How to Add Value to Your Kitchen

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If you're looking to sell your home and you'd like to make it more presentable, or if you're looking to do some light remodeling to add sophistication, then the kitchen is a great place to start. It's easy to neglect the kitchen during the busy happenings of day-to-day life, and when it comes time to do some serious sprucing, it can seem like a real chore. More than anything, you must remember that adding value to your kitchen does not mean spending thousands or even hundreds of dollars. Here are a few suggestions to add value without subtracting all your money.

  1. Get organized. Start with the basics. If your kitchen looks like a jumble of junk, you need to dust off those organizational skills. Buy storage containers, rearrange drawers and cupboards, and clear off some space on the cluttered countertop. Regardless of how your kitchen is designed, a quick cleanup can add endless value to the space. No guest or prospective buyer wants to walk into a kitchen that looks like a war zone. Cleaning costs next to nothing, and will only drain a couple hours from your week.
  2. Pick a theme. Picking a theme is a great jumping-off point when you're revamping your kitchen. The theme will determine how you decorate the space, and the feel of the finished product. Don't neglect your personal tastes when you pick your theme. You can continue along the theme of the rest of your house or apartment, or you can branch out and get creative.
  3. Change the paint. Making a big impact with little money can be difficult. Changing the paint is one of the quickest and most affordable ways to overhaul your kitchen. After you choose your theme, decide on a paint color that will best suit your classy new kitchen. If you're opting for an open, country-themed kitchen, then soft colors are your best bet. If you're attempting a modern look, neutral grayscale tones will lead you in the right direction. If you're feeling adventurous, then you can try multiple paint colors on your walls. Paint one a different color to serve as a focal point, or split the walls to create contrast. Paint can be expensive, so your best bet is to stick with the store brand at your favorite home repair store.
  4. Rework your countertops. Once you've cleared off your countertops, and you've finally given yourself some space to work with, try something new. A deep cleaning and polishing of your old countertops can make them appear new. If you are willing to spend a little cash, then avoid the expensive countertop materials, like slab granite, quartz and concrete. Tile granite, laminate and ceramic countertops are a cheaper way to complete the overhaul. They often come in smaller slabs, and can be easily maneuvered by a clever duo of DIYers.
  5. Play with lighting. Adding the right light fixtures to your kitchen can not only make the space more sophisticated, but it can also brighten up a previously dull area. The most affordable options, like track lighting and task lighting, can be easy weekend projects: They take little setup and basic installation. Dramatic light fixtures like chandeliers and heavy decorative pieces can drastically change the appearance of your kitchen. To save money, try shopping at a lighting warehouse, or in the sale section of your local home store.
  6. Upgrade your appliances. Appliances make a big impact on the overall effect of your kitchen redesign. When you're first starting out, it's OK to purchase the cheapest toaster, blender and coffee maker. But when you are putting the finishing touches on your new kitchen, it's time to update your appliances. Not only will picking matching appliances will look like you put thought into the design of your kitchen, but also, matching sets are easy on the eyes. You don't have to go all out. Attractive appliances in bold colors can run you under $100 overall. Make sure you're only buying the items you need. If you're not big on baking, then don't throw down half your budget on a fancy mixer.
  7. Add a backsplash. The perfect backsplash can make a kitchen. They're fun and easy to design, and can cost you next to nothing. Pick your favorite tile, and get to work! You can match your newly purchased appliances, or try to complement the color of your new walls. The most affordable tile can be found in hardware stores and online.
  8. Purchase new knobs and handles. If you don't have the budget to redo the cabinets in your kitchen, then you can replace old knobs and handles. Much like tile, affordable knobs and handles can be found in the department store or online. Make sure you pick items that won't break easy, and have the appearance of sophistication. They are easy to install yourself, and really do have a dramatic effect on the appearance of your kitchen.

Redesigning your kitchen on a budget can be overwhelming, and might even seem impossible. But taking small steps and adding dramatic elements can create the specific feel you're looking for. Be savvy about your spending and don't get sucked into expensive at-home projects, but don't be afraid to take a few risks. It's your kitchen, so own it.

Last Updated: April 19, 2011
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