Kitchen Remodel Long on Style, Savings

A kitchen redesign doesn't have to break the bank when it comes to style.


Shawnda and Randy have decided it's finally time to bring their outdated kitchen into the 21st century, but they don't want to spend a lot of money. Because the kitchen is a multipurpose area that includes a home office and laundry, the makeover needs to be stylish and functional. Kenneth Brown's new design is space efficient and features cost-effective elements such as exposed concrete floors and laminate countertops, which give the couple the contemporary look they want.

When redesigning a kitchen, Kenneth says to think function first. In the couple's kitchen, he removes the peninsula to create one large open room and repositions the washer and dryer in a nook to hide them from view. Making these two changes allows them to decide where everything else will go. He says, "When you start with the major functions of the room, other things will fall into place."

Here are a few more of his tips: 

Use the perimeter of the room to guide your kitchen design because it will help you maximize storage and countertop space. As Kenneth says, "That's the key with kitchens - the more counter space, the better off you are."

Use laminate in place of more expensive countertop materials. The couple don't agree with Kenneth at first; they're hoping for a concrete countertop, but the cost is going to put them over their budget. In the end, they agree on a laminate that gives the concrete look they're hoping for. Kenneth also has it banded with a metal edge to tie in even more with the contemporary design.

Save money by installing only lower cabinets and keeping the plumbing in place. In lieu of upper cabinets, Kenneth is able to showcase Shawnda's art collection. Another way they save money is by using the concrete floor beneath the dated laminate. Even though it's damaged after they rip up the laminate, Kenneth is able to smooth it out with a thin layer of concrete.

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