The biggest renovation most of us will undertake is the kitchen. Whether it’s opening up the space to gain an open floor plan or updating cabinets, it can get pricey. 

Whatever the cost, it is worth it. The kitchen is the heart of the home; the gathering spot. Whenever we have friends or family over, we inevitably wind up standing around the kitchen, leaning on the counters, sipping coffee or wine, having those deep conversations. It seems most new homes are foregoing the breakfast nook and formal dining rooms and settling on an eat in kitchen alone. Your dining rooms can be freed up for other uses

If your kitchen is making you sad and you want to invest in your home, check out these three simple ways to transform it.

Cabinets

Clearly, the largest part of your kitchen is your cabinets. And, if your home is even as old as just 20 years, they are likely a bit dated. You really only have two options; paint or replace. 

If you have quality wood cabinets that are in a configuration that you love, you can simply paint them. Of course “simply” is a loaded word. It’s a lot of work. But the end result can be a true transformation. You need to remove all of the doors and hardware. BE SURE TO NUMBER THE DOORS so you know what cabinets boxes they should return to to. Sticky notes are great for this. Clean everything (boxes and doors) with a strong de-greaser. Then choose a high quality paint- I’d suggest a satin finish and either spray or brush the cabinets. I’d give at least two good coats. Use a satin clear coat poly on top to be sure the cabinets will have a lasting finish.

Option two is to remove the old cabinets and replace with new. We did this in our old house. “Ready to assemble” cabinets are usually cheaper than big box store pre-made cabinets. This is the type we went with, but I negotiated the price with them and had them deliver the cabinets already assembled. You can make changes to your configuration if you choose. 

New cabinets can also be custom built. This sounds like a very expensive proposition, but in our 1901 Victorian, that’s just what we did. And they matched the price of pre-built cabinets! 

Our house is a farmhouse and we wanted that simple country look so we went with a Shaker-style kitchen. A new countertop and backsplash will round out the look for a whole new kitchen.

Style

Before you start, you’ll have to make a decision on what style you want to reflect in your kitchen. As mentioned, we kept clean lines and simple design to reflect our farmhouse style. If you’re more into French country, you may want to add ornate mouldings and color. Contemporary styles can include monochromatic schemes with splashes of the unexpected. You can add signature style by choosing a beautiful faucet and functional sink from Allora USA. Some even come with dish drainers and cutting boards that can be integrated so you cut right over the sink! Choose finishes that are beautiful and easy to care for. 

You also have a wide variety of flooring options for your kitchen. Whether you go with a ceramic tile, hardwood floors, or a peel and stick vinyl, all can dramatically change the look and feel of your kitchen. Choose the flooring that makes the most sense for you. A peel and stick faux wood vinyl plank is great if you have pets. Their little accidents can be easily cleaned without damaging the floor’s surface. Ceramic and porcelain tile are also great if you have pets. Do your research and choose wisely!

Expanding 

If you have a tiny kitchen and you truly want to expand the space, taking out a wall or two is really the only way to make that happen. This aspect of  your renovation  is the costliest option. You will very likely need to hire a contractor  since there are walls that are load bearing and just taking one or two out could cause your house to literally come crashing down. You really need a professional to evaluate your options and get the job done. Remember that big renovations typically add value to your home. Bathroom and kitchen renovations add the most value by far. So you’re not just gaining an updated kitchen you’ll love to use, but you’ll be increasing the value of your investment at the same time.

You’ll need to prepare a realistic budget, choosing the best option of renovation for your family. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t do all the things you’d like. Even small changes can make a big impact.

 

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