Originally published on Redfin
The kitchen is the heart of the home, a place for entertaining, making memories, and cooking meals for you and your loved ones. As one of the most used rooms in a home, the kitchen plays a crucial role in day-to-day life – from the first cup of coffee in the morning to creating a dish that brings everyone together at the end of the day. It’s no wonder why a modernized kitchen is a must-have for millions of homeowners all across the housing market. No matter where you live, perhaps Minneapolis, MN or Boise, ID, remodeling a kitchen will not only improve lifestyle and convenience for current homeowners, it will also add value and appeal to homebuyers if you’re looking to sell in the near future.
We asked kitchen experts to share their best tips and tricks for a kitchen remodel. From better design and appearance, to additional space, improved technology, and increased functionality – check out what they had to say.
Update cabinetry to improve overall appearance
The kitchen is a great room to target in order to increase the overall value of your home. There are a few simple and inexpensive ways of remodeling a kitchen, including repainting the cabinets with a high-quality finish, replacing the drawer and cabinet handles with larger, sleeker designs, and converting your drawers to soft-close cabinet hardware.
Consider frameless cabinets to maximize storage space
Small kitchens benefit from frameless cabinet remodel by adding precious storage access. The absence of a frame opens up a visual four feet of space to a typical base cabinet, and the clean lines of the door front provide a contemporary aesthetic for the modern home.
If new cabinets exceeds your budget, consider getting them professionally painted
When it comes to remodeling a kitchen, you can change your cabinets, your backsplash, your floor and your fixtures. As you prepare your budget, many homeowners find that one easy way to save money is to have your cabinets professionally painted. If you like the style of your cabinets and their structure is still solid, this option will save you thousands compared to purchasing and installing new cabinets. When you hire a professional who does the right prep, they will leave your cabinets cured to a hard, chip-free, factory-quality fresh finish. They will be modern, durable, washable, and can be painted in any new color that you like.
Go clean and classic to increase home value
In my kitchen remodels, I like to use a clean and classic look and accessorize nicely with hardware and splashes of color. For me, nothing is more important than good ‘wood’ drawers with nice under-mounted hardware.
Upgrade your countertops to quartz or granite
A kitchen remodel is a chance to not only modernize your space, but a chance to add beauty and functionality to your home. We take pride in helping our customers upgrade their kitchens with beautiful quartz and granite countertops.
Custom cabinets can improve convenience
Custom cabinets are a great way to improve functionality, reduce clutter, and create more counter space. Appliance garages, blind corner clouds, utensil pull-outs, and roll-out shelves are all popular upgrades. The options are endless when going custom.
Improve functionality with a proper kitchen layout
An important item to keep in mind when remodeling a kitchen is the layout. A properly done layout will improve the flow and functionality of the kitchen. These details can include things ranging from where the spice rack goes to a built-in trash can. Planning the layout will help your enjoyment of the kitchen.
Define what’s driving your kitchen remodel
While designing the kitchen island, its function should be considered first. If you want to cook and eat on kitchen islands, allow ample space to separate the cooktop from the dining area.
Consider installing a swing-out tap, also known as a pot filler, near the cooktop. Avoid heavy blocks of doors and drawers by adding interesting details such as glass doors, windows, wine storage, a refreshment refrigerator, or display shelving.
Customize your kitchen island
One of my favorite features of remodeling a kitchen is a customized kitchen island. Here in Florida, we thrive in our “Great Rooms” where we basically combine at least three spaces into one: kitchen, family room, and dining area. So, wrapping the island with decorative moldings or adding an accent tile inset to the front can make it feel more like a unique piece of functional furniture, rather than just a cold, sterile food prep space. Choosing a calming, neutral countertop will allow you the option to paint the base with a pop of contrasting color (I suggest black or navy) then finish it off with fun light fixtures and counter stools, and you have a showstopper on your hands.
Create an open layout
Let’s face it, we all love to eat, it relieves stress and generally puts us in a good mood. Open up your kitchen to the living room, add a bar top for extra seating and get the family involved. If cooking is a hassle, make it easier on yourself by adding more storage to reduce cluttered countertops and consider installing features for convenience.
Utilize vertical space to add function and beauty to your kitchen
There was a time when upper cabinets were built short and boxy, making kitchens feel stunted and ultimately less functional. Upper cabinets that extend all the way to the ceiling are not only practical (providing so much storage for the rarely used kitchen gadgets, etc), but also create a cleaner, more cohesive look.
Avoid splatters and stains with full-height backsplash
Are you done spending precious time scrubbing grease stains and food splatters from the grout of your tile backsplash? If you’re planning on installing new quartz, granite, or porcelain countertops – consider a full-height backsplash. A full-height backsplash not only adds a striking statement to your kitchen but provides a smooth surface with minimal grout, saving you plenty of elbow grease when post-dinner cleanup rolls around.
Consider working with a professional to avoid unnecessary spending
Remodeling a kitchen is a great time to make changes to the space. Adding a new sink and replacing old appliances will make the space feel bigger and more functional, but it can be a costly project if you don’t know what to look for. To avoid unnecessary spending, consider hiring a professional to do the work for you. While this option is a good choice for a large kitchen, it can also be expensive
The ceiling is not the limit
When considering a kitchen remodel, most of us see the ceiling as the limit of our vertical space. But, that’s not necessarily true. In many bungalows, there is an opportunity to remove the ceiling, open up your kitchen, benefit from new cathedral ceilings, and get more vertical space for your custom kitchen cabinets. It can be surprising how opening up a space opens up the possibilities.
Paint your walls in a light white or grey color
Our favorite suggestion for any house style is Balboa Myst by Benjamin Moore. It works with all tones and styles regardless of age. I would also suggest adding white quartz countertops and a fun tile backsplash. It’s a fast and relatively affordable way ($5k-$10k depending on the vendor) to make your kitchen stunning on a budget.
Leave plenty of room to work
Before remodeling a kitchen, think carefully about your own traffic patterns, ergonomics, and habits—do you need room for one cook or two, where are you swinging your elbows, and how much counter space do you need? We recommend leaving at least 42″-48″ of clearance in work aisles, 12″ by the stove, and 18″ by the sink, or else you might find yourself with a bad case of remodel regret.
Maximize storage with organization
Through the clever use of accessories like roll-out trays and pull-out pantries, you can make the most of the available space. No room for an island? Add a rolling cart with locking casters to your kitchen to add storage that can be moved out of the way when needed. Floating shelves can add extra storage space, as well as style to your kitchen without taking up any floor space.
Add a large skylight well over the island
When remodeling a kitchen, one of my favorite features to add is a skylight over the island. A diffuse skylight fills the space with abundant natural light, and can also provide the means for natural ventilation. To simulate daylight in the evening, a cornice up-light along the skylight well perimeter continues to flood the space with useful, indirect light.
Find small upgrades that have a big impact
Some of the smallest changes to your kitchen can add so much versatility and convenience to your lifestyle. A free-standing island replacing the ordinary peninsula many kitchens have can give you the room to walk around the kitchen freely. Many new cabinet styles are built to store almost every kitchen appliance you own. You can take those appliances off your beautiful countertops and they can find a place of their own. Simple ideas for more space and enjoyment in your kitchen.
Transform your kitchen with new appliances
Kitchens sell houses. If you’re in the market to sell your home quickly, I would upgrade your kitchen appliances, as they will instantly transform and add value to your home. However, if you have a limited budget for remodeling a kitchen, I would start small and upgrade things like the sink, faucet, hardware, and lighting first.