Kitchen updates: tables and flooring and chairs, oh my
by Karl Fendelander
Face Your Kitchen Columnist
Refacing your cabinets is a great place to start when you're giving your kitchen a makeover, but like any other beautification process, there are other things to consider. You don't want to stop short of the complete package, lest you start inviting lipstick-on-a-pig comparisons. Not everything has to match, but it does all have to live together in the same room. Here are a handful of things to keep in mind (and in the budget) when you're going to reface:
- Appliances: Those beautiful new cabinet facings can't make up for a yellowed, Reagan-era fridge that sounds like a helicopter landing every time it cools things back down. Take stock of your larger appliances and factor them into your remodel. If you've got the budget, talk to your contractor about integrating them into your cabinetry. Hidden appliances are all the rage.
- Flooring: Beautiful hardwood cabinetry can't look its best next to peeling linoleum. If your kitchen spills into a dinette or other room, don't worry. You don't necessarily have to redo the whole floor. Instead, look into setting the kitchen off with its own type of flooring and leaving the rest for later.
- The kitchen sink: Unless you love your current setup, do yourself a favor and replace your sink and faucet when you reface your cabinets. Few parts of your kitchen are used more often than the sink. Consider a stainless steel sink for a functional, industrial feel; add a double sink where you only had the one before; or go with a porcelain sink with a farmhouse apron. New, water-saving faucets look great while also performing much better than old models, so be sure to shop around.
- Furniture: You don't need everything to match exactly, but you certainly don't want to be enjoying your new kitchen from the cheap seats. Save some money for a table and chairs that look great with your new cabinetry. Prioritize by distance from the center of your kitchen (e.g., get matching stools for the island before you replace your dining room table).
- Countertops: There are a host of new countertop materials out there that look gorgeous without breaking the bank like granite can. Do your research, and don't settle. Whatever you decide, remember that function will likely trump form if you're a big cook.
Talk to your contractor, and be sure to leave room in your budget for these (and other) upgrades that go hand in hand with a kitchen cabinet reface.
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