you know and trust deliver a stylish quality light. The ones I turn to most often? Circa and Visual Comfort, which also has a range of price points, or Arteriors, for elegant, upscale sculptural pieces.

The Nebula fixture from Arteriors has such a great shape and the glass work is stunning

You can never go wrong with a piece from Kelly Wearstler's collection at Visual Comfort

How to Choose the Right Kitchen Cabinetry

What’s the Best Material to Use for Kitchen Cabinets?

Much like the countertops, you want to opt for the most solid materials like solid wood or wood veneer for your cabinets so they withstand the fire and fury of cooking dinner every night. If you splurge for a true custom cabinet custom they are built to your exact specifications, and you can add as many unique details and accessories and accents as you want. In addition, custom work will be of the highest quality.

What are the Best Luxury Kitchen Cabinets

The Waterworks showroom is a dreamy experience, full of possibilities for your new luxe kitchen. Their custom cabinets are truly unique, timeless, and sophisticated.

The details are incredible in this Waterworks kitchen!

KONST SieMatic is another wonderful place to shop for all things kitchen. When it comes to high end, customized modern kitchens, it's my top choice.

For a truly modern aesthetic - this Siematic kitchen is sleek as well as functional
What are the Best affordable Kitchen Cabinets

The design staff at Ferguson showrooms are knowledgeable and helpful when it comes to budget friendly kitchen cabinet shopping. They have several different cabinet lines that will fit all budgets and styles. Several years ago, I wrote about my experience building my kitchen here. My fave kitchen designer Jan is still at Ferguson and I still LOVE working with her.

How Much Do Kitchen Cabinets Cost?

These are all general estimates to help guide you as you assemble a realistic budget to meet your kitchen reno needs. Whatever your budget, some of these numbers may seem daunting, but luckily, renovating and updating your kitchen is one of the best ways to add tremendous value to your home. If you want something even more comprehensive, and want to budget for other rooms in the home, download out my guide here.

And if you like this post, like, subscribe, share with a friend, and stay tuned – I’ll be breaking down bathroom renovation budgets next week!

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