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Three Remodeling Budgets and Check Lists for the Health Conscious Kitchen

What things do you value most in your life? A healthy lifestyle?  A beautiful home? A happy outlook on life? I’m talking to you today about something that can positively (or adversely) affect all three. Your kitchen.




Your kitchen’s functionality and appearance has a huge effect on your health and wellness practices. Living an active, healthy life gives you energy yes, but it also takes some planning to get you there. Eating right, exercising and balancing your life can be challenging if you don’t have the right support systems in place. The well-planned kitchen is definitely a big piece of that puzzle. Take it from me. I know because I’m an interior designer, a wellness advocate and a health conscious, active woman juggling numerous health challenges. I couldn’t effectively manage everything with a kitchen that doesn’t meet those needs.

As a health conscious woman, the most important tasks that take place in your kitchen are making big salads, fresh green juices, smoothies, and whole food, plant based dinners like vegetarian soups and chili’s. These are essentials for you and they’re something you want to seriously consider committing to every single day.




image via Haus Love

If the kitchen is at the core of your health and wellness practices, the refrigerator is at the core of your kitchen. Most American’s have a diet high in meat and dairy and that means most American refrigerators are designed to easily access those particular foods, leaving the produce bins, “the ugly step children” at the bottom of the barrel! Buying refrigerators with the freezers on the bottom is a great solution for easier access to fresh produce.


For the tech lover, smart refrigerators have hubs to help you create grocery shopping lists, share calendars, interfamily notes and photos, and even stream movies and music. Some come with cameras inside just in case you forget that darn grocery list.

Built-in refrigerators are built into an opening and have sides that are flush with neighboring cabinets and doors that protrude out about 2 inches beyond cabinets.

An overlay or “panel-ready” fridge is also considered to be a built in but has the added feature of doors that match your kitchen cabinets.

Integrated refrigerators are completely camouflaged when installed. There are no vents or compressors visible. No 2 inch protrusions. Their doors are inset and are perfectly flush with cabinets and look identical to any other cabinet.

Your wellness practices will also to a slightly lesser degree, evolve around other kitchen activities and tools. These can be optimally placed according to proximity of your refrigerator, stove, sink and island.




image via Pure Salt



  • Chopping/salad prep
  • Mix Master/Kitchen Aid Food Processor
  • Dehydrator
  • Juicer
  • Blender/smoothies/soups/nut milks
  • Sprouting/fresh herbs
  • Cleaning
  • Baking
  • Children’s meals
  • 2nd sink/2nd cook


I get that not everyone wants to fully remodel their kitchen. Now if you’re building a home, yes that’s your opportunity to design it from the ground up and I have strategy sessions available for just that contingency. But for now, let’s look at things that can be done without a set of a big set of blue prints.




image via Pop Sugar


Kitchen remodels vary dependent upon where you live (California will be more expensive than Minnesota for example), the size (or scope) of the project and the product brands you choose but typically you can budget anywhere from $25,000 to $150,000.

When budgeting, keep in mind the real estate values in your neighborhood. The value of your home should play a part in the budget you decide on. In design terms we call this unofficial rating system Good, Better or Best.





$150,000 and up.

Custom cabinets/finishes

New wiring and plumbing

High end counters/backsplashes

High end flooring

High end appliances

High end fixtures (sink, faucet, pulls)

High end lighting



$75,000 and up

Custom cabinets/finishes

New wiring and plumbing

Upgrade counters/backsplashes

Upgrade flooring

Upgrade appliances

Upgrade fixtures (sink, faucet, pulls)

Upgrade lighting


*When remodeling an outdated kitchen, save time and money by maintaining the existing floor plans or ‘foot print’. By not rewiring or re-plumbing you can focus more of your budget on fixtures, flooring, counters, backsplashes, cabinets and appliances.


$25,000 and up

Stock cabinets

*Existing wiring and plumbing

Standard counters/backsplashes

Standard flooring

Standard appliances

Standard fixtures (sink, faucet, pulls)

Standard lighting




Starting and ending the day optimally, in a kitchen that’s functional and beautiful will make health and wellness that much easier for you!  

And if getting your home in order is a priority before the holidays, you will want to check out my freebie The Functional Home Blueprint where you’ll learn how to:

Create work zones that instill clarity and creativity so you can get organized and energized in the process. 

Make better zones in your home for downtime and re-connecting with yourself and your loved ones. 

Carve out exercise/wellbness spaces when there’s no room; optimize your kitchen so you feel good about following through with healthy eating and more!


Live beautifully. Eat beautifully,