Want VS Need – An R2R Kitchen Case Study

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In every renovation some compromises will need to be made, because what you want and what you need might be two different things. Even with an unlimited budget (is that even a thing…?) the things you want to have might not be what’s best for the space.

Andrew’s “wants” for his basement renovation were pretty specific. In some cases they were easy to accommodate, while in others, they just didn’t make sense. So here’s how we worked out the wants vs the needs in such a way that we got the look Andrew wanted while ensuring the right materials were being used for the space.


Andrew’s Wants VS Needs


I Want This…


The beautiful look of hardwood floors. Hardwood is a huge draw for buyers and can increase the value of your home when used in the right places.


I  Need That…


Vinyl plank flooring that mimics the look of wood. It’s durable and can stand up to the wear and tear that will be inflicted in high-traffic areas. It’s also resistant to moisture and mold meaning it’s perfect for basements. Although hardwood is one of the most desirable features in North American homes, it’s never a good idea to use it in basements as it has zero resistance to moisture.


I Want This…


Built-in appliances. The streamlined look of built-in appliances is ideal for small, open concept kitchens like this one. They also lend a high-end look by integrating seamlessly into the design.


I Need That…


Freestanding appliances that only look built-in. Frigidaire’s professional line of appliances has both built-in and freestanding appliances. In this space we opted for the freestanding pieces because of their versatility. In the future we may want to convert the space into a stand alone apartment. Freestanding appliances allow for flexibility should we want to rework the kitchen design in the future.

Reno to Reveal - Kitchen Wants vs Needs
I Want This…


A durable, stone countertop that’s as good looking as it is tough.


I Need That…


Quartz (engineered stone). It’s quickly replacing granite as the go-to material for discerning homeowners because it’s very durable, virtually maintenance free, and it offers a great return on investment. In this space we went with Cambria’s Ella – one of its 120 design options available.


I Want This…


An open, airy kitchen that isn’t bogged down by upper cabinets.


I Need That…


An oversize kitchen island with plenty of interior storage. We didn’t want upper cabinets to crowd the space, but we still needed somewhere to store dishes, small appliances, and everything else that goes into a kitchen.

Reno to Reveal - Kitchen Island
I Want This…


Kitchen lighting that will provide the utmost in safety, functionality and design.


I Need That…


A combination of pot lights, in-cabinet strip  lighting, range hood lights and pendants. Having a variety of lighting options in the kitchen is a must, but fortunately it doesn’t have to be too expensive. As long as you have the appropriate ambient and task lighting focused in the right places you can increase your ROI.


I Want This…


A lot of drawer space without the cluttered look of a lot of drawer fronts.


I Need That…


A drawer within a drawer! Large drawer fronts hide the fact that there are two pullout drawers within. It allows us to almost double the storage capacity without sacrificing the streamlined look of the cabinetry.

Reno to Reveal - Touchless Kitchen Faucet
I Want This…


A big, polished chrome faucet to act as the centerpiece of the island.


I Need That…


A touchless faucet that won’t get marked by fingerprints. Since polished chrome gets dirty easily we wanted to minimize the need for cleaning – particularly since the faucet holds such a prime spot in the kitchen. A touchless faucet solves this problem.


For more information on how the kitchen was designed check out the kitchen style guide!

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Don’t be afraid to call your municipality’s permit office to discuss your project. They can help you understand the process and make it run smoother.