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Smart Upgrades for Your Kitchen RemodelRemodeling your kitchen is one of the biggest renovations you can take on in your home, and it's also one of the most fun. Whether your update will dramatically change the feel of your kitchen or whether you're aiming for a subtle change, there are a variety of ways you can create a welcoming, technologically advanced, and fun space for your family.

Where Do I Spend Money on My Kitchen Remodel?

If you're still at the earliest planning stages, you're probably trying to figure out your budget and where you might want to spend money on your kitchen renovation. If you have a set amount in mind, your contractor can give you a general list of what you can upgrade, but it's also helpful to know ahead of time where your money might be best spent.

A helpful "save versus splurge" article on The Kitchn offers some straightforward advice on the areas of your kitchen that are best for splurging and where you might want to save a few dollars.

For example, you might want to check out your cooking habits. Do you use the oven with regularity? Apparently, many people use their stove almost every day but aren't frequent bakers.

"Some folks don't even need an oven at all, especially with the advent of convection microwaves. Unless you're a frequent baker, prioritize your stove over your oven."

So, when it comes to choosing your appliances, think about what appliances you use most and where to put more of your budget. If you love making cupcakes every week and you're always baking something for dinner, go for that expensive oven.

However, if you're more apt to use the stovetop or a microwave, move those renovation dollars to a high-quality stovetop.

Fun Technology for Your New Kitchen

Replacing the appliances in your kitchen is one of the best ways to upgrade your kitchen as far as convenience and functionality are concerned, as well as for reasons of saving energy, water, and money on utility bills.

You might think about investigating "smart home" appliances that you can control with a smartphone or that are connected to your home's own network. For example, there's a neat phone app by GE that's worth a look.

"Speaking of cooking from afar, the GE Brillion app... works with several GE Profile wall ovens to enable remote turn-on, preheating while you’re driving home, temperature changes and checking meat probe settings. The app will also alert you when your gorgeous pot roast is done."

Appliances are terrific places to focus your budget when remodeling your kitchen. Not only do new appliances come in all sorts of fabulous styles to accommodate your specific tastes, but they're like virtual computers with all sorts of convenient features not available just a decade ago.

Squeeze More Space Out of Your Kitchen

Are you dealing with a galley kitchen where your family members bump into one another every time someone wants to use the microwave at the same time someone else is washing dishes? Well, there are a few ways you can reduce the space that your appliances take up even if you don't have the budget to expand the size of your kitchen.

For example, you might try a small "dishwasher in a drawer" instead of a full-size dishwasher. Better Homes & Gardens offers details on this cool appliance.

"These handy appliances offer efficient cleaning for a few dishes. Consider installing one in a butler's pantry, basement game room, or near a prep center."

One of the coolest features of these dishwashers is that you can remove them completely from their place and clean them without having to bend over and scrub them. With the space you save on your dishwasher, you'll have more storage space for kitchen accessories.

Choose One or Two Big Upgrades

Transforming your kitchen doesn't necessarily mean choosing the most expensive item for every single facet of the space. Get the appliances and fixtures of your dreams while utilizing some cost-saving measures for the cabinets, backsplash, or flooring.

Country Living suggests that you "stick to one splurge."

"To indulge the splurge on marble countertops... [keep] the original room layout and plumbing as is. Off-the-shelf cabinets and inexpensive tile also [help] cut costs."

Mixing a few luxury upgrades in with your budget-friendly renovation choices is easier than you might think if you choose to upgrade your kitchen to a modern design.

If you're trying to stick with an old fashioned kitchen, you might think about reclaimed wood and materials to keep things looking authentic and period-appropriate.

Get Expert Advice Your Kitchen Remodeling Project

Want to get the most out of your kitchen remodeling project? Download our FREE publication: "Wise Homeowner's Guide to Basement, Kitchen, and Bath Remodeling" and save thousands on your next renovation project.