Homeowners use kitchens in different ways. For those of you who eat out a lot, don’t have children or prefer to go to other housewarming parties may not have use for an open layout or large kitchen island. In essence, if you don’t use the kitchen that often, it may make more sense to invest your money elsewhere in the home (that is, unless you’re selling soon).
Keeping your existing kitchen appliances can save you money in the short-term. If your stove, oven, dishwasher or fridge isn't Energy Star-certified, however, you should consider upgrading them. Energy-efficient appliances pay for themselves over time by lowering your utility bills, and they help to preserve the environment, too. Additional electrical rewiring may be required to accommodate Energy Star appliances.
When buying new fridges, ranges, and dishwashers, stick with the same brand. Fortunately appliance manufactures have begun to create good-looking, low-priced lines that include matching sets. With a little research and some smart shopping, you can find affordable appliances that look very high-end – and when they all match, you get a designer look for much less.
Once you get beyond $20,000, your wish list is almost endless (without going crazy). After replacing all counters and refacing or installing new cabinets, focus on the flooring, backsplash and island. If you don’t have a kitchen island, go out and find a kitchen pro to add one right away. They are becoming a staple in kitchens across the country. They not only add a new and improved design feature, but also improves your storage and expands your seating.
Your drawers don’t have to be drab! Similarly to the inside of your cabinets, you can decorate your drawers as well. Adding drawer liner is simple and will give them a unique look every time you reach for silverware. Of course, there are drawer liners sold in stores that are easy to apply, but those don’t often include a decorative element. If you’re looking to style your drawers with a unique pattern, try using fabric. Using fabric will also last longer than paper or other liner options. See Handmade Charlotte’s full tutorial on lining your drawers with fabric.
When the goal is rustic simplicity, there's no need to spend tons on custom cabinetry and granite counters. Paint transformed oak cabinets, bought off the rack at Lowe's and topped with Ikea's birch slabs, while the same white semigloss brightened stools from Walmart. An old tablecloth was used as a skirt for the farmhouse sink, and classic glass cannisters, also Walmart finds, were used for storage instead of upper cabinets.
When you think about how much time you spend in your kitchen, a calming color is a clear winner. We especially love the deep moody blues and rich blue-greens that pair so beautifully with many other kitchen trends, like brass hardware and natural wood accents. Wadden suggests Charcoal Blue SW 2739, a smoky slate blue, as a color that complements light countertops and warm wood tones.
If you decide to go with a major remodel and spend upwards of $50,000, you should consider consulting a kitchen designer. A professional designer has the experience, connections and examples to suggest what fits with your plan. He or she can also help you save where possible, so you don't spend needlessly while still getting the final product you want.