An updated kitchen will enhance the overall feel of any home as well as adding value. While completely gutting the kitchen may not fit into your budget, there are many ways you can give it a makeover without a small loan. Keep in mind that even if the rest of your home is right, people always end up in the kitchen.
First access the overall needs of the kitchen and what is holding it back. Do the cabinets have a dated finish? Is the flooring right for the area? Is the overall flow working? If the layout of the kitchen works well, then it must be the aesthetics that have issues. In a kitchen, the golden rule of layouts is the triangle – the three points between the stove, the sink, and the refrigerator. No one side should be greater than nine feet, or less than four feet. The triangle should not be interrupted by cabinets or traffic flow. Sometimes the triangle issue is easily solved by flipping a couple areas around.
If the flow is not an issue, then consider the overall look. Cabinets can be easily brought back to life with some sanding and some paint. If painting is not an option, then consider having just the doors and sides refaced if the cabinets themselves are in good shape. A good refacing will run a fraction of the cost of new cabinets. Adding a crown molding to existing cabinets is also a great way to lift them, and make the ceiling appear taller.
Updating the knobs is a simple change that can be done yourself. Those white knobs with the brass in the center are so yesterday – look to today’s hot metallic finishes, or for unusual items such as knobs made from river stone. One of my favorite sources for hardware is www.anthropologie.com – their whimsical knobs will instantly update the kitchen, and add a conversational piece.
The biggest expense will occur if you update countertops. Laminate is still the least expensive, and is durable. However, consider a hard solid surface if it is the only update you intend to do. While granite is admittedly getting a little staid, products like concrete, quartz-composite tops, and unusual stones such as onyx are taking charge. I feel that quartz-composite is the best way to go- it has an update appearance of granite, never needs to be resealed, and is anti-bacterial. Zodiac and Cambria are two brands offering exceptional colors.
Lastly, installing a backsplash will give new dimension. Tile is an excellent choice if you do not do the same countertop material. It is economic to install, and tiles provide a very durable surface.
Any of the things I mentioned will give your kitchen an instant lift. If all things else fail, then simply change the paint, and make it colorful! Who said the kitchen needs to stay white? Be creative – it’s probably the room you spend the most time in.