2020 Best Kitchens Under $75,000

by Autumn McGarr



Bachelor Kitchen

Sarah Lee, SISU Home Designs, Salisbury, NC


When asked to remodel this outdated condo kitchen for a bachelor who liked to entertain, Sarah Lee faced several key challenges. The kitchen had limited space, the client was on a tight budget and there were plenty of things that needed fixing, from the broken floor tile to the clunky refrigerator that didn’t open properly.

She began by identifying the client’s wish list: updated appliances and materials, the addition of a casual seating area and a layout that would simplify cooking and clean up.

An unused French door to the patio was replaced with a large fixed window, allowing for the addition of a narrow bar top with seating for two. The swing door to the living room was also enlarged and moved down to provide space for a tall pantry cabinet.

Lee chose Cabico cabinetry, noting that while the cabinetry is custom, the selection is limited in styles, finishes and sizes. By combining a textured faux wood with a painted black finish, she was able to differentiate it from a standard look while remaining within the client’s budget.

The oversized refrigerator was replaced with a 24″ Bosch model that better fits the space, while a GE slide-in range and Bosch pull-out range hood enhance cooking functionality. Lee also bumped out the range wall to create a niche behind the range, bringing it closer to the Lenova sink with Moen faucet to make the layout more efficient.

Florida Tile in porcelain was used to replace the broken floor tile, providing a clean, neutral look, while the Silestone Eternal Noir countertops and backsplash from Cosentino add contrast. Layered lighting, including ceiling lights, pendant lights from Revel Pendants and Häfele undercabinet LED strip lighting, give the space a brighter, more open vibe.




Mid-Century Modern

Charlotte ‘Coco’ Bogardus, Kitchens by Coco, LLC, Medford, MA


Exciting pops of color give this mid-century modern kitchen plenty of personality, from the Aqua quartz countertops from Silestone by Cosentino to the NeoGlass Organza Domes iridescent glass backsplash.

Charlotte Bogardus was tasked with re-
imagining the small space to add color, function and panache.

By eliminating walls between the kitchen and living area, she was able to create an open floor plan ideal for entertaining that would also work to showcase the client’s extensive record collection. A bar was also incorporated since the client enjoys making exotic cocktails.

Because the kitchen area was small, other areas had to be found for additional storage and appliances. A window banquette with drawer cabinetry provides extra storage, while the Thermador appliances were paneled to make them fit in the dining area while minimizing the “kitchen” look.

Custom two-tone teak and maple veneer cabinetry from Custom Woodworking adds visual interest, paired with Boomerang drawer pulls from Rejuvenation, as does the Spanish vent hood, which the client chose because of its resemblance to a spaceship.





Vintage Charmer

Gerard Ciccarello, CMKBD, Covenant Kitchens & Baths, Westbrook, CT


The historic roots of this 1909 stone home were evident in the details throughout the house, and Gerard Ciccarello, CMKBD took this cue to create a kitchen with classic style and modern functionality. Challenges for Ciccarello and co-designer Eric Koch included integrating a television into the design, salvaging original radiators – which were incorporated into the island, and delivering state-of-the-art appliances that didn’t look overly modern.

To enhance the open feeling, the ceiling was raised back to its original 12′-14′ height. Custom cabinetry from Ivy Creek Custom Cabinetry in a pale green/blue tone checked the homeowner’s wish list for color and popped against the classic marble concentric hex tile backsplash and Porcelain White countertops from LG Hausys Viatera. The door style was chosen by looking at the period millwork in other parts of the house.

A shallow cabinet with shelves for cookbooks and a plate rack was designed to look like it was original to the house, and it includes the requested built-in television. A white apron-front sink from Whitehaus Collection, paired with a Rohl bridge faucet, adds to the vintage feel. The island features a Kraus prep sink with Kohler faucet, as well as a Sharp Microwave Drawer. A Zephyr hood accompanies a range of appliances from Thermador.


See all of the winning projects:

2020 Best Kitchens Over $225,000

2020 Best Kitchens $150,000–$225,000

2020 Best Kitchens $75,000–$150,000

2020 Best Showrooms

2020 Best Master Bathrooms Over $100,000

2020 Best Master Bathrooms $50,000–$100,000

2020 Best Master Bathrooms Under $50,000

2020 Best Powder Rooms

2020 Best Specialty Projects

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