Needs Vs Wishes

Needs vs Wishes - Ranking Priorities in Your Kitchen Renovation

At Ekko Custom Cabinetry & Design,  we are often faced with helping clients in ranking priorities in their kitchen renovation, Needs Vs Wisheswhich are not all possible due to budget and/or space limitations. For this article, we were inspired and motivated by an article in “Houzz” March 12, 2017 written by Moorea Hoffman of “Kitcheneering”.

An unlimited budget for our kitchen renovation would be great, but most of us do not enjoy this luxury …. that is OK.  Compromises, for one reason or another, are part of the process, even for the homeowner who is blessed with a bottomless budget and expansive square footage.

Now, how do we decide between 2 compelling options with competing but different pros and cons?  It is critical to have a clear picture of your remodel goals and to prioritize your needs vs your wishes. You need to identify what means most to you and consider the trade-offs of choosing one option over another.

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When planning a kitchen remodel, you want to be very clear on your expectations for a number of often competing and conflicting priorities and intentions:

1.) How do I use my kitchen?

2.) What is my biggest concern target  –  Daily Use  vs  Special Events

3.) What motivates my decisions  –  Cost  vs  Value

4.) What am I most concerned with  –  Function  vs  Aesthetics

5.) What is the time frame priority for completion  -  Speed or Patience


How Will I Use My Kitchen?     The design priorities from this question will vary greatly.   Do I want to have people over more often or am I more concerned about serving my family only. Am I designing this to be one-person working kitchen or will there be others regularly “helping” – if so, how would I envision several people contributing without getting in each other’s way. What is the best design criteria to facilitate a quick and easy cleanup?

Daily use  vs  Special Events    How many people will this design be able to serve? The answer to this question will determine refrigerator size, seating capacity, work station allotments, etc.  Consider the number of people living in the home now …… and 10 years from now. How often do you intend to entertain and for how many people?  In our house we regularly have a family Sunday dinner with 15 people. We also have 3 or 4 parties of up to 30 or 40  people per year. Otherwise, for the other 300+ days per year there are just the 2 of us to worry about. Whenever possible, we recommend that clients design closer to their maximum capacity demands

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Cost  vs  Value     As you may have already experienced virtually all items in a kitchen reno come in a wide variety of price ranges – cabinets, countertops, appliances, flooring, wall tile, sinks and faucets, electrical fixtures, etc.

Ask yourself these questions:

-  will the investment improve my everyday life?

-  will this purchase increase the value of my home / investment?

-  will the addition of this product make my house feel more like a home?

-  will the addition of this feature provide an answer to a current functionality “issue” I have

Function  vs  Aesthetics      First of all, prioritize your desires to analyze the frequency and duration of a given task. Frequent tasks should get greater weight as you consider what is worth investing in. For example most people use burners 80% of the time and ovens 20% of the time. However, if you bake more often and use burners less often, that ratio changes. That ratio will better determine were best to spend money and where best to locate appliances. There will be a number of trade-off considerations between functionality and aesthetics. Do I want /need one sink or two. Do I want or need gorgeous finishes and custom detailing in my cabinetry  or do I tone down those details and get the layout and functionality that I need? The trade-off can be deeply personal and often is a direct reflection of one’s lifestyle. Again, consider your personal cooking style and how many people may be working in this kitchen at the same time. Do I want to spend my money on a “Built-in Fridge” with matching door faces or a settle for a free-standing fridge and get that 2nd sink I’ve dreamed of? One will provide an exceptional design touch, the other a significant functional improvement. Maybe consider the C/T materials – should I settle for a little less now and know I will likely replace it later in order to get the layout I want now …… or get the C/T I want now and settle for some layout compromises?


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Speed or Patience         Remember you are considering a large financial investment that you are going to live with a long time. Speed and timing can become necessary determining points. You may be remodeling for a significant special event (that backyard wedding) or you may be planning to sell the house and just want a quick face-lift to maximize your return. Consider how long you plan to live in your home and the time you really have to finish the project. If you plan to be living in your home for an extended period, it may be worth slowing down and investing more methodically in your quality of life.

At  Ekko Custom Cabinetry and Design, we strive to exceed your  expectations.  Whatever the reason for your renovation, consider this as an investment in your life and home – do it right the first time – you’ll be rewarded in your quality of life and the ultimate boost in your real estate value. Our custom kitchen and bath design staff can help you through a process that will give you the space you have dreamed of …. and deserve.


T.E. (Tim) Pressey 

Ekko Custom Kitchen Cabinetry and Design of Calgary

32 – 4th Street N.E.

Calgary, Alberta    T2E 3R7

(403) 263-3556

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