If it's time to renovate, but a complete overhaul just isn't in the budget this year, consider improving the look of a kitchen by adding just a few essential components. Here are five kitchen renovation ideas to get started:
For a dramatic renovation, overhaul the kitchen cabinets. If a rebuild is out of the question, existing cabinets can be spruced up with a finish. Many of these finishes are easy to use and can be applied in just one or two coats. Additionally, they come in a wide variety of colours and can even replicate the graining in genuine veneers. Be aware, however, that it may be necessary to sand down the original finish before applying the new one, so it's a good idea to talk to an expert first.
Kitchen cabinets can also be spruced up with attractive new hardware, which comes in a variety of styles and materials to suit any kitchen. For a rustic look, choose simple styles crafted in wrought iron or styles with a wood veneer finish. Sleek chrome, glass and acrylic hardware is especially attractive in contemporary kitchens, while more ornate brass and bronze styles go well with a traditional, French Provincial, or country kitchen décor. Before starting cabinet renovations, be sure to check out this guide to restoring worn kitchen cabinets.
Kitchen lighting isn't just essential; it can also be a focal point for the entire decorative scheme. To create a bit of drama and aesthetic diversity, consider hanging pendant-style lighting fixtures from the ceiling, spacing each fixture so that the entire kitchen receives the right balance of light and shadow. Pendant lighting is especially effective because it can provide direct task lighting on work areas, yet it can also be controlled by dimmer switches to create atmospheric ambient lighting. Remember to hang the lighting fixtures above crucial work space areas, such as islands, countertops, and cooking areas. Also, it's always more decorative to install light fixtures in odd numbers, so designers recommend starting with three pendant fixtures and then adding them in increments of two to cover larger spaces.
Brand new appliances can do wonders for a kitchen, and they're a marvellous addition for the cook. Consider splurging on a new, ergonomic range with an oven door that's located at a comfortable level for cooking. A modern refrigerator can also change the look of a kitchen, especially if it's a trendy French door or cabinet style. Kitchen appliances can be pricey, however, so it's a good idea to prioritise needs by focusing first on those items that are most essential in the kitchen.
Thanks to today's manufacturers, it's easier than ever before to colour coordinate kitchen appliances of just about every type. With the right mix of large and small appliances, an eye-catching splash of colour can be added to any kitchen.
A large kitchen can be improved upon with a kitchen island, which is ideal for chopping and prepping as well as offering a space to relax with a cup of tea. Today's kitchen islands aren't just designed as work spaces, but can also be used as informal dining and snacking areas. Islands can be built simply with linoleum-style countertops, or can be crafted with fine wood, veneers, and granite countertops to create a dramatic showpiece in the room.
If there's no room for an island, add a large-scale utility table, which can double as a convenient work space or storage area for countertop appliances. For super-compact kitchens, a portable utility cart can also provide extra work space while expanding storage area. For added elegance, choose a utility cart that's crafted in attractive, durable hardwoods.
When budget is an issue, consider purchasing second-hand kitchen components, such as worktops, countertops, islands, and cabinets. Depending on the age and style, some of these items have an attractive vintage look that can completely transform a kitchen, giving it a unique, custom-designed appearance. When purchasing second-hand wooden cabinetry, be sure to inspect it thoroughly for warping, staining, or termite damage. Fortunately, the minor damage incurred with everyday wear can easily be repaired; with just a bit of refinishing or new hardware, second-hand items can be made to look brand new at a fraction of the price.
Before investing in kitchen components, it's always a good idea to do a bit of research online to find out about the latest trends and designs. A search through online retailers like eBay will yield a wealth of design ideas for the home and will also provide information about innovative products, many of which may not be readily available in retail stores.