Where to splurge vs. where to save

January 26, 2021

When thinking about a home remodel, the first thing that comes to mind is HOLY MONEY! Construction is by NO means inexpensive. But if done right will increase the value of your home, and create a home that you personally will enjoy and create lasting memories in. There is nothing better than coming home, after a long day at work (or a long day at home with the kids!) to a home that is updated, cozy, and inviting. Trust me when i say, it will be great for your social life too (if thats even a thing with COVID)! You’ll want to have your friends and family over for game nights, summer evenings BBQing, or just a quiet night in with a glass of wine! No one ever regrets a home remodel.. when its done!

As designers we have this ability (more like a super power!) to recommend splurging on some areas and saving on other areas. For instance, our Byrson project below, we were able to save on doing non custom cabinets with a pre fabricated quartz countertop for both the kitchen and bathrooms. We were able to source some great pre made cabinets that were still a good quality, and the quartz is very similar to ones we’ve used before. The integrity or look was never compromised here! Now, we did splurge on appliances in the kitchen…i mean those are the crown jewels of this kitchen. I was not willing to compromise on the appliances. We also did splurge a bit on the backsplash, and we took up all the way up to the ceiling and around the window. That is a design detail that takes your kitchen to the next level. That wasn’t a big splurge but the additional cost of material and labor does add up a bit. 

Bryson Kitchen Remodel
Kitchen included prefab cabinets & quartz

In the kids bathroom, our big splurge was blowing out a wall to add square footage to this bathroom. My client really wanted to get both a shower and tub in here..and she REALLY wanted a freestanding tub. The labor in this bathroom far exceeded anything else. The labor to remove the wall, create a walk in shower with a freestanding tub, as well as all the tile work. Another splurge in here was adding shiplap to the rest of the walls. This again, is another feature that adds so much warmth and texture to an otherwise cold space. We were able to save on the cost of the fixtures. The fixtures were still a decent middle of the line brand, but not on the higher end side to add unwanted cost. 

Bryson bathroom remodel which included blowing out a wall to increase the size of this bathroom
Bathroom remodel splurge was on the tile work
Bathroom included saving on the fixtures by choosing a middle of the line brand

The master bathroom, that is a relatively small but mighty area is similar to the kids bathroom. We splurged on opening up a wall to increase the size of the shower. The shower started out TEENY TINY, so we blew through a closet on the opposite side of the wall to almost double the size of the shower. Anytime you are opening up walls or moving walls, the costs add up. We saved again on fixtures used in this bathroom. Also because this bathroom is pretty small, the cost of tile was not off the charts..so we were able to do some fun pattern tiles in here without breaking the bank!

Bryson Bathroom Remodel save was on the pre fab cabinets and quartz
Bathroom remodel splurge was on removing a wall to increase the size of the shower
Bathroom Remodel save was the quantity of the tile needed was not a lot due to the size of the bathroom
Bathroom remodel splurge was adding shiplap to all the walls that didn’t have tile

Lastly, how great is this fireplace! This fireplace is right off the kitchen and in direct view from the front door. I wanted something that would pop. It started out as brick and had no mantel..how can you have a fireplace with no mantel!? Well, we saved by applying the tile directly over the brick. The brick was still in great condition so having the tile go directly on top was not a big deal. That saved a huge cost in the demo of the brick! Another way we saved was painting the fireplace box that started off as a 1970’s brass…to a matte black. It just needed a fresh coat to modernize it! The splurge was defiantly the tile. Even though it was not a lot of tile needed, the tile we did select which is a cement tile was on the pricey side. The custom mantel was a bit of a splurge as well but so worth it in the end!

Bryson fireplace save was leaving the existing brick and tiling over the brick
Bryson fireplace splurge was the custom mantel
Bryson fireplace splurge was the cement tile sourced

Rebecca Rollins Interiors is a residential interior design firm that passionately serves the northern Los Angeles region.

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