Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

3 easy updates revive a yucky kitchen

by Patricia Davis Brown
Face Your Kitchen Columnist


Do you shuffle into your kitchen in the morning, look around and say, "Yuck!"? You might be overwhelmed thinking how much time and money can be involved to remodel your entire kitchen.

There is no doubt the appearance and functionality of your kitchen represents huge value to your home and should not be ignored. The good news is the National Association of Home Builders says, "Small changes can result in big value. Upgrading appliances, door handles and painting tired walls can…add value to your home.

While you're waiting to commit to a major remodel, there are three things you can easily do to give your tired old kitchen a new outlook on life without bringing in the big guns just yet.

1. Hardware

Hardware costs the least amount of money, yet it's like jewelry for your cabinetry. Just like picking the right bling to accessorize an outfit, selecting the proper hardware for the style of your cabinets is essential to achieving the look you're after. By selecting the perfect handle or knob you can utterly transform the look of your kitchen.

Revive your kitchen cabinets with new hardware

New hardware revives old cabinets

(credit ApartmentTherapy.com)

If you have ultra-traditional cabinet doors, contemporary hardware on those doors just won't work. To maintain the traditional character of your current kitchen style, you have to choose traditional hardware. However, if your cabinetry is more transitional -- a shaker door, for example -- then use whichever style of hardware you like and those simple doors will morph into that style.

Door from traditional kitchen cabinet

Traditional cabinet door

Transitional kitchen cabinetry door

Transitional cabinet door

2. Backsplash

The backsplash is the vertical surface and is set close to eye level, making it one of the most visible elements of your kitchen. A tile backsplash gives big punch to your kitchen's appearance. Tile ranges in cost from just under $2 per square foot to as much as $20 per square foot for a glass or marble, mosaic-tile backsplash.

Red kitchen backsplash

The photo above shows a backsplash created from an inexpensive tile I purchased for my showroom. I took a 4-by-4-inch ceramic tile and glued a 2-by-2-inch tile on top, creating a "pop" of texture and making it look like a much more expensive tile.

3. Appliances

The third item -- appliances -- is the most expensive but returns the most value on your investment. New appliances bring the oldest worn out kitchen back to life. I recommend using stainless steel because it plays friendly with all color schemes.

Before new kitchen appliances

Before new kitchen appliances

After new kitchen appliances

After new stainless steel kitchen appliances

Don't be afraid of going for the latest technology, for example, steam ovens. They've become a favorite in small kitchens because they are so efficient, but can do what regular ovens do and then some. Investing in appliances with the most recent technology can allow you to enjoy the improved functionality of an updated kitchen right away.

With snazzy new handles and knobs, an eye-catching backsplash and updated appliances you can stop saying "yuck" to your kitchen.

About the Author
Interior designer Patricia Davis Brown specializes in kitchen and bath renovations, and is the owner of Patricia Davis Brown Designs. Brown's work has garnered 15 national and several state awards and been recognized in numerous national publications over her 26 years in the design industry. In 2010, she took her mastery of space planning and design national by launching a virtual design company, ProfessionalKitcheandBathPlans.com and her online store PDBhomestore.com. She also blogs about all things design at www.digthisdesign.net.

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