Screen shot 2016-07-12 at 9.03.37 AMAaaah, kitchens. We spend so much time in them, cooking for ourselves and our families and friends, that they have become the heart of the home, a hub of sorts. Whether considering a renovation to a dated kitchen, or designing a new custom home-built kitchen, the possibilities seem as endless as the options you can choose to make this essential space not just comfortable and functional but beautiful.

When looking at options, you need to consider your budget. There is not one magical feature or style that will classify your kitchen as high-end, but there are several key areas to be mindful of that can make the difference between a $20,000 kitchen and a $100,000 kitchen:

Cabinet Options

Choosing glass-faced or custom-designed doors that extend to the ceiling may add extra storage, but come with a higher price tag.

Countertops

Granite or quartz countertops can be quite striking and can make quite an immediate impact, but they are also a big-ticket item, especially when a large kitchen island is part of your plan.

Flooring

There are many options in flooring, such as hardwood, stone or premium ceramic tiles, but considering the square footage of your space can greatly affect the cost.

Backsplashes

Standard tile backsplashes can work, however the pattern and colour, in addition to whether a premium tile or stone or glass is being used, can change the look and feel of an entire kitchen.

Large islands

Creating a built-in seating area, complete with sink or cooktop grilles, drawers and wine rack into an island, can up the cost of an island, compared to creating a simple island as an extension of your counter space.

Lighting

An overhead fixture such as a chandelier is one consideration, but adding several lighting placements (under-counter, pendants over the island, pot lights, in-cabinet, under-cabinet) can increase how your budget is being allocated.

Breakfast bars

Breakfast bars that are built into an island can be a great feature in your new kitchen, but once the seating and large countertop extensions are added, so will your costs increase.

Appliances

Appliances can account for approximately 35% of your budget, and when you are considering oversized counter-depth refrigerators, induction or gas/grille cooktops, or multiple ovens as well as brands such as Miele, Wolf, Sub-Zero or Thermador, then these options can significantly modify your kitchen from a simpler renovation to a luxurious game-changer.

Whatever your budget, it is important to consider not just the price tag of these items, but also the quality and craftsmanship that doesn’t just extend the life of your kitchen, but also maintains its value when reselling your home.