09 June 2010

Sensible Style - Easy Makeovers

This month, Kitchens.com focuses on Sensational Kitchen Makeovers, so I decided to tie in with an Easy Makeover post - Sensibly Stylish, of course.

There are different reasons to make over your kitchen. Here are some of the most common:
  • An appliance breaks down after years of faithful service and you decide to replace the entire suite with stainless.
  • The cabinets are falling apart, so new ones are required. Often, this results in an entire kitchen remodel.
  • Your laminate countertops are blown out by a slow leak. Stone tops replace them.
  • You can't fit even one more item into your cupboards... Additional storage is desperately needed!
Do any of these feel familiar to you? Let's look at easy make-over options for each scenario.

Appliance updates

Many a kitchen remodel has started with a dishwasher failure. That doesn't mean you have to go into debt to redo your entire kitchen. Here are some Sensible Style tips for appliance replacement:
  • If you don't want to replace your cabinets, too, opt for appliances of the same size, but with improved features. For example, an over-the-range microwave can be replaced with a convection/microwave/warmer combination. Both use the same space but the combo gives you a second oven and warming "drawer" capability, too.
  • Replace your antique dishwasher with a water- and energy-saving model.
  • Replace a 30- or 36-inch electric cooktop with an induction model.
  • Replace a standard refrigerator with a designer-style countertop-depth version, (but note that you decrease your food capacity in the process).

One of the most versatile appliances on the market: The GE Advantium microwaves, cooks and keeps food warm all in the space of a standard over the range opening.

Cabinet concerns

Are the cabinets really falling apart, or is it just that the doors and drawer fronts have gotten dinged and dingy over the years?
  • If the issue is cosmetic, rather than structural AND you don't need to improve the layout of your kitchen, then refacing may be a better option than replacing. Refacing companies will put new drawer fronts, doors and matching skins on your existing cabinets. It will cost a bit less than a remodel, take less time and create less disruption in your home.
  • If the cabinets are otherwise OK, but multiple knobs or pulls have broken or gone missing over the years, then now is a great time to update your hardware.
  • If your cabinets are literally falling apart, you're going to have to replace them. Your simplest option is to keep the same layout to avoid flooring or appliance issues, but that doesn't mean you have to keep the same cabinet types. For example, two 15-inch drawer over door cabinets can become one 30-inch pan drawer cabinet. One blind corner cabinet can become a blind corner with swing-outs or, if there's space around the corner, a lazy susan cabinet.
  • If your cabinets just need a facelift, you can opt to paint them and add crown molding, space allowing. If you're painting the insides, too, you can have some of your wood fronts replaced with glass by a professional in that industry.

Caption: Dress up your cabinets with hardware, like these Top Drawer knobs and pulls from Rejuvenation.

Counter intuitive

So your laminate countertops have finally surrendered. There's no disguising the water damage around the sink any longer and they've got to go. You have numerous options available to you, depending on your needs and budget.
  • The easiest, most affordable fix is new laminate tops, especially if your kitchen is a galley, L or U-shaped configuration with no bar top or island. In this instance, you can use some of the good-looking models sold in stock at Home Depot or Lowes. If you do have an island or bar, you can have those two pieces special-ordered and buy the others in stock.
  • Corian gives you the option to include a seamless sink. This is an easy-maintenance choice worth checking out.
  • Granite, marble and stone give you the option to undermount a sink. This is a great look and easier maintenance than a standard drop-in sink.
  • You can also upgrade to Corian, granite, marble or engineered stone. Please take a look at my Gold Notes Counter Intelligence post for a full list of pros and cons on each option.

Quartz countertops, like this Capri Limestone by Silestone, are a sensible and stylish makeover.

Storage forage

So your cabinets are bursting at the seams and you just inherited your grandmother's cookware set. Where the heck are you going to put it all?
  • Ditch the semi-useless half shelves in the middle of your base cabinets and replace them with roll-out trays. This increases the storage capacity of each base by almost 25 percent.
  • You've got a skinny base cabinet that holds almost nothing. Pick up a set of tray dividers and make it a very useful storage spot for your pizza stone, cutting boards and cookie sheets.
  • You've also got tremendously under-used space between your countertops and wall cabinets that can handle multiple backsplash organizers. These can hold counter-robbing paper towel holders, knives, utensils or spice jars. You probably have enough room for all of these great space savers!
  • If you have space to park one when it's not in use, add a mobile cart to your kitchen. This can add prep space on top and storage space below. If your kitchen doesn't have an island, a cart can stand in for one. It just needs a place to be stashed when it's not in use as there probably isn't enough room for it to remain in the middle of your kitchen. (If there were, they probably would have put an island there instead.)

Make your existing cabinet space more efficient with organizers like this Tray Roll-out by Omega National Products on Amazon.com.

1 comment:

  1. The article is excellent and the pictures more appealing! Modern kitchens are becoming a fashion and more important than that is investing. It is very important to have a spacious place.


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