If you are hooked on home buying and improvement shows, you probably hear "well...the kitchen will have to be updated..."
about fifteen times a week from skeptical suburbanites whose expression suggests that they just stepped in something unpleasant. If you are addicted to such programming, you might have started to feel as if having an "outdated" kitchen recently became the eighth deadly sin. If you simply must submit to the urge to remodel, a few simple rules can save you big bucks by keeping your update up-to-date for a whole lot longer.
#10 Exercise your neutrality
When it comes to kitchen design, it is best to think Switzerland (always there, but without the need to offend everyone with an overabundance of personality). Go stainless or choose a super-chic oiled bronze finish, and you'll find that your appliances get along with their kitchen "neighbors" a whole lot longer. That colorful fridge in iceberg blue or citrus twist may look great in a catalog, but quickly become passï¿½ when seasons change and popular colors change with them.
#9 Cook in your drawers
...Microwave drawers, that is
. Preserve a feeling of openness by forgoing the countertop or under-cabinet microwave for a pull-out drawer model that blends in with your cabinetry. Big kids can finally make that after-school snack without balancing precariously on a stool, while safety latches keep curious toddlers from trying to warm up toys or family pets. You can also rule out the possibility of a trip to the emergency room to treat the second-degrees burns you sustained while reaching up to stir a bowl of reheated tomato soup. Now you can simply slide open a drawer and...voilï¿½!
#8 Garage banned
Retain valuable counter space, eliminate needless spending, and maintain a wide-open look by nixing the "appliance garage." Keep frequently-used small appliances neatly on the counter top, or in deep drawers where they are out of site but still close-at-hand. Remember garages are for the Bentley (if only...), not blenders and toaster ovens. Keep it that way and avoid having to ask yourself "seriously...why did we put that thing in?"
a few years down the road.
#7 Hangers versus packers
Make the tall people in your life happy by not suspending a forest of pots and pans overhead. Instead, add deep drawers that keep cookware out of sight but within easy reach. Vertical dowels within drawers can help to keep articles neatly corralled. Under-counter pullouts are also a great storage option for everything from dinner and drink ware, and can eliminate the need for overhead storage altogether. Keep things on the down-low, and enjoy all of the space you never knew you had.
#6 Reach for the top
Take that backsplash up....all the way up! Forget four-inch versions that leave your walls looking like you tried to imitate Jackson Pollock (poorly). Instead, install attractive and functional glass tile, porcelain, or ceramic, and simply wipe away explosive culinary mishaps. Don't just stop at the upper cabinets either! More and more, backsplashes are scaling their way up to the ceiling.
#5 Forego the Shine
While they can look attractive, super-shiny, polished granite countertops take a lot of work to keep them glistening. Flamed, honed, and leathered granite have a less shocking sheen, but lovely textures that don't require constant buffing. Choose a slab, and then have it treated to suit your fancy.
Note: Remember to follow any instructions you may receive for maintaining your in-home granite. While it is a super-durable product a few billion years in the making, improper care can leave it looking less-than-desirable.
#4 Sink or Swim?
Since you are probably not going to use your kitchen sink to simultaneously bathe six-month-old twins, (unless you have six-month-old-twins and no tub) forget the double-bowl, two-foot-deep farmhouse sink with prominent front apron, and choose something more practical and attractive. Scaling down sink size can help save money that could be used for other pet projects like that mini wine fridge you've had your eye on. Stainless is (yet again) a good choice for a timeless look that you won't tire of in a few years. D-shaped bowls are a fresh alternative to the ever-present rectangular sinks, and tend to offer more space from front to rear.
#3 Lighten up
A simple change of lighting can turn a dated and drab kitchen into a new oasis. A good rule to follow is to select lighting for each area according to function. Under-cabinet track lights are great for areas where you carry out a lot of prep work and need the extra brightness. Candelabra fixtures over your table create a subdued atmosphere for dining. Combining lighting types within the room can transform your kitchen into an inviting and functional space where you will want to spend as much time as possible.
#2 Add some bling
Replacing boring hardware with something more eye-catching can immediately improve the look of the entire room. Cabinet replacement or re-facing can cost an arm and a leg, so installing intriguing new drawer pulls, knob, and decorative hinges is a quick and affordable way to achieve an updated style. Flea market and thrift store finds can be used to create a look that is totally unique. In just a few hours, you can have a "new" kitchen that will carry you happily through the next decade of family get-togethers.
#1 Don't be afraid to open up
Removing some (or all) of your cabinet doors to display china or knickknacks can give your kitchen an open and inviting feel. Another option is see-through doors that serve to showcase household items. Whether your treasures are kitschy or super-chic, you should never be afraid to show them off to the world.
Added Bonus: Letting everyone peer into your cabinets provides good incentive to keep them tidy.
Posted by: Ahmed Muztaba