Want to Update Your Kitchen? Focus on These 4 Components

Photo courtesy of Cristal Schepis.

Want to get a great return on investment (ROI) with your next home renovation? If you’re looking to update a space, odds are you’re thinking about how much you have to spend and how much you will get in return. Giving your space a new look with the right updates can make all the difference between selling quickly and playing the waiting game.

In the kitchen, there are four components that attract the most attention: appliances, paint color, cabinets and countertops. Here’s how to get the most mileage out of an update by focusing on these areas.

1. Appliances

When examining your appliances, look at the age and use. If they are old and worn down, you might look to replace with stainless steel appliances. Silver, like black or white, is a color that pairs with anything. What’s more, stainless steel is easy to clean and looks good even when it’s dirty. Of course, replacing your appliances with stainless steel comes with a steeper price tag, so manufacturers are offering additional options to consumers.

“To bridge the price gap between professional stainless and basic white or black finishes, GE offers appliances in a slate color. Consumers like the smudge-free finish and the slate color option can be easily integrated with the new trend in home colors,” says Pam Volk of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

2. Paint

Another easy update is to revive your kitchen with a fresh coat of white paint. It’s clean, simple, enhances natural light more than any other color, and makes your space look bigger. The versatility also makes it a great backdrop for photos, art and wall hangings. In short, a simple coat of paint could make your kitchen look brand new.

3. Cabinets

Have you looked at your kitchen cabinets recently? They’re probably the first things you notice when you walk into the room, and the same is true of a potential buyer. Just think of how much space your cabinets consume in your kitchen.

You want them looking the best they can, so focus on the aspects people can see. No need to go straight to a monumental gutting. Try a resurfacing or “facelift” instead. This involves replacing the door and drawer fronts and veneers.

“Consider a fresher contemporary feel featuring textured melamine faux wood cabinetry in stains that are more natural looking and have movement,” suggests Cristal Schepis of Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty. “A nice alternative to white painted cabinetry is gray, which is still very popular, but I am also seeing colors such as deep blue.”

When undergoing a refacing or resurfacing, look for flat-panel doors. Their sleek, clean design will help modernize your space. You could also opt for glass fronts to highlight what you are storing.

If replacing the above components isn’t feasible, perhaps consider new hardware. “Cabinet jewelry,” as professionals call it, is cost-effective and easy to install yourself.

“Brass cabinetry hardware is making a big comeback,” says Schepis. She also notes that “mixing colors in the upper and lower cabinetry offers a more versatile option to potential buyers.”

4. Countertops

No other countertop material is more popular than granite right now. It’s versatile, durable and comes in many colors. While marble has traditionally been the stone of elegance and royalty, it does come with a hefty price tag. It also falls short compared to granite when it comes to repelling stains, cuts, scrapes, heat and spills, making it the number-one choice by homeowners. Find granite in nearly any color: blues, grays, white and black, yellow and even purple.

“While there are definitely other choices for countertops, granite remains a good choice for kitchens at all price levels, and it is a solid choice as far as return for your dollar,” says John Murray of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “It comes in a variety of price points, is practical, and looks great. And when it comes time to sell your home, granite countertops remain on many buyers’ ‘must have’ lists, even for starter homes.”


About the Author: Stephen Constable is in the business of home remodeling and owns Chicago Kitchen Remodeling Inc. He is a graduate of Indiana University Bloomington and grew up in Oak Park, Illinois. To learn more about his company, visit kitchenremodelingchicago.com