Making an Impact on a Tight Kitchen Budget

Published: January 9, 2024

This last year has certainly been buzzing with wellness as a theme. Why? We were already on a path to understand how health impacts performance with solutions like meal-delivery kits, an interest in Eastern medicine and yoga and the popularity of organic foods. With the pandemic, health became a priority.

Let’s talk about wellness in the kitchen. How does one incorporate it in this most valued space on a tight kitchen budget?

Start with Lighting

The average cost of a light bulb starts at $6, and lighting can be one of the least expensive changes you can make for your client that will have the most impact. Assess which lights will be used the most and which are truly necessary as part of a good lighting plan. Not including illumination your clients will never use can cut the budget significantly on fixtures and electrical installation.

Today’s bulbs are available in varied color temperatures, which affect mood and eye health. Warm orange colors cause reduce stress because the brain perceives the dim light as a signal for either sunrise or sunset, which are both peaceful times of the day. Color temperatures of 3000K

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and higher are best for focus and concentration. Ambient illumination provides an even spread of light, and it allows the eye to take in all areas of the room without feeling overwhelmed. Task lighting provides a focused spread specifically intended for kitchen prep and can help ease eye strain. Accent lighting spotlights areas, and decorative lighting adds ambience.

Organization Is Key

One of the most important aspects of a well-designed kitchen is the level of organization. There are multiple options available when building cabinetry, but what if the project budget doesn’t lend itself to total customization? There are many brands and retail stores that offer organizational storage options that are not built in but added. Rev-a-Shelf is one example of a manufacturer that offers drawer organizers, cutlery trays and various sized baskets to help keep cabinets and drawers in order.

Above photo: Rev-A-Shelf’s Two-Tiered drawer comes pre-assembled and ready to install into an existing cabinet drawer opening.

On the Surface

Countertop materials are not typically inexpensive but are a necessity, and the choices are many. Quartz leads the list because it is a non-porous material, and it is eco-friendly because it upcycles usable waste materials such as ceramic, silica and glass. Natural materials like marble, granite or quartzite are durable and sustainable but must be sealed. A bonus is that these stones are also used in Eastern medicine as healing materials.

To minimize countertop costs for your clients, select common material colors. Uncommon hues and those that sparkle will cost more because they are rare. Solid colors are also less expensive because there will be less cuts and no need for a pattern match. Less material = less money = cost savings.

All in the Appliances & Fixtures

Let’s talk about steam ovens! With the ability to cook food quicker and more evenly, chicken stays moist, and the nutrients remain in the food. There is no longer a need for added oil because meals don’t dry out. So how do you keep this luxury purchase within a budget? The combi-steam oven will do most of what the microwave does, so there is no need for both.

A hands-free faucet is a great wellness element for kitchens because it reduces the spread of bacteria. While some models are on the pricier side, their increased popularity has significantly lowered the price point, and they also save on water usage. Most standard models start at about $260.

Living Things

It’s always great to include an area for a kitchen garden if your clients want to grow their own herbs and veggies inside. Consider open shelving or a shelf under or near the window where the light shines in. At a minimal cost on sites like Amazon, you can order an entire shelf kit with six brackets and three shelves that can hold a few plants and be a decorative accessory at the same time.

What an array of delicious choices available! Follow these tips and savor your wellness contributions.

By Lori Miller, president of LGC Interior Design

Photo credit: Rev-A-Shelf


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