Home Kitchen Renovation Ideas You and the Professionals Can Tackle
“A common real estate adage says ‘kitchens sell houses,’ and it’s true,” Zillow writes. Up to 58% of recent homebuyers say the kitchen heavily weighed into their decision to move forward with their purchase. What’s more, Zillow reveals that even a relatively minor kitchen remodel can recoup over 81% of its cost.
These figures make it clear: home kitchen renovation is a worthwhile investment and, more often than not, one that decidedly pays off. If a home kitchen renovation is in your near future, consider these popular ideas to get you started.
Replace Your Flooring
A dingy, old floor can make the entire room look outdated and underwhelming. In fact, the majority of homeowners agree that flooring should be a top priority during a home kitchen renovation. According to Houzz’s Kitchen Trends Report and Real Simple, “69% of kitchen-remodeling homeowners updated the flooring in their kitchens.”
What flooring types are the most popular? Houzz’s report reveals that a hardwood floor is the most popular choice (favored by 29%). Porcelain or ceramic tile is the second most popular option (23%), and vinyl flooring is the third (14%). Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of each flooring type:
- Hardwood floors. The vast majority of homeowners prefer hardwood and with good reason. Hardwood looks good. It exudes warmth, luxury, and comfort. Hardwood floors are fairly durable and stain-resistant as long as you clean up spills quickly, and prospective buyers will pay more for homes with hardwood floors. The only potential downside is upkeep. If you are not careful, hardwood floors are susceptible to damages from pets’ claws, high heels, and children’s toys. Regularly clip your dog’s nails and ask guests not to wear shoes inside to prevent damages.
- What about ceramic or porcelain tile? “Porcelain tile outperformed every other flooring material we tested for resistance to scratching, and resisted dents very well,” Consumer Reports writes. Tile is a durable, low-maintenance, and striking option. To keep tile floors clean, semi-regular sweeping and mopping will easily do the trick. Tile is a versatile material, and some tile floors may even mimic the appearance of hardwood.
- All about vinyl. Vinyl is inexpensive, versatile, and stain- and water-resistant. It is also softer and easier on your feet if you plan to spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing meals. Once again, vinyl comes in many different styles, and many convincingly resemble hardwood.
Add a New Appliance or Two
A home kitchen renovation would be incomplete without at least one new appliance — and many homeowners opt for replacing several, if not all, their appliances during a remodel. Rocket Homes suggests setting aside at least 14% of your home kitchen renovation budget to replace appliances. With those funds and a little bit of creativity, consider:
- Installing new stainless steel appliances. Stainless steel is “the most popular finish for appliances,” according to HGTV, and it is the finish most likely to help you recoup your finances — and then some. Stainless steel appliances are long-lasting, rust- and germ-resistant, and flexible. Stainless steel matches just about any kitchen decor, and it is easy to find other kitchen appliances, like toasters and microwaves, in stainless steel as well.
- Choose energy-efficient fixtures. Another popular upgrade is swapping out old appliances for new, energy-efficient ones. Look for ENERGY STAR certified appliances and water-saving dishwashers. Home Advisor and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reveals that energy-efficient appliances cut down energy use and energy-related costs by an impressive 10 to 50%. Many of these appliances also work faster, meaning that you can wash your dishes in considerably less time.
- Relocate kitchen appliances. Before you replace appliances, stop to think about your kitchen’s layout. If your cabinet space is limited or your kitchen feels cramped, consider installing some appliances — like your dishwasher and microwave — under the kitchen island to maximize the use of available space. If you are working with limited space, ask contractors about your options for dishwasher installation.
Whether you opt for entirely new appliances or purchase a few appliances new as well as investing in some much-needed gas stove repairs, make a plan first. Decide what types of appliances and what type of kitchen layout will serve you and your remodel best.
Think About Lighting
As you tackle home kitchen renovations, another important thing to consider is lighting. Kitchens look best with new light fixtures and plenty of natural light.
Natural light is good for your health. According to Healthline, natural light “provides measurable health benefits,” including better sleep and fewer symptoms of depression. Introduce more natural light into your kitchen by uncovering windows, adding new windows, or using other tricks to enhance and play up natural lighting.
HGTV recommends forgoing curtains to introduce more natural light into the room or installing new windows, like skylights, to make sure your kitchen gets more sun. If you have already exhausted these options, paint your backsplash and/or kitchen white to reflect the most light and place large mirrors strategically around the room.
Once you have maximized the natural lighting in your kitchen, it is time to take another look at lighting fixtures and sources of artificial light. Don’t let outdated fixtures ruin the look and ambiance of the room. Invest in new, modern light fixtures, or search tag sales and consignment shops for vintage light fixtures. If you choose the latter route, invest in light fixture repairs to breathe new life into classic, vintage fixtures, make sure they are in working order, and to make them look like new.
Replacing and/or fixing light fixtures can be a relatively inexpensive upgrade that makes a tremendous difference.
For the optimal home kitchen renovation, do not forget about light. Add windows or uncover windows to maximize light, and replace or revamp light fixtures for a more modern, put-together look.
Get It Fixed
As you remodel your kitchen, there is a good chance you will run into some problems that need your attention. Fix problems as you go and anticipate any problems that you may have as you design the layout of your new kitchen. Here are a few key things to consider:
- Invest in a new faucet. If you are contending with an old, dripping faucet, consider replacing it altogether. While it is possible to fix leaks, if your fixture is timeworn and outdated, it may not be worth the effort. Instead, invest in a new faucet that will easily spruce up the look of your kitchen. Choose from pulldown or pullout spouts, new, touchless models, and straight or gooseneck model sinks. A straight sink is typically less expensive, while a gooseneck sink gives you more space and enables you to fill up pots and pans right in your sink. While upgrading your faucet, make sure you invest in low-flow and/or energy-efficient models that will save you money on your water bill.
- When it comes to plumbing, remember to not go it alone. Plumbing is not always straightforward. Call in a plumbing service to help ensure connections and pipes are exactly where they should be.
- Add more storage. Too many homeowners put up with kitchens that are severely lacking in storage space. As you complete your home kitchen renovation, don’t settle for less. Fix your storage problem. You can do this by rearranging appliances and kitchen fixtures or opting for space-saving open shelves.
- Correct a cramped layout. As with too little storage, a cramped kitchen can make meal prep considerably more difficult. If you are continually bumping into family members in the kitchen, it may be time to take another look at your layout. While remodeling, remove bulky cabinets or open up your kitchen and dining room or living room to optimize space. Avoid placing the dishwasher directly underneath the only available counter space, and install a kitchen island or invest in a portable kitchen island or cart for more prep space.
In With the New: Invest In A New Patio Door
Many of us have kitchens leading directly out into the patio. That means the patio door can take up quite a bit of space in your kitchen and it can dramatically change the way it looks. As such, it is very important for you to consider the patio door and new patio door installation as part of your home kitchen renovations.
To include your patio door in your kitchen design:
- Design a transitional kitchen layout. If your kitchen leads out into the patio, work that into its design. Transitional design is usually open and simple. Cabinets and walls may be painted all white, or walls may be white with rustic wooden cabinets or pale, earthy green cabinets. Homeowners may place several planters or small trees inside and take full advantage of natural light. The idea is to create a smooth and seamless transition as you move outside.
Walking from the patio into the kitchen should not feel like a dramatic change. Use kitchen designs inspired by nature to keep your transitional design fluid.
- Keep kitchens light and airy. As touched upon, most kitchens that lead out into the patio are big on natural lighting. Uncover windows. Paint walls and cabinetry white. Avoid dark colors, like navy blue and black.
- Choose modern glass patio doors. Just about all of us are familiar with old patio doors that look clunky and awful and often veer off track. Invest in a new door installation, and choose from modern and chic styles. Modern patio doors are tall — often reaching the ceiling. Purchasing tall patio doors will give your kitchen an extra spacious look.
Home kitchen renovations are not always about the kitchen alone. As you plan your remodel, think about any rooms or areas attached to the kitchen as well.
Explore Unique Design Ideas
The last thing to remember when taking on home kitchen renovations is to make them your own. This is your opportunity to design the kitchen you like. Read up on current trends and draw your inspiration for them if that is what you want to do. If you are confident that you can come up with a better idea on your own, go for it!
For example, many homeowners are taking a keen interest in European kitchen design. What exactly is it? “A consistent theme in contemporary European design tends more toward styles inspired by the midcentury modern design that originated in the Nordic countries,” HGTV writes. That means kitchens feature hard lines contrasted by soft curves, natural materials, and lots of colors.
Walls may feature stark geometric patterns, while furnishings, like bar stools, are curvy and smooth. Homeowners favor hardwood floors, granite countertops, and perhaps some sparse wood chairs. White or black kitchens are punctuated by pops of color, like trim or details in bright yellow.
Other homeowners may opt out of European influences altogether and instead design their kitchen to resemble a pizza shop. These kitchens may include lots of red and yellows, vintage paintings and details, and a brick accent wall or brick oven.
When it comes to truly innovative, unique home kitchen renovations, your options are endless. Draw your inspiration from popular resources, like HGTV or Better Homes And Gardens, or pursue a design that is entirely your own.
“When a kitchen renovation is done right and is part of a well-maintained, upgraded home, the return on investment (ROI) can be as much as 200%,” HGTV writes. Design the kitchen of your dreams and do it in a way that will recoup most of the funds you put into it.
For most home kitchen renovations, replace the floor, add new appliances, incorporate natural light, fix outdated fixtures and appliances, and install energy-efficient features. These changes may seem small, but they will add up and dramatically change the way your kitchen looks.
For a truly popular kitchen with high ROI potential, HGTV recommends stainless steel appliances, neutral colors (white, taupe, cream, beige, gray, and navy), a sleek, transitional design, quartz or granite countertops, and simple tile backsplashes. To make it your own or add more personality to these kitchen remodels, use accessories, like kitchen towels, dishes, and artwork to make a statement.