Kitchen Improvements 101

Our kitchens see more wear and tear than any other room in our house. Greasy fingers handle the cabinets, pots and pans bang into the countertops, and food gets smashed into the floor tiles. You can clean it more often than you do the other rooms in the house, but it is almost impossible to keep this room looking 100% over the years. If you want to make the most of your kitchen and give it a touch-up, you do not need to spend thousands of dollars. By being selective about the touch-ups and doing some, or all, of the work yourself, then you will have a beautiful new kitchen without depleting all your funds.

One problem people run into often is lack of counter space. In order to compensate for this issue, they try balancing cutting boards on the edge of the sink or too near the stove. Not only is this dangerous, it also is inefficient. In order to save your knives and prevent accidents, you need a butcher block kitchen island. This addition to your kitchen does not take up much room and can easily be put away when you are not using it. However, it gives you the essential counter space that you need. The thick, hardwood strips are glued tightly together and sealed giving you a clean surface on which to prepare meals but it is also a surface that will not destroy your knives!

Now that your kitchen is more practical, it is time to make it beautiful! One of the easiest ways to freshen up a worn-out looking kitchen is to repaint your kitchen cabinets. Removing the kitchen doors, sanding them down, and repainting/varnishing is easy to do yourself. As long as you read a few “do-it-yourself” guides and invest in high quality paint, you will love the results.

Another easy improvement is to add a tiled backsplash to your kitchen’s d├ęcor. This tiled decoration can run along the walls of your kitchen bringing a unifiying, attractive element to your kitchen. If you have a large, white area behind your stove or sink, you can even expand this decoration into a tile motif. The result will not only be eye-catching, it will give your kitchen a whole new look and atmosphere!

Making simple kitchen improvements is not rocket science, nor does it need to cost a fortune. Have fun improving your kitchen today!

Tips For Successful Kitchen Improvement Projects

What is one way to be sure that your kitchen improvement project is a success? Working with a professional design firm is always the key to achieving your goals. Why can’t someone do it on a DIY basis? They can, but a kitchen improvement specialist is going to know all about the latest appliances, materials, designs, and styles that can make even a small-scale or simple project turn out fantastic.

Consider that designers are well-aware of the top upgrades, the hottest appliances, and even the preferred luxury options too. They can make suggestions and recommendations that an untrained homeowner would never have even recognized or heard of, and which might make the entire project a complete success.

Before heading to a kitchen design studio or showroom, however, it is wise to have some ideas about the completed looks of the specific kitchen improvement project. For instance, preferences in a basic color palette, cabinet materials, flooring, countertops, appliances, and any specialty decor items should be noted down. It might even be a good idea to put these concepts for your kitchen improvement project into a notebook or sketch in order to give your designer an idea of what you would really like to see when the project is completed.

You should also create a somewhat firm budget for the project too. It is often very frustrating to everyone involved when a project cannot move forward because the homeowner was unaware of the costs associated with their plans. This is the reason most designers draft estimates or quotes, but many require their client to offer at least a “ballpark” figure of the amount available for the work.

Remember too that a designer’s fees might be separate from the materials and labor portion of the work. A discussion well in advance of the start date will help to clarify any questions around budgets, time lines, and worries about the costs connected to the work.

In addition to drafting a budget, it is also a good idea to work only with a design firm that requires contracts for the project. This protects everyone involved because it establishes the amount budgeted for the work, states what will happen if deadlines or terms are not met, and provides a means for the client to respond to any unsatisfactory issues.

A kitchen project is one that involves a brief period of turmoil, but which can make the “heart” of the home a much more efficient, stylish, and happy room.