Low-cost ways to tap the latest trends
If your kitchen could use an updates but your remodeling budget has regressed, check out these six easy-to-afford kitchen remodeling approaches. Just one or two tweaks to your existing space can add ease for cooking and entertaining, bump up home value and keep your bank account in the black.
Build a better island
In kitchens of any scale, a wisely sized and well-organized kitchen island provides additional prep space, storage for serving pieces and equipment, and a comfortable place for kitchen visitors to park. Retrofit an existing island by reorganizing storage, adding a bar-size sink or resizing and resurfacing the top. If you don’t have an island, look into adding a clever cart-style cutting surface that can take its place wherever you need it and go mobile as a roving entertainment center.
Clear cabinets and open shelving
Both of these storage styles continue to turn up in modern kitchens and are great ways to add visual interest. To get the look without a complete cabinetry renovation, replace doors on a few key cabinets with glass-fitted models, or remove doors altogether and repaint shelf faces and surfaces for a fresh, clean look. For even more spark, line kitchen cabinets with patterned papers, fabric or a color-pop of paint.
Maybe all your kitchen needs is a few changes to its lightscape. Plan additions to improve utility as well as play up its best features. Add stylish pendants over an island, replace an existing central fixture with one that’s multifunctional, and consider solatube skylights to bring natural light into tight spaces, or add dimmer switches to maintain the mood as well as energy savings. And look into efficient, high-impact LED lighting products to spotlight a standout backsplash or illuminate cabinet interiors.
The universal kitchen
Applying universal design principles and the improved access they create to your kitchen remodeling project can help you enjoy your kitchen through every life stage. Thoughtful changes like easy-to-grasp handles and knobs, auto-open drawers, work surfaces that allow the cook to be seated and wheelchair-accessible workflows ease the transitions of age and also help you welcome family members into cooking endeavors.
Earth- and human-friendly materials are only becoming more stylish and affordable, so take the time to investigate your kitchen remodeling green product options whether perusing the paint aisle or shopping for flooring. Know where materials come from, what’s involved in their manufacture and whether or not they contain chemicals that could be released as VOCs once installed. You can also work high-style recycling into your kitchen remodeling project with repurposed furnishings and sculptural architectural salvage trimmings.
Laminate flooring is one of the most durable and easiest to install flooring products for a kitchen. While vinyl tears easily and hard ceramic tile floors can be tough on the back, laminate is tough, attractive and affordable, and it is installed over a thin soft underlayment which gives it plenty of cushion.
Let the sunshine In
Tubular skylights are easy to install and inexpensive duct-like tubes that run from the roof to an interior ceiling on any level. Tubular skylights are mirror-coated on the inside so that they can bring in a lot of natural light without the expense of building a traditional skylight.