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May, 2010

From space-saving designs to the latest in sophisticated style, our design tips are made with you and your dream kitchen in mind.

Small Projects Big Impact

Small Projects Big Impact

In today's challenging economy, we're all taking a look at how we spend our hard-earned dollars. And while we may not have the necessary budget to tackle a major home improvement project, there are many homeowners who are choosing a more strategic approach to remodeling - by refreshing rooms and undertaking small projects one at a time - a trend that Jack Suvak, director of market research and insights at Moen, calls "Remodel-Lite."

This trend is gaining popularity, especially in the kitchen and the bath -- two rooms where homeowners have the opportunity to earn a larger return on investment than average and make a BIG difference with some SMALL changes.

"In essence, the Remodel-Lite consumer is one who wishes to refresh a room with only a few items -- and with a minimal investment," said Suvak. "But at the same time, they still have the mindset of a remodeler - they want their home improvement project to make a significant impact on their home, in terms of both style and functionality."

Are you looking to join the Remodel-Lite trend with your own home? If so, here are some great projects to help you get started. With a few small steps, you can change the look and feel of your space.

Kitchen Face Lift
In the kitchen, first consider the largest, and often the most costly project -- cabinets. If your existing cabinets are solid wood and in fairly good condition, you may be able to give them a new look with a simple paint job or resurfacing. Not only will you save money on purchasing new cabinets, but you will also help the environment by reusing your current cabinets instead of sending them to a landfill. It's simple to change out existing cabinet door panels with new decorative fillers, such as glass, stainless steel or tin. Or, sand and repaint your current cabinets to create a completely new and updated look.

Granite countertops make a stunning upgrade, but if a complete countertop overhaul is not in your budget, you can still select a feature area in your kitchen. Focusing on one specific spot, such as a kitchen island, to install granite tile can achieve an upscale look at a much more affordable price.

Decorative details, such as faucets and fixtures, go a long way in improving the style of your kitchen. Consider upgrading to a new kitchen faucet that improves both aesthetics and functionality. The new 90° kitchen faucet from Moen features square lines and a high-arc spout to coordinate beautifully with today's modern interiors. Plus, the faucet's three-function pullout wand simplifies everyday tasks, such as filling large pots, pitchers and vases in and around the sink.

Bathroom Refresh
In the bath, you have plenty of room for improvement -- from painting to plumbing. But where do you start? An elegant and affordable showpiece will make a huge impact in this small space. For an inexpensive and eco-friendly project, try repurposing an old dresser or buffet into a bathroom vanity. Top that vanity off with a stunning centerpiece, like Moen's Rothbury™ single-handle bathroom faucet, featuring cottage styling and a variety of decorative finishes. The faucet is certified to meet WaterSense® criteria, reducing water usage by up to 32 percent, without sacrificing performance.

To carry the look of your new vanity throughout the bath, install matching tub and shower fixtures, as well as coordinating accessories, like towel bars, robe hooks, a pivoting paper holder and a tank lever, all available within Moen's Rothbury collection.

Similar to old fixtures, almost nothing dates a bathroom more than tired, cracked linoleum or an outdated floor pattern. A new floor can lend fresh vitality to the bathroom, particularly using today's cost-effective resilient sheet flooring -- it offers an attractive option for a high-end appearance with the latest styles and patterns in a wide array of colors, designs and textures. One such example, Tarkett's FiberFloor resilient flooring, fulfills homeowners' most common needs for their new bath -- warmth and comfort; water- and moisture-resistance; scratch-, stain- and indentation-resistance; and of course, easy cleaning.

Once you have completed updates to your kitchen and bath, consider Remodel-Lite opportunities in the rest of your home. New paint and window treatments help to change the mood of a room. Bookshelves are also a great way to fill empty space, adding charm and character. And, as a finishing touch, adding a fresh coat of paint and a new decorative handle to your front door will create a welcoming tone for your entire home.

Today's home remodeling doesn't have to involve huge budgets and whole-home transformations. By using the Remodel-Lite concept, carefully considering your projects and making small updates one step at a time, you can make your home into the home you've always dreamed of.

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