Small Kitchen Updates That Go A Long Way

When thinking about remodeling your home, there is a lot of noise that makes it hard to decide what will add the most value, how to add or edit functionality, or how much to spend on those renovations. One area that you cannot go wrong in is the kitchen. Since the kitchen is the heart of your home and has a big influence over resale value, you can give it a facelift without spending too much money. For less than a new Keurig coffee maker, you can reinvent your kitchen.

Could new doors update your cabinets?

One of the most commonly outdated things about a kitchen is the cabinet doors. The doors may be original to a home that was built in the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s and not up-to-date with today’s kitchen trends, or the doors may be dull and worn out from years of use.

There are two main options for updating cabinet doors, which are lower in cost than purchasing new cabinets altogether. The first option is to replace the doors with new ones. This provides a lot of options for homeowners because there are so many styles to select from. For example, you could go with a traditional Shaker-style, a sleek modern style, or a mix of farmhouse-fresh with glass inserts.

The second option is to refinish your existing cabinet doors. You can either remove, sand, and refinish the doors with a new stain and/or trim, or you can paint the doors a fresh new color. Both options can be time consuming but are budget friendly.

Alternatively, if you deem the doors cannot be redone, try taking the doors off and leaving the cabinets open and building clever racks for your dishes or replacing cabinetry with open shelving. You can also make major updates by replacing the existing cabinet hardware with something new.

Is the lighting in your kitchen bad?

One easy, fast and inexpensive way to update your kitchen is with updated lighting. Lighting can be used to highlight areas and to help with functional tasks in the kitchen. Here are the top three types of lighting each kitchen should have:

Cooking Light – Bright lighting will help when cooking so consider using bulbs that have more of a true white tone, rather than yellow, and installing task lighting where needed like above or below cabinets.

Mood Light – You likely don’t want to eat dinner under the bright cooking lights so having mood lighting can help set the right mood in your kitchen. You can achieve mood lighting by putting in a dimmer switch or incorporating more lamps, sconces or hanging lights.

Natural Light – Most kitchens offer natural light and this is ideal for growing herbs and other houseplants. If your kitchen doesn’t have natural light you can achieve the look through buying bulbs that emulate natural light for less than $10.

Should you add a kitchen island?

Kitchen islands are a tricky addition. One article in the Wall Street Journal goes so far as suggesting that kitchen islands are ruining American kitchens. However, islands do provide a lot of functionality, especially for busy families. If you have the space, you can add an island on wheels that you can move around as needed or tuck away if you want more open space for entertaining. You can also add a stationary island for more permanent function. Either option can be inexpensive compared to a total kitchen remodel. Many stores sell pre-made islands with a variety of countertops like butcher block, stainless steel and granite. Adding an island, if there is space for it, will undoubtedly change the footprint of your kitchen and could provide more options for preparing and sharing meals together, as well as options for greater organization and storage.