As Charlotte-area residents are staying in their homes longer, many are looking to spice up what is perhaps the most used area of every home – the kitchen. Here are some changes we consistently see them making in their spaces:
Out with the old. Dated cabinetry is being replaced and its placement is being rethought. Boxy kitchens are being opened up, even if that means eliminating what once was a cabinet wall. To combat the loss of wall cabinet space, multifunctional islands with storage space are favored.
Getting organized.These new kitchens are trading cabinet wall space for better utilization of existing space. Anytime we switch out cabinetry, we add in convenience features such as deeper drawers, rollouts for pots and pans, and practical dividers and organizers designed for each family’s unique needs. As we are redesigning these existing spaces, we take full advantage of every opportunity we can to turn unused or underutilized space into pantry storage or even additional open shelving off the kitchen.
Cleaning up. Going hand-in-hand with getting organized is the desire for products that simplify our all-too-frantic daily lives. Granite countertops are a prime example of this: they cost a bit more on the front end, but what you gain in ease of cleanup, long-term wear and lack of maintenance concerns more than makes up for that initial investment. Another little luxury that’s great (particularly when you have young children or older adults at home) is self-closing drawers that prevent you from inadvertently bumping into one that someone has left open.
Going green. While homeowners aren’t embracing all forms of green building technology, they are investing in proven winners. One of the most popular green options is still switching out aging appliances – particularly refrigerators, washers and dryers – to more efficient models. Beverage coolers are another popular addition that saves both energy and money, because they minimize the need to open and close the main refrigerator. These range from separate units designed specifically for beer or wine to easy-to-reach models designed for easy access by younger children.
Re-invent and reuse. Two items that are among the most often replaced aren’t always being thrown away, but are finding a renewed purpose in other areas of the home. Rather than eliminating an aging but still functioning refrigerator completely, these appliances are finding a second life in the garage or utility room, where they provide extra space for beverages or entertaining. Dated but acceptable kitchen cabinets – whether base cabinets or wall units – are moving out into the garage, where they often serve as a secondary pantry for canned goods or as extra storage space for all those items that tend to accumulate in garages. Frequently, we’re repainting removed kitchen cabinets and installing them in laundry rooms, where they provide much needed organization behind closed doors and are often a huge visual improvement over existing solutions.
No matter what your taste or budget, there’s sure to be a few new ingredients that can satisfy your craving for an updated kitchen.