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Kitchen Solutions: Eight Ways To Upgrade Your Kitchen Without Gutting It

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Your kitchen may be ‘good build’, but it may need help to become the warm and comfortable heart of your home. Maybe your kitchen could use a little more storage, more functionality, or a few conveniences like pull-out trays. Maybe you would like a bigger change. Doors may look dated or worn, or the countertop may not shine like it used to. You could rip everything out and redo the entire kitchen, resulting in a whole new look, but with weeks or months of downtime, inconvenience, dust, and significant expense. Here are several ways to revamp your kitchen without ‘gutting’:

  1. Change small items like the hardware on your doors and drawers. This can often bring in a lot of money and perhaps provide the ‘POP’ your kitchen needs. In many cases, you can install the hardware yourself or hire a professional with the right tools to do the job. If you’d like to install larger hardware than what you have now, you might want to find a contractor who can fill and blend in the old holes so they won’t show.
  2. Install a new countertop, sink, and faucet. Attractive, quality countertops are available in a variety of materials like HD laminate, solid surface, engineered stone, and natural stone that will breathe new life into your kitchen without breaking the bank. You can find reliable and reasonable installers on the Better Business Bureau or Angie’s List websites.
  3. Pull-out trays can make it much easier to store and retrieve items from deep cabinets without dragging them across the floor. Pull-out trays are easy to install, come in wood or metal, and are full-extension.
  4. Adding trim like crown molding or track lighting to your wall cabinets will add a touch of elegance at a reasonable cost. Moldings can be purchased at a variety of stores and installed by the homeowner, but sometimes it’s best to let a professional do the job. They have the right tools, experience, and can match the color of the new trim to the finish on your cabinets.
  5. Under cabinet lights not only add functionality to your kitchen work surfaces, they can make your entire kitchen look brighter and fresher. Under cabinet lights don’t have to be the big fluorescent stuff that belongs in factories. All kinds of stylish and efficient under cabinet fixtures are available that come in a variety of modern colors and metallic finishes. Under cabinet lights can be either line voltage which usually requires an electrician to install them or low voltage where a transformer is plugged into an outlet and the lights connect to the transformer.
  6. If your kitchen has the space, adding some cabinets can not only improve storage, but it can drastically affect functionality as well. Islands offer another work surface for prep, a place for family and friends to gather, and additional storage. You could even install one of the pull-out trash bins that will free up floor space and give your kitchen a neater look. Just make sure you have enough room to maneuver around the island. 36″ between surfaces is usually a good rule of thumb. If you have a bit of unused wall space, you may want to consider installing a pantry cabinet. They come in various heights, depths, and widths to fill almost any space.
  7. Maybe you like the color of your cabinets, but the doors and drawers look dated. One way to remedy this situation is to put the doors back on the cabinets. New doors and drawers can be installed providing a whole new look. Just by changing the doors, you can change the style of your kitchen to sleek, contemporary or modern. Refitting the door is a quick fix as the job usually takes a day or less, however the results will bring that ‘wow’ factor back to your kitchen. Doors are available online and in some stores, but if your do-it-yourself skills are limited, you may want to seek out a qualified remodeler.
  8. Relining your kitchen cabinets is one of the fastest ways to give your kitchen a great new look. It doesn’t matter what type of cabinets you have or what color they are, as long as the cabinet boxes are structurally sound, they can be resurfaced. Cladding not only updates the look of the doors, but also allows you to change the overall look. The transformation can go from white laminate to cherry wood or from oak to maple. You can choose from a wide range of door styles, wood species, and trim colors. There are also Rigid Thermal Foil (RTF) doors that are available in an incredible variety of colors, as well as glosses, wood tones, and styles. For a project like this, it might be best to hire an experienced repairman and in as little as four days your kitchen will have an amazing new look.

Any of these suggestions can be done separately or in combination to achieve the fresh look you want for your kitchen, without having to dismantle and replace everything. They’re budget-friendly and don’t take a lot of time to make, so add some ‘POP’ and start enjoying your cooking.

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