Ways to Upgrade Your Home’s Kitchen

We spend a lot of time in our kitchens between making breakfast, lunches, and dinners, not to mention family holidays like Thanksgiving that tend to center around the kitchen and the large meals that are the staple of them. Because of that, one of the rooms that most homeowners want to upgrade the most often, and that can pay the highest dividends on resale value for your home, is the kitchen. So what are some good ways to upgrade your home’s kitchen so that you can cook the amazing meals you want and entertain in style?

Appliances

It may sound obvious, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Especially if you’re living in an older home with the original appliances, purchasing new stoves, refrigerators, and even microwaves can have a dramatic impact not only on the look of the kitchen, but also on how functional it is and how much you can expect to get for the home when selling it.

For those truly committed to the finest things, high-end gas ranges with elaborate hoods can now be found in most home improvement stores – not too dissimilar to the ones found in the kitchens of many of the nicer restaurants you’ve been to since they do a spectacular job of heating food evenly and removing smoke and fumes that you don’t want permeating your home.

Refrigerators have also changed, not just in size, but also in features. They now keep our food fresher for longer, allowing more options when shopping for groceries since the food purchased will remain usable for longer periods of time. Getting a fridge that fits within your home and has features such as ice and water dispensers and large freezer sections are increasingly popular in homes and a great way to upgrade your kitchen.

Countertops

Much like appliances, counters are typically one of the first things homeowners decide to upgrade when committing to kitchen renovations. Replacing laminate countertops with stone not only improves the look of the kitchen, but they’re more durable, meaning the money you spend now to upgrade the counters will likely serve you for as long as you have the home and beyond.

In addition to countertops, moving from laminate to stone also affords you the opportunity to upgrade the backsplash in your kitchen, removing a seam where dirt, grime, and mold can take up residence and compromise the cleanliness of your kitchen if not taken care of.

Cabinets

Old cabinets can look dull, dreary, and tired. What’s nice about renovating cabinets is that if the space behind the doors is to your liking and in good condition, you can save quite a bit of money by simply replacing, or refurbishing, the doors and hardware. This can revitalize your kitchen at less cost than you would think.

If, however, your cabinets don’t suit your needs, pulling them off and starting from scratch is still a good way to liven up your kitchen. Go with a lighter color if your kitchen isn’t well lit in an effort to make it feel larger, or go with a darker color if your kitchen is open and bright to bring some weight and solidity to the room. Get nice brushed hardware for the handles and knobs to bring the cabinets into the 21st century. Anything you can do to improve your cabinets will improve the look of your kitchen since they tend to draw the eye in most kitchens.

Kitchen Island

In many kitchens counter space is at a premium, making the addition of a kitchen island a great way to improve not just the look of the kitchen, but also the functionality of it. Options for island range from permanently installed islands that are wired with power outlets, to smaller, more movable islands that you can buy at many home decor stores.

For those taking the route of having a permanent island installed, there may exist the option to have your stovetop installed in the island, freeing up space elsewhere in the kitchen and providing a space where you can prepare food and put it right into the pan. If you don’t have a permanent island installed, it’s definitely something worth taking with you if you ever move to another home that doesn’t have one installed already.

Open Up the Kitchen

Probably the most dramatic step to improve a kitchen, and the one the most people likely want to take, is to make their kitchen more open. Numerous older kitchens are small and closed off, isolating anybody cooking from guests or their family, as well as limiting the number of people that can help in the preparation of food. The solution to that – knock down a wall.

Ok, maybe you don’t have to knock down an entire wall, but having a contractor remove a small section of wall that allows you to look into an adjoining room in and of itself can make a huge improvement to your kitchen. If knocking down a wall and expanding your kitchen into the adjoining room is an option, it’s definitely one worth taking. This move can create a large space for entertaining where food can be prepared, family and other guests can mingle, and it can make it easier for others to help you cook.

Starting from Scratch?

The advantage of building a new home is that you can install many of these features from the start, eliminating the need to hire contractors and spend additional money on appliances, cabinets, or countertops. While many new homes will have the option to upgrade to a modern kitchen, be sure to work with a custom home builder that will allow you to install these options even if it’s not something in the original plans, as you’ll have the kitchen you want and it will be worth the investment in the long run.