The housing market is in rough shape and is not expected to improve right away. Those trying to sell need to get their property in the best condition possible. Others choose to stay where they are but want to make some changes. For both, making changes in the kitchen can be quite attractive. It provides good return when selling, and it is pleasing for the current owners. All – out remodeling is an option, of course, but there are several other ways to pick up a tired kitchen.
This seems rather simplistic, but it is a low-cost way to revitalize a kitchen and often is overlooked. Changing colors or adding an accent color can make a huge difference in the appearance and feel of the kitchen. Sometimes, just a fresh coat of paint in the same color can liven up a well-used kitchen.
Change the Countertops
There are so many countertop choices available today that were not even considered several years ago! In the past, standard Formica® was the only choice for those with limited budgets. That is no longer the case. The price of granite has followed the same path as the housing market over the past several years, placing it within reach of most of the middle class. The same is true for solid surface manufactured materials such as Corian®. These are attractive countertop choices, but there are still others.
One of those alternatives is a “concrete” coating that mimics granite but is more durable. The concrete coating is more like a rockless grout, and goes on in a thin layer over nearly any existing countertop surface. The installer adds color to the dry concrete surface, and then finishes with a high quality epoxy finish that even can tolerate a few hot pots directly on it. This approach has several advantages over granite. The first is that it costs less than granite, but it also requires less maintenance than granite and it is much less susceptible to damage if something heavy is dropped on it. It is so lightweight that it can be used over cabinets that are not solid wood.
Reface the Cabinets
Dated cabinets can be completely replaced, but a more cost effective approach is to keep the “box” portion of the cabinets and simply replace or refinish the doors and drawer fronts. Changing the style and finish of cabinet doors can dramatically alter the appearance of the kitchen. It also allows the homeowner to choose to use one or two glass doors for even greater interest. A glass-front cabinet with either wired or battery lighting inside is quite attractive and adds display space in a convenient location.
Buy New Appliances
New appliances that all match each other also can make a great difference in the appearance of the kitchen, as well as improving its function. Over the years, a kitchen that began with matching appliances can come to hold a black oven, almond dishwasher and white refrigerator. Newer appliances are more energy efficient than most older ones. In the case of refrigerators, there are many new pleasing designs now and more effective use of interior space. Currently, the stainless steel look is the most popular, but replacing appliances regardless of color or finish choice can add an absolute “wow” factor to a kitchen even when there are no other changes.
Replace the Floor Covering
The floor is as easy to overlook as is new paint, but replacing the existing covering can provide much impact for the overall effect of the kitchen’s appearance. Replacing roll – out vinyl with engineered wood, tile or even different roll – out vinyl can produce an immense difference in the appearance of the kitchen. Putting new vinyl over existing vinyl is the least expensive and easiest way to change the floor’s appearance. Going from a dark floor to a light one – or changing from a light floor to a darker one – can produce a big effect for relatively little cost and only a few hours’ time. Laying wood or tile involves more time and more expense, but either of those flooring choices can revitalize the entire kitchen while also adding real value to the home.
These are only a few of the ways that a homeowner can revitalize a tired or dated kitchen. There are options available within all budget levels, each of which can provide good service and pleasing results to the homeowner, and in many cases, increase the market value of the home.
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