Get the High-end Kitchen Look for Less

(ARA) – The kitchen has long been considered the heart of the home. What, then, is its soul? A recent survey by Whirlpool home appliances shows new homebuyers consider ovens the most important kitchen appliances.

While American homeowners spend billions on home improvements and repairs each year, most don’t know how to prioritize the most valuable upgrades for resale. Is it better to splurge on granite countertops or economize with laminate? And when it comes to appliances, just how many bells and whistles will it take to impress a homebuyer?

From major overhauls to minor repairs, kitchen remodels are consistently ranked by experts and realtors as the best return on investment in a home.

“Built-in ovens are great upgrades that can appeal to the most self-indulgent buyer, as well as the most practical,” said Holly Slaughter, consumer experience specialist for “Aside from adding luxury and versatility, they’re a relatively easy and space saving way to offer more options that can really positively impact the overall resale value of your home.”

Here a few tricks to give the look of a high-end kitchen, with or without the price tag.

A First-Class Kitchen

The ultimate upgrade is the combination of both a built-in microwave and oven. A built-in combination is an option if you’re re-doing your cabinetry – the oven and microwave literally fit into one space to give a “designer” appearance. For the latest technology, pair the oven with a SpeedCook oven. It looks like a microwave, but packs a more versatile punch: SpeedCook ovens can also grill, bake and broil. This option is the most impressive, and at $2,700 for the pair, home-selling experts say you can expect to recoup the cost of your investment at resale.

“Pairing a built-in oven with a SpeedCook oven is a popular choice – it offers the functionality of a double oven but takes up less space,” said Lyn Cook, senior home economist for the Whirlpool brand. “It’s also the best option for people who love to entertain and want the convenience of a speedier cooking process.”

Anything but Average

Perhaps your budget won’t allow custom built-in appliances, but the look is still achievable with a slide-in range. A slide-in range fits into the existing space and comes with trim to cover the gap between the countertop and the oven, giving it the appearance of a custom built-in. This option can still be upgraded with the addition of a SpeedCook oven and vent-hood combination over the range, with a cost starting at around $1,400 for the pair.

“The oven is one of the focal points of any kitchen,” said Chicago interior designer Thomas Fitzgerald. “If what you have looks outdated or tired, something new will liven up the appearance of the entire room.”

Low Price, Big Improvement

A cost-effective option is a freestanding range with a microwave-hood combination. In many kitchens, simply removing the microwave oven from the countertop and installing it above the oven is a space-saving enhancement, and one that many realtors suggest when “staging” a home for sale. Expect to spend about $800 for a new oven and microwave-hood combination.

Courtesy of ARA Content