Kitchen Upgrade and Renovation - Make Ready Residential
Kitchen upgrade and renovation

Kitchen Upgrade and Renovation

Posted on March 30, 2022 by Hunt Holdridge

These days, more and more people are working from home. What does that mean for your kitchen? With more people working from home, there is less going out for breakfast and lunch and more at home cooking. Social Media is blowing up with recipes. If you are finding yourself spending more time in the kitchen than you ever have before, maybe it is time for a make ready kitchen upgrade and renovation. If you are selling, the odds of you selling to someone that will be working from home is pretty high, and chances are if you give them the kitchen of their dreams, they will be sold. Kitchen upgrades and renovations can be minor or major. Here are some ideas from both sides of the spectrum. 

Add Natural Lighting

There are several ways to add natural lighting. You can add or increase the size of your windows, or even add a skylight if there is not a floor directly above your kitchen. You could have large bay windows installed with bench seats underneath to add more seating to your kitchen area. 

Add A Kitchen Island 

If you have a larger kitchen, you can install a kitchen island. This creates more storage space, and gives you a great work station to prepare food on! Keep in mind the lighting you will need for food prep as well. Pendant lights can make a great addition to any bar or island! A permanent kitchen island can even be wired (by an electrician) to have additional outlets to plug in kitchen appliances.

 If you want to go the less-permanent route, there are a lot of portable kitchen island options out there. The portable option is still very functional, but also gives you some flexibility. If you find one with wheels, it could even be brought outside when grilling and doing outdoor entertaining! 

You can match your island to your cabinetry to create a little harmony, or you can treat it like a statement-making accent piece. Either way, the piece is sure to make a stunning contribution to your kitchen.

Open Your Kitchen Up

This will require a professional to make sure you don’t remove a load bearing wall. Removing a load bearing wall can create an absolute disaster, a larger repair bill, and will likely move your upstairs downstairs. Removing a non-load bearing wall however, can create a lot more space and give your kitchen an open feel. 

Refinish or Replace Cabinets

A cabinet upgrade can be as simple and budget-friendly as sanding old paint or stain off and applying a new finish! You would be surprised what a fresh coat of paint or stain can do for a space! If you want to take the next step, you can completely replace your old cabinets, creating the storage space that you actually need. 

Update Or Replace Your Backsplash

Backsplash is most commonly stone or tile that can easily be wiped clean. It is most commonly found behind the stove, but can also be found above the sink or in between cabinets. Changing the design or color can really make a difference! Consider lining your kitchen with bold tiles in a vibrant shade or an eye-catching pattern. Let your backsplash extend across your kitchen, or keep it constrained to your sink or stovetop. Either way, it’s sure to make a stunning addition to your space.  

When updating your kitchen backsplash, consider whether you want to incorporate new changes to the material or re-do the existing design. If you are short on time and money, consider a simple coat of paint. This way, you can incorporate a variety of styles depending on your existing material or simply add a shade. If you are artistically inclined, use a stencil to create a design in a secondary accent color.

Change Your Fixtures and Finishes

The right lighting can really make a difference in your kitchen. Old Chandeliers that should be in the dining room, not the kitchen, which are so low that people bump their heads on, can be replaced for more modern lighting options. Older lighting that is dim and dreary can be swapped out for newer LED lighting that not only will make it a lot easier to see in your kitchen, but also help save on your energy bill. Under-cabinet lights are also becoming a popular kitchen feature. 

Create A Farmhouse Look

Switching out the stainless steel sink that came with the house for an apron-front porcelain one will really boost your kitchen’s charm. Brass bin pulls, butcher block countertops, and a copper backsplash behind the range will add warmth to new gray painted cabinets. Set out a bowl of your favorite fruit as a functional decoration, and you are done! Decorate with wicker baskets and tin, and keep a vase of fresh flowers on the table.  

Install a Breakfast Bar

A breakfast bar will drastically reduce the size of your kitchen, but you will be amazed at how much added storage space you can gain! Add a few bar stools and you will be ready to fry up some eggs! 

Replace Appliances

Old and dingy appliances can be replaced with more modern energy-efficient appliances. There are many different finishes to choose from, so you can find the color and style that is right for your area! Modern appliances left in a home that is being sold adds some great resale value as well! 

Besides giving your kitchen a new look, these appliances are bound to give you the ‘hands-on’ change you deserve. You might find the memories of the old kitchen coming back if you stick with old electronics. Not only have the new-age appliances changed in how they can be used, but they have also changed in the way they look too. In order to thoroughly enjoy your finished kitchen remodeling, ditch that 25-year-old refrigerator and opt for a stylish sleek one that matches the decor and theme of your kitchen.

Open Cabinets

If you have a slanted kitchen ceiling, open cabinets are a great way to maximize your space. Open cabinets also make it really easy to see what you have and what you are looking for. The downside? You can’t just toss random tupperware into a cabinet and shut the door, hoping it all doesn’t tumble out. You will need to take the time to organize your cabinets and keep them clean and tidy since they will be visible to anyone that walks in. The cabinets with dishes that are not often used may also tend to attract more dust. 

The best part about open shelves is that there are so many ways to play around with it and be creative. You could go for white open shelving to highlight the wallpaper or the paint in or you could even mix and match it with the cabinetry. No need to get rid of cabinetry entirely either, you can  just add shelves between windows or in the corners of the kitchen to display your most prized cookbooks, pottery or teacups. Customize the shelves with hooks to hang bananas or other stuff or opt for fancy boxes and baskets to add a touch of sophistication. Countertops

Get rid of old, stained and scratched countertops with something more modern and fun. You could go high-end classy marble, down-to-earth farmhouse butcher block, or somewhere in between. 

Countertops tend to be pretty thick, but there’s no real reason they have to be. A thinner countertop can have just as much visual impact. In fact, since it’s an out-of-the-box choice, it might be a more statement-making option. 

Fun With Flooring

Installing new flooring can be a bit of a commitment, since you will have to stay out of the room while it is being installed. If you spring for a bold option, the end result will be well worth the extra effort. Install black and white diner tiles that complement your newly painted kitchen cabinets, or use your floors to add a pop of color to your space. Even sleeker options like brand new hardwood flooring are bound to transform your kitchen into your dream space. 

If going with hardwood, there are some things to consider. Oak and walnut are two of the most common hardwood choices and for good reason. Oak is durable and stains well while giving an appealing natural grain and is reasonably priced. Hickory, Maple, Ash, and Cherry are also good choices too so take your time and decide what fits in your overall vision. If you prefer a light-colored hardwood floor, ash is an ideal option. Kitchens that will have a lot of foot traffic (think kids) should consider hickory as an option.

Install New Shelving 

Kitchen renovations don’t have to be incredibly involved. Sometimes, just adding a few new shelves to your space can make a big difference. Floating shelves are becoming popular all around the home and is a great way to upgrade and modernize your space. 

Start by considering how much more storage space you need, then find shelves that offer exactly that. This can be an easy way to make your kitchen more functional without leaving it feeling cluttered or crowded.

Indulge a Bit

If you often find yourself entertaining, you can install your very own bar. For the beer lover, you can have a kegerator for home tap installed. The wine lover can indulge in a built-in wine cooler. Spring for marble instead of laminate countertops, and instead of laminate floors, go for hardwood or ceramic tile. If you find yourself in the kitchen a lot, you can also install a television. There are more and more smart home appliances and devices coming out all the time, so if you are a tech person incorporating smart technology into your kitchen could be a great way to enjoy the space. 

Create A Magical Kitchen Portal/ A Decorative Arch

If you’re going all in on your renovation, remember that you can rethink the structure of your space. If a wall isn’t load-bearing, it can likely be removed or even turned into a stunning entryway arch. 

Structural changes like these can be a big commitment, so you’ll want to consider them thoughtfully. But, when done well, they can make a space feel larger, more open, and more intuitive than it was before.

Enhance Built-In Columns

Every space has its own weakness and strength, and your kitchen will be better off if you can make the weaknesses work with you, rather than against you.

A structural column might not be the kind of thing you want in your kitchen, but by pairing it with a kitchen island, you can use it to create implied boundaries and add visual structure to your space. Add another column on the other side of the island and you can have a decorative overhead design!

Use The Space You Have

Look at all the space and the walls you’re working with, and consider whether they could be used in a better way. If cabinets are only lining one or two walls, should you expand them to cover all three? Or, could you free up visual space by using lower cabinets on all three walls and removing upper cabinets from some of them?

Add a Corner Booth

Just like your favorite hometown diner, your kitchen can also have a cozy corner booth. This restaurant-inspired addition to a drab and unused corner will make your kitchen more functional, and it’s bound to make it feel a little more special, too. Plus, it can be a great go-to when you have no idea what else to do with a given wall or corner. 

Don’t Forget About Your Walls

Once you’ve gotten  your cabinets, your countertops, and your kitchen backsplash, you might feel like your kitchen is ready to go. But, have you given any thought to your walls?

Think about the space that extends above your countertops or around your backsplash, and consider whether it deserves a tune-up of its own. Wood paneling can add a little texture to your space, a coat of paint can add color to it, and other decorative details like thoughtfully placed lighting fixtures can really bring your new kitchen together.

While we pay a lot of attention to the paint we use in the house, the kitchen often tends to get ignored. Also, while the rest of the house may not need a repaint anytime soon, the walls of the kitchen undergo a lot of abuse. Smoke, water, oil and the general traffic in the kitchen can begin to reflect on its walls very soon. When painting a kitchen, remember that you should give attention to how the new color will gel with the rest of the house and whether the texture you pick will withstand oil and heat. 

Get Inspiration From Everyday Life

When reimagining your kitchen, look for inspiration everywhere you go, not just in other kitchens. You can pull design details from any place you go, even a business trip. Do you feel happy in your local coffee shop? Bring those design aspects into your kitchen and save a space for your own home coffee station! Are you an outdoors person or avid gardener? Place realistic artificial plants above your cabinets, because realistically watering something that high up is unlikely to happen. Grow herbs, lettuce, or even cherry tomatoes on the counter by the window. Decorate with plants and flowers, but make sure they are edible so they are functional yet decorative! 

These unexpected sources of inspiration can inform everything from your lighting choices to your storage set-up, leaving you with a space that feels both special and unique.

Use Contrast 

Light floors and dark cabinets, or dark floors and light cabinets will really pop. Rooms that are all dark can appear smaller and more cramped, whereas rooms that are all white can have a more sterile feel to them. 

Install a Pantry 

Pantries are a great storage feature! If you love to buy in bulk or even just have kids, a pantry can become a necessity. A pantry can be built into an existing corner, or built into an existing wall. It can have a door or be left open. IF you do a lot of cooking, you know how important it is to have things on hand and not have to go to the store constantly. If you have a lot of kitchen gadgets, bowls and other stuff you can store those in your pantry as well. A pantry can be built as big or as small as you need it. 

These were just a few ideas to help you get started planning the kitchen of your dreams. There are so many great ideas out here, and so much inspiration, you just need to decide what will make you happy. The first step will be to create a budget. You need to decide if you are going to do it yourself, or get a professional. Once those two primary questions are answered, it is time to start shopping. Your local hardware store, paint store and flooring stores will all have free or low-cost samples you can bring home and hold up to the walls and play around with. Once you have the solution that makes you happy, it is go time! 

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