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March, 2011

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

Simple Ideas for Updating Your Kitchen

Simple Ideas for Updating Your Kitchen

Is your kitchen stuck in a time warp? Think you have to have to do a heavy remodel to get it into this century? Think again! All it takes is a few light upgrades to quickly bring your kitchen into the here and now.

Update Your Cabinets
For remodeling or updating on a shoe-string budget, there are a number of alternatives to improve your kitchen. Add finishing touches to your cabinetry selection with distinctive decorative hardware and under-counter lights, all of which add ambiance to the room. Additionally, you have the option to refinish you existing cabinetry. You can mix and match shades. Current trends in finishes lean toward darker stains and glazes on cherry and maple woods.

New Countertops or Additional Countertop Space
A top priority on consumers’ kitchen upgrade wish lists is often a more expensive countertop material, such as granite. Granite offers the benefit of minimal maintenance and will retain its good looks for years to come. It is the most durable and least porous of all stones and offers a rich look in the kitchen. Because remodeling with granite for all countertop surfaces can be costly, experts advise that mixing and matching materials is becoming popular. Consider installing a granite island for more countertop space and to serve as a focal point or refinish your existing island in granite.

Faucets
Updating faucets is a simple kitchen upgrade, adding a sense of style to the kitchen. With so many finish options, a great decorative faucet can be the centerpiece of the kitchen. New designs incorporate functionality and elegance. Take the new Lindley™ kitchen faucet from Moen; it offers a classic, traditional look with a high-arc spout and a reduced flow rate of 1.75 gallons per minute, which translates to a 32 percent water savings. Available at The Home Depot, the Lindley faucet will give your kitchen an added dose of style and sustainability.

New Appliances
Just installing one or two new appliances can update your kitchen’s appearance. Stainless steel continues to be the rage when it comes to the look in kitchen appliances. Stainless offers a neutral, sleek image with a commercial feel – it is available in all price points for remodelers who need to stick to a budget. But if stainless isn’t your style, manufacturers are coming out with new looks that infuse color into the room, including sunburst yellow, candy apple red, robin’s egg blue and mint green. For those hesitant to use bold colors on large appliances, a splash of color can be added with one of the many small hand appliances now available in these bright colors.

Lighting
Nothing livens a kitchen like new lighting fixtures. Consider using miniature, low-voltage pendant lighting for an island counter. For accent lighting, try a decorative pendant lamp over your kitchen table with a dimmer switch to set the mood for special occasions. Lighting fixtures are available in many different styles to match your taste in style and décor. You can find fixtures in all price points at home centers, hardware stores and kitchen showrooms.

Covering Your Walls
Many homeowners today are making a statement with cobalt blues, oranges, reds and greens in the kitchen. These colors are finding their way onto kitchen walls through new faux finish designs, including sponging techniques and stencils that personalize a look. In many cases, white has been relegated to a smaller role as accent or trim. Your kitchen can be further personalized by using borders, wallpaper or tiles. Use decorative, hand-painted tiles for trim and backsplash areas and ceramic, porcelain or quarry tile for main countertop areas to create a distinctive or highly personalized look.

Flooring
Another popular flooring option is ceramic tile. Today’s tiles mimic real stone, but have the benefits of lower cost and easier installation. Available in every shade of the rainbow, tile is a great way to upgrade your kitchen. Design experts report that neutral colors and European styles in ceramic tile are what everyone is looking for.

So bring that kitchen of yours into the 21st Century. Maybe it’s not a complete overhaul this time, as just a couple of these upgrades can significantly give you and your family that ‘new kitchen’ feeling.

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