With the holidays in full swing, our attention at home naturally turns to the kitchen. The center of our homes, the kitchen is often the busiest room in the house. So, it’s only natural that if we look to make any home improvements this time of year, our first thought is that our kitchens could use a little “sprucing up”.
So many people are re-doing their countertops these days. Granite and even quartz countertops are growing more affordable and their durability can’t be beat. However, I often caution people against adding new countertops if their cabinetry is in sad shape, as eventually the cabinets will have to be replaced as well, and it just does not make sense to spend the money on counters if their cabinetry will not last for at least another ten years. If this is the case with your kitchen, then my advice is to wait, do it properly and save for both new cabinets and countertops – you will not regret spending the extra money to have a whole new kitchen – even if it means a year or two longer with the old one!
However, if the cabinetry is solid and still functions properly; i.e. doors and drawers open and close nicely, and the overall layout is acceptable, then a countertop upgrade is merited. If the cabinets still function and are solid, but appear worn or dirty, then sometimes it can be a good idea to have them painted or refinished. However, if they are in good shape and clean, but just “dated”, often just the addition of pretty hardware is all that’s needed to bring the cabinetry up to our current standards.
Another upgrade option might include cabinets and laminate countertops that are still in relatively good shape, but a worn, water-stained wood backsplash that we find in so many houses from the ‘80’s and ‘90’s. In this case, an easy fix would be to remove the old wooden splash and replace it with some great hard-wearing tile that doesn’t break the bank and ties the whole look together. A qualified tile installer can have this done in as little as a day or two with minimal disturbance to the rest of the kitchen.
Flooring works especially hard in a kitchen, taking a beating from spills, dishes dropping, trash going in and out, dishwater, etc. There are some great new LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank) products out there that can go right over existing sheet vinyl, worn hardwood or even tile, that can add a layer of durability and beauty to any decorating scheme. They usually go in quickly and easily and this is an upgrade that can be done in as little as a day!
My advice; take stock of your kitchen, look around honestly and ask yourself what needs to be replaced, what can stay, and what needs a little tweak to make it just right for you and your loved ones this holiday season. And always, if in doubt, contact a professional. Most of us are trained to take stock of what you already have while taking your wishlist into account and come up with a game plan to make your dream kitchen a reality.