7 Must Have Kitchen Upgrades
Doing the simplest kitchen upgrades can turn your kitchen completely into a brand new kitchen. Read for further details and effective tips!
The kitchen is often a home’s centerpiece. Its role in food preparation is undeniable, but the kitchen plays a larger part of the family unit. It’s where people hang out after work or school, where families spend their holidays together, and where parents spend quality time with their children.
Simple kitchen upgrades are functional, yet attractive, and invite residents to stay, connect, and of course, eat. Creating the perfect kitchen doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming, or expensive.
The following 7 kitchen upgrades will transform your kitchen from blah to wow.
1. Updating Appliances
Appliances like the stove and refrigerator are highly visible and accessible. Changing them can change the entire look of your kitchen. For example, switching from old dated white appliances to stainless steel adds a bit of sophistication to the room and makes everything look newer. Replacing damaged and dented appliances gives the whole room a makeover because of the extra shine.
2. Add Space to Keep It Clean Looking
If your counters are cluttered by small appliances such as blenders, toasters, microwaves plus utensils, dishes, and mail, then it’s time to make an upgrade. You need some extra space for all that stuff. Clutter detracts from the room’s attractiveness and makes the room look smaller.
Adding space doesn’t mean you have to tear out your existing cabinetry and counters. You can add shelving and organizers to the inside of your cabinets, or purchase a separate standalone unit for additional storage. If you’re feeling extra ambitious and have the floor space, consider adding a pre-manufactured island to the kitchen.
3. Change the Backsplash and Kickplate
The backsplash of the kitchen consists of the wall between the top of your countertops and the bottom of your cabinets. The kickplate is the four to six inch tall piece that extends from the floor to the bottom of the cabinets. These areas used to be functional areas meant to protect the walls from spills or accidental shoe scrape. Today they’ve become a focal point for the kitchen.
Those areas can be covered with a variety of materials that are as sophisticated or whimsical as you want. Wood, metal, tile, and glass are commonly used, but peel-and-stick decals are becoming popular as well. Some decals are easily removable so they’re good options if you rent, frequently change your mind, or are just interested in a short-term change.
4. Recover the Cabinetry
Cabinetry, like appliances, can really date your kitchen and detract from its appeal. In the past, updating the look required you to completely remove the structures then replace them with new items. Thankfully, today more options exist that make it look like you have brand new cabinets.
With the right prep-work, it’s possible to paint the existing cabinets. You can add a rustic look with an antique finish, look high-end with a glossy black, or go traditional with an easy brown. The right paint will withstand the kitchen’s potential dampness, its occasional brush with a nearby appliance, and constant opening and closing. Today’s paints are also easier to apply and keep clean than ever.
Another way to recover the cabinetry is by using veneers. Veneers are a thin sheet of material that is affixed to the outside of the cabinets making them look like they are made of that material. Veneers are available from home improvement stores and come in a variety of materials and designs. Some are affixed to the cabinets using glue, though some are pressure sensitive.
5. Change the Flooring
Flooring is the most visible part of any room and highly impacts its overall look. And for the most part, changing it can be pretty easy. Lots of options exist unless you have real wood flooring or carpet.
You can get the feel of expensive wood flooring using pre-manufactured planks available at local improvement stores. Most are constructed of an inexpensive wood overlayed with an attractive veneer of a more expensive wood. These planks snap together or are glued together, but not permanently attached to the existing floor. They can be placed over linoleum, concrete, or tile. The finished flooring will look like you spent a fortune on fine woods at a fraction of the price and time.
Painting your floors is another way. Specialized floor paints are more durable than the kind used on walls and can be purchased at any home improvement store. It’s easy to apply so that any number of designs can be created. Checkerboard patterns are common, but stencils can be used to form anything within your imagination.
Linoleum tiles are a cost effective way to way make your floors more attractive. Unlike the linoleum of the past, these tiles are easy to install and look great. Most have a self-adhesive backing so there’s little prep-work or mess involved. They can be secured to just about any surface. And they’re available in a nearly infinite number of designs and patterns.
6. Add Pendant Lights
Many kitchen areas are equipped with inefficient, outdated plastic overhead lighting. Changing those fixtures can do wonders as an upgrade.
Pendant lights hung over the counters or island are especially attractive and give off a feel of sophistication though, more carefree whimsical designs are also available. If you’re creative you may consider building your own lights using wine bottles, metal coffee canisters, or other vintage parts.
7. Add Small Memorable Details
It’s easy to overlook small details such as handles and fixtures, but they can have a huge impact on the attractiveness of the kitchen. Changing these small items can add a bit of flair, color, or pop to the room.
Handles are the easiest and quickest to change. They can be purchased for a few dollars each and replaced using only a screwdriver. Black handles are a sleek choice that can add drama or contrast to the room. Brushed metal handles look classy and match most decors.
In addition to handles, it’s also possible to easily change your kitchen’s fixtures like the faucet. If you don’t want to completely replace it, you can simply use metal paint to change the look of the fixture. Although the paint is durable and will withstand heavy use, painting is generally a temporary change and not intended for everlasting use.
Simple kitchen upgrades provide a level of sophistication and class without breaking the bank. Just slightly changing the little details can turn your kitchen into a brand new kitchen.