In today’s increasingly hectic world, faster is often seen as better. While that certainly is not always true – think of a delicious homemade meal as opposed to the fast food that you grab at the drive-thru window – in some cases, a quick kitchen redo can satisfy a craving to spice up your kitchen.
Since a complete, ground-up kitchen renovation can take 8-10 weeks – contingent on the scope of the project – and require an investment – depending on which options you as the homeowner select – it may not always be the ideal solution for homeowners on a tight budget. Making some minor changes can have a real impact on how this critical space looks and feels. Be advised that this solution isn’t right for everyone and every home. What we’re discussing here are essentially cosmetic changes – so if your kitchen has issues with how it flows for the way you want to use it, this won’t solve them. Likewise, we’re not addressing underlying difficulties with electrical, plumbing, etc. This is, however, a solid option for those who are happy with how their kitchen works, but not with how it looks.
Here are some steps that your professional contractor can take to give your kitchen a completely new look in a short amount of time and on a limited budget:
- Invest in a clean slate. Your countertops comprise the largest area in your kitchen; they are where you work; and they make quite an impression. If you have scratched, stained or otherwise marred surfaces, changing them out can make a dramatic difference. This will most likely be the largest chunk of your budget, so plan it well. Consider mixing granite remnants with other materials like butcher block to maximize your spending power.
- If you’re changing the counter, replace the sink that’s inset into it. This is much easier to do when the counters are being replaced rather than afterward. Opting for deep, dual, under mount basins, will improve both function and appearance.
- Switch out plumbing fixtures. Since they are such a focal point and see such constant use, faucets tend to look dated and even a bit grimy after many years. The good news is that for a few hundred dollars, you can get a very high-quality fixture that will be the center of attention and a pleasure to use.
- Another great focal point is a custom backsplash. Get creative with inexpensive tiles or add just a few of a more costly tile (like those shiny glass tiles) as an accent to maximize their impact.
- While you’re there, have your contractor remove dated wall outlets and install continuous plug mold strips under the inner lip of your cabinets. This convenient feature puts electrical outlets exactly where you need them and eliminates those ugly switch plates.
- Install task lighting up under wall cabinets, install additional overhead recessed can lighting and update an outdated hanging fixture. Task and can lighting focuses the light where you need it most, simplifying everyday prep tasks, while a new light fixture will dramatically update a room.
- Use the space you do have. Invest in in-cabinet organization systems that you select based on the items you actually use and where you use them. (Choose tall storage for cereal boxes and olive oil bottles; more compact storage for kids’ treats in places they can reach on their own.)
- Dress up existing cabinets with a fresh coat of paint and hardware that coordinates with your new look.
Have just a little more cash? Then here are the next two steps that make a huge difference:
- Replace dated appliances with energy-efficient models to save on utility bills while making your life easier.
- Refresh flooring. There’s a myriad of options out there to fit any budget – from refinishing existing flooring to modestly priced, durable floor coverings that can give you a completely fresh start.