Kitchen Fixes – Eight Ways to Improve Your Kitchen Without Gutting
Your kitchen may have ‘good bones’ but it may need some help to become the warm, comfortable heart of your home. Perhaps your kitchen could use a little more storage, increased functionality or some conveniences such as roll-out trays. Maybe you would like a bigger change. The doors may have a dated or worn look or the counter top might not sparkle like it use to. You could tear out everything and re do the whole kitchen resulting in a whole new look, but with weeks or months of downtime, inconvenience, dust, and major expenses. Here are several ways to make over your kitchen without ‘gutting’:
- Change small items such as the hardware on your doors and drawers. This can often provide a lot of bang for the buck and maybe provide the ‘POP’ your kitchen needs. In many cases you can install the hardware yourself or hire a professional with the correct tools to do the job. If you wanted to install larger hardware than you have now, you can research a contractor that can fill and blend the old holes so they won’t show.
- Have a new counter top, sink and faucet installed. Good looking and quality counter tops are available in a variety of materials such as high definition laminate, solid surfaces, engineered stone and natural stone that will give your kitchen new life and not break the budget. You can find reliable and reasonable installers on the Better Business Bureau or the Angie’s List websites.
- Roll-out trays can make it a lot easier to store and remove items from deep cabinets without crawling on the floor. Roll-out trays are easily installed, come in wood or metal, and are full extension.
- Adding trim such as crown molding or a light rails to your wall cabinets will add a touch of elegance at a reasonable cost. Trim can be purchased at a variety of stores and installed by the home owner, but sometimes it better to let a professional do the job. They have the correct tools, the expertise, and can match the color of the new trim to the finish on your cabinets.
- Under cabinet lights not only add functionality to your kitchen work surfaces, they can make the whole kitchen look brighter and fresher. Under cabinets lights do not have to be the large fluorescent things that belong in factories. All kinds of sleek, efficient under cabinet fixtures are available that come in a variety of modern colors and metallic finishes. Under cabinet lights can be line voltage which typically requires an electrician to install or low voltage where a transformer is plugged into an outlet and the lights connect to the transformer.
- If your kitchen has the space, adding a few cabinets can not only improve storage but can dramatically effect functionality. Islands offer another work surface for preparation, a place for family and friends to gather, and additional storage. You could even have one of the pull-out trash containers installed that will free up some floor space and give your kitchen a neater appearance. Just make sure you have enough room to maneuver around the island. 36″ between surfaces is usually a good rule of thumb. If you have an a bit of unused wall space, you might want to consider installing a pantry cabinet. They come in various heights, depths, and widths to fill almost any space.
- Perhaps you like the color of your cabinets but the doors and drawers are looking dated. One way to remedy this situation is to re-door the cabinets. New doors and drawers can be installed that provide an all new look. Just by changing the doors, you can change the style of your kitchen to elegant, contemporary or modern. Re-dooring is a quick solution with the work usually taking a day or less however the results will bring that ‘wow’ factor back to your kitchen. Doors are available online and at some stores, but if your do-it-yourself skills are limited you might want to seek out a qualified remodeler.
- Refacing your kitchen cabinets is one of the fastest ways to give your kitchen a new, dramatic look. It doesn’t matter what type of cabinets you have or what color they are, as long as the cabinet boxes are structurally sound they can be refaced. Refacing not only updates the look of the doors, but allows you to change the total look. The transformation can go from white laminate to cherry wood or oak to maple. You can select from a very wide range of door styles, wood species and finish colors. There are also Rigid Thermal Foil (RTF) doors that are available in an incredible array of colors as well as glosses, wood tones and styles. For a project like this it might be better to hire an experienced refacer and in as little as four days your kitchen will have an incredible new look.
Any of these suggestions can be done separately or in combination to achieve the fresh look you want for your kitchen, without the need to gut and replace everything. They are easy on the budget and do not take a lot of time to accomplish, so add a little ‘POP’ and begin enjoying your kitchen.