By Marsha Fottler –
Kitchens are getting smaller, smarter and better looking according industry experts, as kitchen and bath renovations remain the top two rooms on homeowners’ lists for improving. This makes sense both in terms of quality of life and for resale value. “Kitchens sell homes,” is a quote you always hear from real estate agents and it’s one of the things they tell you that’s absolutely true. (Another is to de-clutter and thoroughly clean your home before putting it on the market).
Improving your kitchen in small ways can yield big returns. Many of these improvements are cosmetic, which is a valid reason for investment since so many modern kitchens are part of an open-concept floor plan making the kitchen visible from most public parts of the house. The kitchen style, colors and furnishings should be consistent with the rooms it borders. Other kitchen upgrades are for the convenience of the cook(s). Decide upon your priority – decor or convenience or a combination – and act accordingly. To save money avoid relocating your sink. This kind of plumbing can be expensive.
Easy Kitchen Upgrades:
- Paint the room. In an open-concept kitchen, the color should be the same or a shade or two lighter or darker than the surrounding rooms. Use a semi-gloss paint for easy cleaning. The ceiling doesn’t have to be white. Be creative and give your kitchen some personality.
- Upgrade lighting. Almost all kitchens need better illumination.
- Pick a metal for bling jewelry. Use the metal as insets in floor and wall tiles. Pay attention to cabinet hinges, knobs and drawer pulls and light fixtures to bring the drama of metallic finishes to all parts of the kitchen. Try metallic paint on the ceiling.
- Have your cabinets refaced. Much more budget-friendly than replacing.
- Consider some open shelving to visually open up the room.
- Add a pantry. Even a narrow one makes a big difference.
- Conceal appliances behind cabinetry if you want a furnished look. This can be pricey, but it changes the entire look of the space.
- Go for crown molding. Surprisingly inexpensive, especially when you paint it yourself.
- Hang a large piece of art in your kitchen.
- Replace the stove, refrigerator and dishwasher all at the same time and have them all match. Choose energy-saving models. This is a big expense, but you won’t have to do it again for a decade or more and the kitchen will look “all of a piece.” Also, when you buy three appliances, you should be able to get a package deal. The convenience to the cook? Maybe priceless.