If your kitchen doesn’t give you the impression of being “the castle,” it may be time for a renovation. Kitchen renovations are an excellent way to add some flare to your home and increase its value. Whether you’re planning to sell your house or just feel it’s time to give your kitchen a mere facelift and ramp up its functionality aspect, proper kitchen upgrades can dramatically maximize the potential of your home. With careful planning, some creative tweaks, and a few smart investments, you can create an updated look that will have buyers swooning. Let’s explore the key improvement areas you must consider while renovating your kitchen.
Kitchen Renovations with Impact: Updating the Countertops
Countertops can greatly impact your kitchen’s aesthetics, functionality, and increase the value of the home. Unless you upgrade your countertops, even the new appliances and finishes you may bring on board won’t make as visual of an impact.
Countertops account for a big percentage of your kitchen’s horizontal space, probably the second largest, only to the floor area. As such, choosing the right material for this part is important and should be guided by the desired look and functionality.
The 7 most common countertop materials include:
- Butcher block
- Ceramic tiles
Granite is a favorite countertop material for many homeowners. It’s durable and a low-maintenance material. Moreover, it comes in multiple color options, so finding one that perfectly matches your design theme should be easy. Some of the many advantages to granite countertops include:
- Durable Material
- Scratch-resistant Finishes
- Timeless beauty and styles to suit any design
That said, granite has some downsides that mean it is not the right choice for everyone. These disadvantages include the fact that it is an expensive choice. In addition, granite can require regular sealing or special care to maintain the ideal finish.
Quartz countertops are a popular choice for homeowners because they offer the look of natural stone without some of the drawbacks of the previous material. These countertops are made from ground-up quartz particles, resins, and pigments that are then compressed into a slab. Advantages of quartz countertops include:
- Easy to maintain
- Non-porous surface
- Scratch resistant
- A wide range of colors and designs are available
While quartz is a great option for a multitude of reasons, there are special considerations. Quartz cannot withstand intense heat and there is a lack of natural variation. This means there may not be as many styles to choose from.
Marble is your best bet if you’re looking for a luxurious countertop material. It offers an elegant and timeless look that adds sophistication to any kitchen. The natural stone countertop material is formed through the metamorphism of sedimentary carbonate rocks, most commonly limestone and dolomite.
Advantages of Marble Countertops
- Durable and long-lasting
- Easy to clean
- Naturally cool surface
- Beautiful and timeless look
Although there are several advantages, marble countertops do have some downsides. These considerations include:
- Susceptible to scratches and etching
- Stains easily because it’s porous
For anyone looking for an affordable material that can deliver an impressive appearance, laminate should do. These counters consist of a thin layer of plastic bonded to particleboard and come in many patterns, designs, and textures. The pros of laminate countertops for your kitchen renovations include:
- Easy to maintain
- Wide range of colors and patterns
Cons of Laminate Countertops
- Not heat-resistant
- Difficult to repair once damaged
Looking forward to a kitchen countertop material that will create a warm and inviting kitchen space? Butcher Block could be the material you need. These countertops are made from hardwood strips – maple, walnut, or oak – that are glued together with a food-safe adhesive.
- Easy to maintain
- Affordable option
- Natural and rustic
- It can be sanded and refinished
Butcher block countertops have become a trendy option, especially for kitchen islands. However, while there are many benefits, there are a few downsides which include:
- Improper cleaning may foster bacteria growth
- May warp or crack due to moisture
Although commonly used in construction projects, concrete would also make an ideal material for countertops, especially if you want something that will add a unique industrial feel to your kitchen. Plus, it will make your kitchen stand out and add a nice texture. While concrete countertops may be a new trend in kitchen renovations, the benefits include:
- Unique look
- Durable and long-lasting
Concrete is a durable and unique option for your kitchen renovations. However, the downside is that this material may stain easily and is prone to cracking if not installed and maintained correctly.
Ceramic tiles make an affordable and effortless countertop solution. They’re available in various colors and styles and can be utilized to design both chic and imaginative looks.
Benefits of Using Ceramic Tile in Kitchen Renovations
- Easy to customize patterns
- Plenty of colors, patterns, and sizes are available
- Easy to replace when a tile is damaged
- Offer perfect scratch, stain, and heat resistance
Cons of Using Ceramic Tile in Kitchen Renovations
- Tiles can break when heavy objects are placed on them
- Grout lines may accumulate dirt over
How to Update and Upgrade Your Cabinets
Once you’re done with the horizontal space, work on the cabinets. Your kitchen cabinets account for a significant portion of your kitchen’s vertical space, and the feel they create usually bleeds out into other communal areas of your home. Therefore, use the best approach possible when upgrading your kitchen cabinets.
Refacing Or Replacing
When upgrading your cabinets, first decide whether to reface or replace your cabinets. Refacing entails replacing the existing cabinet doors and drawer fronts with new ones and covering the cabinet framework with a matching veneer. Go for it if you’re comfortable with the existing layout and don’t want to pay for a complete replacement.
On the other hand, a full cabinet replacement involves removing the existing cabinets and installing new ones. It’s more expensive but offers more flexibility regarding cabinet designs, sizes, and layouts.
When choosing cabinet replacements, you may want to work with shaker-style cabinets. They’re today’s popular choice for homeowners due to their simple, minimalist design. You can choose darker tones if you want a color that will hide dirt and grime and create a gloomy atmosphere in your kitchen.
However, if you want to bring in more light and make your kitchen space appear larger and less gloomy, a brighter shade like the one used for these white shaker kitchen cabinets should do. It will provide a clean feel and help create an illusion that your kitchen is larger than it actually is.
Trending Colors & Finishes
Of course, when picking colors and finishes for your new kitchen cabinets, consider what’s happening in interior design to avoid sticking with outdated designs.
Some of the trending options include:
- Gray – light and dark gray
- Green – olive and sage green
- Blue – navy, deep, and dusty blue
Maximizing Storage Space
Unless you have adequate storage space, your kitchen will look chaotic even with all the beauty that the countertops and cabinets bring. Without adequate storage, you’ll be forced to stuff your kitchen counters with unsightly items and clutter up the whole area.
To avoid this, consider a house extension or maximize the storage space in your kitchen by adding drawers, pullouts, and other organizational solutions. Lazy susans, pullout cans, and pot and pan drawers are also worthwhile additions to your kitchen space. They’ll help you make the most of the existing space in your kitchen and keep clutter at bay.
Once your countertops and cabinets are sorted, the next step is lighting. The right lighting can make all the difference in a kitchen remodel. It has the power to make your kitchen feel more inviting and open.
Brightening The Kitchen
You may want to start by replacing any outdated lighting fixtures with more modern versions. Add a layer of recessed lights to create the perfect mix for task and ambient lighting. One of the best options is installing a combination of ceiling lights and under-cabinet lighting.
In addition, you can install pendant fixtures to bring in some decorative touches. They’re ideal for highlighting special features like an island or sink area. You can also use them to create visual depth in the space.
When lighting up your kitchen, layering is key. This will involve combining different types of lighting to create a balanced and visually appealing light scheme.
There are four layers of lighting you can use for your kitchen:
- Ambient lighting
- Task lighting
- Accent lighting
- Natural lighting
Ambient lighting, also known as general lighting, is the base layer that sets the overall mood in a room. Recessed ceiling lights, chandeliers, and track lighting all fall under this category.
Task lighting is more practical and helps you do specific tasks more effectively. Under-cabinet lights, desk lamps, and pendant lights are among the most common types of task lighting.
Accent lighting highlights certain areas or objects in your kitchen, such as artwork or furniture pieces. Wall sconces and picture lights can be used for accent lighting.
Lastly, natural lighting is the light that comes from outside. You can use a skylight or larger windows to bring in more natural light into your kitchen.
In kitchen lighting, always opt for energy-efficient options. They’ll cost more than traditional lighting fixtures but save you more long-term.
LED lights last longer and consume less energy than halogen or fluorescent bulbs. Plus, they have different shapes and styles, so getting the ideal one for your design theme should be easy.
Imagine having a beautiful countertop, inviting cabinets, and a well-lit kitchen but Stone Age-looking appliances. That wouldn’t make much sense, would it? In other words, even with everything else done right, your kitchen will still look outdated without the right appliances.
The right appliance will enhance your culinary experience, reduce power consumption, and minimize cooking time.
Stainless Steel Vs. Other Finishes
Whether to go for stainless steel or other finishes should be more guided by your kitchen’s overall design and what you intend to achieve than your mere personal preference. Understand the pros and cons of choosing stainless steel or other finishes before making the final decision.
Stainless Steel Appliances
Stainless steel is a popular choice for kitchen appliances, and for some good reasons. It’s modern, timeless, easy to clean, and will create a coordinated look with stainless steel sinks. On the downside, it’s also quite expensive and can easily show fingerprints and smudges.
If you don’t want stainless steel, opt for other finishes like black and white, wood paneling, etc. They create a unique look in the kitchen and usually cost less than stainless steel appliances. But they may not last as long and will require extra effort in maintenance to keep them looking great.
In recent years, smart appliances have taken over the kitchen scene. These appliances are designed to generally make the lives of the users easier.
Features to look out for include:
- Voice commands
- Automation and scheduling
- Remote monitoring
- Energy-saving features
- Mobile app control
- Smart integrations
Of course, expect to spend more upfront costs for these appliances than you would on traditional ones. Nonetheless, the convenience you’ll get with the latter innovation will compensate for the higher price tag.
Whatever appliance you’re buying, go for an energy-efficient option. The kitchen upgrade project per se isn’t cheap. The general rule is to spend 5 to 15% of your home’s total value on a kitchen renovation.
Therefore, unless you’re planning to bring in more energy-efficient appliances, the whole idea of getting new appliances would be a liability in the long term. So, only go for appliances with an Energy-Star rating, as they will save you money in the long run.
Popular Backsplash Options for Your Kitchen Renovations
Backsplash adds style, color, and texture to your kitchen, and upgrading it would be a great way to give your kitchen an instant facelift. But when doing the upgrade, consider the trending patterns and designs as well as how the design you choose can add visual interest to your kitchen.
Trending Patterns and Designs
You want to avoid being stuck with an outdated kitchen, so go for a backsplash design that is on trend. You’ve got abundant choices here. Subway tiles, 3D wall panels, and mosaic tiles are among the most sought-after options to achieve a contemporary, eye-catching aesthetic.
It’s crucial to ensure that the colors of your chosen pattern or design seamlessly blend in with the rest of your kitchen. A bold backsplash design can be a great statement piece in a kitchen, but it shouldn’t distract from the overall look.
Adding Visual Interest to the Kitchen
Backsplash designs can be used to highlight certain features in the kitchen or draw attention to your kitchen. This is especially true if you use a bold design, such as a patterned tile or 3D wall panel.
Also, consider how your backsplash will work with the rest of the kitchen. For instance, if you have white cabinets and light countertops, you might opt for a light-colored backsplash to keep the space feeling bright and airy. But for dark counterparts, a bolder pattern or color would be ideal.
The 4 Best Flooring Choices for Kitchen Renovations
When remodeling your kitchen, make sure to upgrade the flooring. Kitchen flooring is the aspect that sets the tone for the rest of the space. For this upgrade, prioritize durability and low maintenance. It will help you avoid replacing your flooring prematurely and make maintenance a breeze. Some of the options you can consider are:
- Ceramic tile
When picking out the optimal choice for your needs, factor in the pros and cons of each flooring material.
Also, evaluate how your choice will complement the appearance of the entire kitchen. If you want a cohesive look, get something that matches the colors and style of the other elements in your kitchen.
For example, if your cabinets and countertops have a lighter color, light wood or tile would be most appropriate, as they’d create a unified look across the room. But for darker countertops and cabinets, a darker flooring option would be better.
3 Benefits of a Kitchen Island
Adding a kitchen island maximizes counter space and storage in your kitchen and provides additional seating for guests. Therefore, ensure to also give it a thought when remodeling your kitchen.
Adding Counter Space & Storage
The most important benefit of a kitchen island is the added counter space and storage. You can use it to prep meals, store appliances, or even place decorations on it. If your current island doesn’t provide enough space and storage, upgrading time is the perfect moment to increase its counter space and storage to suit your needs.
Customizing To Fit Your Kitchen’s Layout
The ideal size and shape of the piece depend on your room’s layout. A rectangular island with plenty of counter space is ideal for larger spaces, whereas an L-shaped island works well for kitchens with limited space.
If you want to maximize your use of the kitchen island, adding seating can help. This can be great for entertaining guests or just having additional seating when preparing meals. Ensure to consider how comfortable it needs to be since people will likely spend more time sitting there than on other furniture in the house.
How to Transform Your Kitchen with Paint
Paint is a great way to transform your space and highlight certain features in the kitchen. You’ll want to opt for a neutral color scheme. This entails white, beige, or gray. Each of these will match the rest of your kitchen and give you a timeless look.
However, if you’d like to add a bit of flair to your kitchen, accent walls and pops of color are also great options. Bright and bold colors can help to brighten up the space, while softer hues will add a touch of warmth and subtle elegance.
When selecting paint, consider how it will look with the rest of the kitchen. For a unified look throughout the entire space, the paint colors should coordinate with your kitchen’s countertops, cabinets, flooring, and other elements.
Kitchen Fixtures & Hardware
Upgrading the fixtures and hardware in the kitchen can make a huge difference. By replacing outdated faucets, sinks, and cabinet hardware, you can give your kitchen a modern and stylish look.
Choose fixtures and hardware for your kitchen with trending finishes and styles. This includes things like brushed nickel, matte black, and brass. The last thing you want is to select something that will quickly go out of style.
Also, choose similar colors and finishes for all your fixtures and hardware to create a cohesive look that ties everything together. For instance, if you have brushed nickel pulls on your kitchen cabinets, opt for a brushed nickel faucet and sink. This will help to create a unified look that will elevate the entire space.
Ready to Get Started on Your Kitchen Renovations?
Kitchen renovations are a great way to give the space a fresh new look. From countertops to flooring and everything in between, there are plenty of elements to consider when remodeling the kitchen.
So when you’re ready to tackle your kitchen renovation, keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving the perfect kitchen of your dreams. Consider sharing this article with anyone interested in remodeling their kitchen!