Upgrading the kitchen is on many homeowners’ “to do” list. And for good reason. A minor kitchen remodel ranks fourth on the list of the top 10 home improvement projects that deliver return on investment, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2010-11 Cost vs. Value Report.
But whether you’re in it for the investment, or just to freshen up the space in your home where people spend the most time, a new kitchen look could be a fun, impactful improvement to your house. Some may start with a weekend project and a $40 can of paint, while others will jump into a $50,000+ remodel. Either way, one thing is for sure – you can’t go wrong with a beautiful, highly functional kitchen.
A simple refresh
If time or budget constraints limit you to changing just a few basic elements of the kitchen, focus on things that make the most impact. Even novice do-it-yourself homeowners can complete many of these items on their own:
* Paint the walls. Painting always tops the to-do list when a mini makeover is in order. It’s an affordable, high-impact way to change the decor of a kitchen. If you’re not changing out cabinets or countertops, be sure to select a color that complements those major elements.
* Add new accessories. Switching out the small decor details in a kitchen can make the room feel entirely new. Maybe it’s replacing bar stools at the island, reupholstering pillows or a bench cushion, or even hanging a few new pieces of art or photos on the wall.
* Change the faucet. Often underestimated, the kitchen faucet has a lot of influence in the overall style of the room. Choosing a more up to date pull-down or pull-out faucet not only improves the look of the room, but can add significant convenience and functionality.
“Faucets in the kitchen are much more than what they used to be,” says Kevin McJoynt of Danze, a manufacturer of decorative plumbing faucets and fixtures. “They play an important role in setting the decor and focal points of any kitchen.”
A full remodel
Homeowners throughout the country are staying in their homes longer than they once did. Because of that, significant remodeling projects tend to rise to the top of the priority list. If you’re in it for the long haul (or even to ensure you get that return on investment), a complete kitchen remodel could be for you.
When the entire room footprint is your canvas, the possibilities are exciting. While a contractor is recommended for most of these projects, make sure you’re involved in exploring the options that will help you use this space as wisely as possible (yet provide beautiful decor in the process):
* Install display shelves. This hot kitchen trend is an eye-catching alternative to hanging wall cabinets. Taking down cabinets is a pretty simple task for two and hanging the shelves is even easier.
* Evaluate the flow of the workspaces. Adding more water sources to your room could improve efficiency and ease. Consider a simple, yet beautiful faucet on the island for prep, a pot filler by the stove to help while cooking, and a hard-working faucet at the main sink for clean-up.
* Mix and match your surfaces. Replacing countertops is one of the most noticeable changes to any kitchen venue. Quartz surfaces are a popular choice, providing a unique combination of quality, hygiene and a look of natural stone. Selecting a lighter color surface for the perimeter and a darker, bolder color for the island is a great way to add another design element to the room.
“With today’s growing popularity in cooking and a rise in the number of at-home chefs, kitchen flow and workspace needs are critical aspects to consider when completely remodeling your kitchen,” adds McJoynt. “The sink and faucet choices for each of these areas can play a big role in the functionality and enjoyment of the space.”
Manufacturers such as Danze offer a wide range of faucet styles in various functional designs, according to McJoynt. So, whether you’re looking to enhance a traditional decor, add sleekness to a contemporary professional-grade room, or something in between, leveraging faucets and other elements can help set the tone for the entire room.