Mix and Match
Removing the old island left a hole where the downdraft used to be in the middle of the hardwood floor. New wood was installed and the surface sanded and refinished to match the rest of the room. Beverly found a furniture piece with a marble top to take the place of the island. It adds additional workspace but can be moved if needed.
Cost: $712 for floor refinishing, $480 for the new island
- Prioritize your spending. Splurge on granite and save on cabinets. Or keep your original floors and get new appliances. It's a lot less stressful to make these decisions ahead of time.
- Build in wiggle room. Designate 10% to 15% of your total budget to cover surprise expenses.
- If the actual cost for something, such as retiling, is much higher than the estimate you were given, don't be afraid to ask your contractor for a deduction from somewhere else to compensate.
- Maintain a spending spreadsheet to keep track of every dollar and to keep your cash flow in check.
"Big Looks on a Budget" is from the August 2007 issue of Southern Living.