One of the biggest design investments in the home is your kitchen. If yours is less-than-awesome, how do you know if it’s worth investing in a kickass complete remodel or if a less expensive makeover will do the trick? Here’s when you should renovate a kitchen (and when you should just leave it alone):

Can’t view the embedded video above? Click here. Prefer to read? Transcript is below.

Let’s talk kitchens, baby.

Hey everyone, Lesley Myrick here, interior stylist and owner of Lesley Myrick Art + Design where we create interiors with an offbeat edge.

Kitchens. If yours is kinda needing some love,

How do you know if it’s just time to do an aesthetic upgrade or a full-out renovation?

I recommend my clients make aesthetic changes when it just comes down to the fact that they don’t like the look or design of a certain element.

Now, what if the issues with the kitchen go beyond just “I don’t like my doors?”

What if there are practical and functional issues?

There’s not enough light coming from the ceiling, or your kitchen was built in the 1950s and the shelves are not adjustable so your cereal boxes don’t fit – which is a real problem I’m currently having.

Or, there’s something else function-wise that’s really inhibiting your use of the kitchen and – if you plan to move any time soon – the resale of that home.

When it comes down to functional issues –

– something isn’t meeting your needs, something is broken beyond repair, something doesn’t have enough of what you need to be adequate – that’s when it’s time to really consider gutting and renovating, starting fresh, and designing a new kitchen that’s going to meet those needs and look totally kickass.

In a kitchen aesthetic improvements are a bandaid solution. If you’ve got a kitchen with some small problems a bandaid solution is probably going to be just fine.

When function AND aesthetics are lacking,

that’s when it’s time to consider doing some more major work on your kitchen.

Now, some people think selling a house, you’ve gotta update the kitchen. That’s not always necessarily the case. I would recommend consulting with a designer or realtor and getting a professional opinion.

Sometimes renovating a kitchen can be a great thing for resale

and can bring in a profit; but sometimes, having a kitchen that needs some work can actually be a negotiating tactic while you’re selling and it can work to your advantage not to put the work in to it.

So – don’t do a kitchen renovation for someone else.

Do it for you. Do it to make your home feel better, work better, function better, and so you can live better.