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Why Your Kitchen Deserves a Facelift

Contemporary kitchen cabinets

Other than bathrooms, kitchens are always one of the first rooms in the house to get remodeled or renovated in some fashion. Whether it’s getting custom cabinets or designing a custom Italian kitchen, giving your kitchen a facelift always falls pretty high up there on the remodeling list for homeowners. Indeed, according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, a quarter of remodeling focused on kitchens and bathrooms in 2015. Homeowners want a functional and aesthetically pleasing space — whether that takes the form of a modern kitchen design or a custom Italian kitchen — as much of household activity tends to happen in or near the kitchen. (Have you ever noticed at a party, for example, how people wind up gravitating towards the kitchen?) Read on to see what improvements are suggested if you’re not keen on doing a full-scale remodel.

How Can I Improve My Kitchen Just a Little?
If you don’t have the time — or the budget — to do a full on remodel of your kitchen, there are still smaller things you can do that make a big difference. For example, repainting the kitchen, replacing appliances, or installing new cabinetry can all make your kitchen look brand new.

A survey showed that most homeowners — over 70% — chose stainless steel for their kitchen appliances, as it’s easy to clean and has a classy, modern look to it. If your old refrigerator or dishwasher isn’t running as efficiently anymore, consider upgrading to a new one — you may find that you actually save in terms of energy and resources used. And, many new appliances have just as much power as their predecessors, but need less space.

As for new cabinetry, you can really maximize the space of your kitchen with smart cabinets and storage space. Indeed, it’s expected that homeowners will shell out about 35% of their budgets on cabinets. White cabinets beat wood out — over 40% of people would rather install white cabinets, rather than wood.

Who Can I Contact About Renovations?

If your renovations involve something more than painting a wall, it’s likely you’ll need to contact a professional to lend a helping hand. If you’re planning on a totally new kitchen, kitchen designers can help you draw up the best plan for your kitchen and then you’d want to pass it off to a contractor to handle.

As ever, do your research carefully when hiring contractors. Be sure to look at qualifications and credentials, as well as experience. Don’t be afraid to interview a few contractors, asking for quotes (not just in terms of price, but also start and end dates for the project), and making sure they specialize in what you’re looking for. If you know family, friends, or colleagues who have recently done a kitchen remodel, try reaching out to them to see who they used for their work. A personal recommendation is always the best!

How Would I Go About Getting a Custom Italian Kitchen?

If you have your heart set on something specific, like a custom Italian kitchen or a modern kitchen, go for it! Italian kitchens are characterized by their love of color — often through tiled backsplashes — and the natural look of floors and countertops. Lighting should be soft, with plenty of natural light incorporated — hello, windows! Cooking supplies and appliances are often a focal point in this style of kitchen — an elegant, lived-in look, that says people do spend time in this room, instead of dashing in and out to microwave meals.

If you’re going for a more rustic design, opt for distressed wood and softer colors; a modern Mediterranean design might call for stainless steel and bright, showy colors like reds and yellows. Of course, your kitchen designer will know best, so run any ideas you have by him or her and see what they think!

If you’re interested in sprucing up your kitchen, know that it doesn’t all have to happen at once. Figure out what’s most important to you to change — better light? Better storage? Increased counter space? — and focus on that first.

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