Do you want to launch a renovation project that will be both pleasing to you and will increase the market value of your home? Well pour yourself a cup of coffee and have a seat at the kitchen table. Now, look around, because you are in the primary room, THE place to start.
According to Kiplinger, USA Today, Than Merrill, and other publications, a stylish, updated kitchen is at the top of most home buyers’ wish lists. And for the kitchen that totally wows them, buyers are generally willing to increase their offers considerably.
But please yourself first, knowing that what you create in the realm of good taste, comfort and convenience will be appreciated by others, in case you ever sell your home.
Looking around the room, what’s the first thing you notice? Yeah, the cabinets. Who picked out that dark stain anyway? Cabinet renovation can be as simple as repainting, or as complex as total cabinet replacement.
If the cabinets are still in good shape, with few or no scrapes, gouges and scratches, a good paint job in a brighter – you almost always should go brighter – color can do wonders for the kitchen. But don’t scrimp on the paint. Old colors have a bad habit of showing up again over time.
Many homeowners would rather replace the whole lot in one fell swoop, and there’s a good reason for that. Lightweight plywood kitchen cabinets, with a pretty veneer exterior, make an immediate impact on the look of a kitchen and the modest expense totally justifies the effort. At this point, husbands might be tempted to say, “OK, that ought to be enough; don’t you think?” Nice try, but there’s more to consider.
So, what’s immediately under those cabinets? Right. The countertops. These can be the make-it or break-it factor for many home buyers. Kitchen countertops run in trends, like high fashion, only without the runway models. What was all the rage 10 years ago is now dated and boring.
Solid surface kitchen countertops are made with hard materials that mimic the look of granite, marble, stone and other surfaces. They are not layered or assembled. They’re solid. (Hence the name.) They’re meant to be durable and easy to care for, and what you have five years later looks just the same as it did the day it was installed.
A big trend now in countertops is dark quartz countertops, with luxurious patterns embedded in black or dark gray replica stone. They’re not cheap, but not outrageous either, and the classy look they impart to a kitchen is immeasurable.
Now, about those mismatched, forlorn appliances. You wanted a new range with a convection oven anyway, so now’s the time to get what you want. While there are a multitude of options here, one proven winner is the all-stainless look for appliances. Get quality stainless steel – 304 stainless is the best.
Painting or papering the kitchen walls is always a beneficial move, but don’t forget the ceiling. You can even consider a patterned tile wall feature for a more unique touch. Additionally, many homeowners install faux wood beams to give their kitchen a pleasant country cottage look. Ceiling fans are another option when renovating.
And if your kitchen has exterior windows consider replacing them if they’re dated, drafty or inoperable. There is quite a range of types of windows, offering different styles, like bay windows, casement windows, bow windows, garden windows and more.
You’ll want to match the window to the style of the kitchen, and keep in mind the extra light and shelf space you’ll get – depending on the style of window you select, of course. So, set a plan, set a budget and start calling. Your house will thank you.
Matt Lee is a contributor to Innovative Green Building Materials. He is a blogger and a content writer for the building materials industry. Matt is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that increase property value, maximize energy savings, and turn houses into homes.