Seven Budget-Friendly Kitchen Updates

kitchen remodelIf your kitchen needs to be updated but kitchen renovation cost just doesn’t fit in your budget, it’s possible to freshen things up a bit without breaking the bank.  These budget-friendly kitchen updates will reinvent your space for less.

Cozy it up

A bright or patterned rug will instantly give your kitchen a pop of color while also adding warmth.  Position your rug in an area where you spend a lot of time on your feet such as next to the stove, sink or refrigerator.

Freshen Your Color Scheme

A fresh coat of paint can liven things up, or improve the looks of cabinetry that’s seen better days. Try an accent wall for added color if things are a bit drab.  Just be sure to mask your baseboards off properly and put a drop cloth down to avoid stray drips of paint.

Add Some Wall Art

Wall art adds color and personality to your space.  If you’re on a budget, try picking up some art at an estate or garage sale in your neighborhood.  If you’re patient, you can find original works of art for a fraction of the cost.

Upgrade Lighting

Many kitchens look dingy because they’re insufficiently lit.  Upgrade your lighting either by installing additional fixtures or replacing old fixtures with something a little more current.

Replace Cabinet Hardware

Replacing outdated cabinet hardware can make a surprising difference in your kitchen’s overall appearance.  If you’re on a tight budget, try picking up some discount hardware on eBay.  Just be sure not to compromise quality.

Install a Tile Backsplash

A tiled backsplash adds color and personality to your kitchen, and can be installed over a weekend by handy homeowners.  Try using smaller tiles so that you don’t need to use a tile saw, which is one of the more difficult and time-consuming aspects of tiling.

Treat Your Windows

Window treatments liven things up inexpensively, and also conserve energy by preventing heat loss through bare windows.  Try curtains that fit your kitchen’s décor, or perhaps mini blinds.

Are you currently updating your kitchen on a budget?  Tell us all about your own budget-friendly kitchen updates by leaving a coment.

 

Kitchen Cabinets: Refinish, Reface or Replace?

kitchen remodelKitchen cabinets are one of the big-ticket items for kitchen renovation, but updated kitchen cabinets can go a long way towards freshening up your kitchen’s décor.  However, if your kitchen cabinets are in reasonably good shape, it’s possible to refurbish pre-existing work to freshen up your look without breaking the bank.

Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets and replacing hardware is relatively easy and inexpensive.  However, before you start picking out colors, be sure that your cabinets are paintable.  Solid wood, wood veneer and metal cabinets handle paint well, but laminate and melamine cabinets aren’t paintable, and refinishing these two types is best left to a professional.  Luckily for kitchen renovation Toronto homeowners have many excellent contractors available for small and large jobs alike.

Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

If you’re looking to do something a little more than skin deep, you can also reface kitchen cabinets.  Kitchen cabinet refacing involves either installation of a thin veneer over existing cabinet doors or alternatively replacing doors but leaving the cabinets intact.  This is a little pricier than refinishing, but may be ideal if your doors are dinged up or if you’re looking to update the woodwork itself.  Just make sure that the underlying cabinets are in good repair and that you’re satisfied with the layout before your invest in refacing kitchen cabinets.

Replacing Kitchen Cabinets

If your kitchen cabinets are in rough shape or if you’d like to change the layout of your kitchen, replacing your kitchen cabinets may be the way to go.  Stock or modular cabinets will be cheaper than custom cabinets, although some homeowners prefer custom cabinets that are tailored to their needs and to the home’s décor. Whatever your choice, be sure to purchase cabinets made of high-quality materials that will stand the test of time.

Updating your kitchen cabinets will be a huge improvement to your kitchen’s décor, and you’ll be glad you’ve done it.  The extent of the job is up to you as a homeowner; consider your budget, personal preferences and the condition of your existing kitchen cabinetry before moving forward.  Also don’t be afraid to seek the help of a professional in both the planning and construction phases of your project.

 

Kitchen Space Savers

kitchen flooringOne of the major issues with kitchen renovation Toronto homeowners face is limited kitchen size.  Kitchens are required to support a multitude of tasks, and the available workspace in a compact kitchen is frequently insufficient.  Incorporate these kitchen space savers into your kitchen remodel to make the most of your space for a kitchen that is both attractive and functional.

Work Your Wall Space

If you’re working with a compact kitchen, it’s important to use your available wall space wisely.  Hooks and racks provide extra storage without compromising valuable floor or counter space.

Knife blocks suck up a lot of space on countertops, so consider installing a magnetic wall mounted knife rack above your workspace.  Just be sure to install the rack in a place that children will be unable to reach.  You can also store other goods, such as pots, pans and utensils on hooks or racks.

Rethink Your Faucet

If you have a smaller sink, and articulated faucet can be an excellent kitchen space saver.  Articulated faucets can be folded out of the way until they’re needed, so increase your available space.  If an articulated faucet isn’t for you, select a faucet that is taller than it is deep, and in which the knobs and sprayer incorporated into the main console.  Some faucets can be wall-mounted, which saves even more space.

Make the Most of Corners

Corner space is often underused, as corner drawers and cabinets can be difficult to access.  To get better use out of your corners, install a lazy susan.  You can also install specially designed corner stack drawers.

Downsize Appliances

If you generally have a light cooking load, downsizing your appliances can free up a lot of storage and countertop space.  If you don’t often cook for a crowd, a smaller stove, oven or dishwasher may meet your needs without sucking up space.  Also be sure to install a built-in microwave, as a freestanding microwave takes up a lot of counter space.

Reconsider Trendy Extras

Today’s kitchen renovation market offers a lot of extra features that are both practical and attractive, such as pot filling faucets, kitchen islands and appliance garages.  However, if your kitchen space is limited, install these sorts of luxury features sparingly and after careful consideration.  An experienced kitchen renovation contractor can help you identify which features will truly add value to your kitchen, and install them strategically such that they take up minimal space.

If you’re currently involved in a compact kitchen remodel of your own, we’d love to hear your own kitchen space savers.  Tell us all about it in the comments section.

Kitchen Flooring

kitchen flooringKitchen flooring is an important component of any kitchen renovation.  The sheer variety can be daunting, as can the task of choosing a flooring that meets your practical needs, coordinates with your home’s décor and is within your budget.

This guide provides a quick description of several options. Our list includes some of the more classic tried-and-true options, but also some of the trendier, edgier media available on the modern market.

Tile Kitchen Flooring

Tiled kitchen floors are a classic, and are both elegant and durable.  There are a wide variety of colors, materials and textures to choose from on the modern market, and you’re sure to find the perfect match regardless of your décor.  However, tile is also pricier than some other options, and the grout requires regular maintenance to prevent staining.

Brick Kitchen Flooring

If you’re after the feel and durability of tile but prefer something a little off the beaten path, brick kitchen floors might be for you.  Brick pavers are thin tiles made of real clay that have the appearance of aged brick, but are still easy to install and maintain, much like traditional tile.  However, they’re comparable in price to regular tiles, and grout maintenance is also a must.

Rubber Kitchen Flooring

Commercial-grade features are a current kitchen design trend, as they lend a sleek modern look and are also very practical.  Rubber flooring is durable, easy to clean and also ergonomic.  Additionally, it comes in a huge variety of colors and designs, and can even be customized.

Linoleum Kitchen Flooring

Linoleum is a classic, and for good reason.  It’s virtually maintenance-free, comes in countless designs and is very durable.  It’s also one of the more cost-effective options available.

Stained Concrete

Most kitchens have a layer of concrete under existing kitchen flooring.  This subflooring can actually be sanded, stained and sealed to produce an attractive and durable flooring.  It’s arguably the most economical option, and can easily be installed by handy homeowners.

Are you currently involved in your own kitchen renovation?  If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts on kitchen flooring.  Tell us all about it in the comments section.

Kitchen Countertop Options

kitchen remodelWhether you’re doing a full-fledged kitchen remodel or just a simple partial kitchen renovation, the countertops are an important part of your design.  There are many potential kitchen countertop options, and the number of choices can be daunting.  Here’s a rundown of several popular options with some of the pros and cons for each material.

Granite

Granite’s beautiful mottling and earthy tones are elegant and make each slab unique.  Granite countertops are also very durable, and resistant to everyday wear-and-tear.  However, granite is one of the more expensive kitchen countertop options, and will also need to be resealed periodically.

Solid Surfacing or Corian

Solid surfacing is principally made of acrylic and polyester.  It was originally marketed as Corian, so is sometimes generically referred to as such. Solid surfacing can be more susceptible to knife marks, scrapes and burns than some other options, but these blemishes can also be sanded out.  However, solid surfacing is synthetic so can have an artificial feel, but is still fairly pricey, so some homeowners steer clear of it for these reasons.

Tile

Ceramic and porcelain tile offer many options for color and design, and are more modestly priced than some options.  It’s also very durable, and any chipped tiles can easily be replaced individually.  However, unsealed grout is susceptible to staining and bacterial growth, and the uneven surface can make it difficult to balance a cutting board or use a rolling pin.

Laminate

Laminate consists of a paper/resin blend fused to particleboard .  It is one of the most popular countertop options, and comes in many designs and colors.  Laminate is  inexpensive, so if kitchen renovation cost is a concern, this could be a good option.  It’s also extremely low maintenance.  However, laminate is also more prone to scratching than some other options, and can warp if it isn’t properly installed.

Ultimately, the right choice for your kitchen depends upon your practical needs, décor, budget and personal taste.  If you’re a little overwhelmed or need help with the installation, seek the help of an experienced kitchen renovation contractor.  For kitchen renovation Toronto homeowners have many well-qualified professionals available.

If you’re currently in the market for new kitchen countertops or are the proud owner of a newly remodeled kitchen, we’d love to hear your thoughts on kitchen countertops or other kitchen remodeling ideas in the comment section.

Kitchen Renovation Contractor Selection

kitchen remodelA full kitchen renovation is a big job, and many components of an in-depth kitchen remodel may be best left to professionals.  However, not all kitchen remodeling contractors are created equal, and you’ll want to make sure that your kitchen stays in good hands.  This guide to kitchen renovation contractor selection will help you to find the right person for the job.

Experience in Kitchen Remodeling

 Selecting an experienced contractor is of utmost importance.  You’ll want to find someone who has at least a few years’ experience, and who is familiar with kitchen remodeling specifically.  Because a kitchen renovation requires a special skill set, you’ll want to make sure that he or she is experienced specifically in kitchen renovation.  Fortunately for kitchen remodeling Toronto homeowners have many well-qualified contractors available.

Customer References

No one can better evaluate a potential kitchen remodeling contractor than a current or prior client.  A well-qualified contractor will be happy to provide you with customer references, so don’t be afraid to ask for a few.  Once you’re in contact with former clients, be sure to ask about overall quality of work, willingness to meet your personal needs and also whether the contractors’ work has been durable and long-lasting.

Warranties and Guarantees

 Many kitchen remodeling contractors offer a warrantee and replacement policy.  This becomes important in the event that something in the remodel goes wrong.  Be sure to ask about these policies, and take them into consideration when making your decision.

 Insurance and Legal

 Make sure that a potential kitchen renovation contractor is licensed, bonded and insured.  A licensed contractor is likely to do better work, and insurance helps to protect against any mishaps during the job.  Any well-qualified contractor will have these certifications.

A kitchen renovation is a substantial investment, and also requires an advanced skillset.  Be sure to select the right contractor for the job.  If you’re currently planning a kitchen remodel or have recently done so, we’d love to hear about what factors have influenced your decision, and what you find to be most important when choosing a contractor.  Tell us all about it in the comments section.

Cheap and Easy DIY Kitchen Remodeling Ideas

kitchen remodelIf you’re the handy type and are looking to save some money on kitchen renovation cost, you may consider DIY kitchen remodeling ideas and do most part of your kitchen renovation on your own.  Depending upon your skills and level of commitment, you can pick and choose which aspects you’d like to do yourself, and which are best left to professionals.

We’ve come up with a few potential options for flooring, cabinetry and counter tops that are cheap and easy to install.  These DIY kitchen remodeling ideas can help get your kitchen renovation project on track and on budget.

DIY Flooring

 There are many kitchen flooring options available, and some are easier and cheaper to install than others.  If you’re remodeling your kitchen in your spare time, it may be best to keep your flooring simple.

The easiest and cheapest flooring by far is stained concrete.  In this process, you’ll strip your floor down to bare concrete, prepare the surface, and subsequently apply a stain and seal.  Stained concrete is also exceptionally durable easy to care for, so is a great option if you have kids, pets or enjoy cooking.

Other potential options for DIY flooring are laminate, linoleum and engineered wood flooring.  These options are also economical, easy to install and durable.  Shop around to find the look you like best, and that best fits your budget and relative level of commitment.

 DIY Countertops

Countertops are frequently one of the most expensive aspects of a kitchen renovation.  Depending upon your budget, you may want to hire a well-qualified contractor for this.  However, if you’re looking for a fast and easy option, we recommend concrete finishing.

Concrete finishing is an excellent option for smooth-surface laminate countertops.  For this you’ll purchase a kit with a composite concrete coating that you’ll spread over the countertops and subsequently apply a sealant.  This creates a shiny, marbled look.  You can buy concrete kits of a variety of colors, so can easily customize your countertops to fit your décor.

DIY Cabinetry

Cabinetry is expensive and installation can be somewhat difficult, so if you’re looking to work within a tight budget on your DIY kitchen remodel, you may want to consider painting your cabinets and installing new hardware.  This can significantly refresh your look, but is relatively inexpensive.

If you’re planning a DIY kitchen remodel or are in the process of one, we’d like to hear your ideas in the comment section.  Tell us all about what worked for you.

Small Kitchen Remodeling

Kitchen RenovationSmall kitchen remodeling presents a special set of challenges.   Small kitchen renovations generally aim to make the most use of limited square footage and visually enlarge space.  This increases the functionality of the kitchen and generally makes it a more enjoyable place to be.

These small kitchen remodeling ideas can help you make the most of your kitchen and enjoy your time there.

Scaling Down

To make more efficient use of your space in your small kitchen renovation, consider aspects of your kitchen that can easily be scaled down.  For example, large double sinks or farmhouse sinks take up a significant amount of counter space, so a more space-efficient sink can help to make better use of valuable counter space.

Space-efficient appliances can also free up some square footage.  Side-by-side refrigerators are convenient, but a stacked refrigerator takes up much less width.  It may also be possible to install a smaller dishwasher, freeing up valuable storage space.

Also look for ways to enhance storage space.  Elongating cabinetry make more use of wall space, allowing more available storage space.  Increasing cabinets’ depth is also helpful in this regard.

Prioritizing

 When planning your small kitchen remodel, consider what aspects of your kitchen you value most.  For example, if you’re an avid chef ample storage space may be important, but if you’re more the takeout type, minimal storage may be OK.  Discuss your needs with your home renovation professional to develop a plan that best fits your needs.

 Visually Enlarging Your Space

There are many techniques that can make your kitchen feel more open and less cramped.  This visually enhances your space to make it appear larger than it is.

First, let in the light.  Installing ample lighting helps to brighten things up.  Additionally, opting for lighter walls, counter tops, cabinetry and flooring  also opens up your space.  Large floor tiles or stained concrete also make floorspace appear larger.

A qualified home renovation contractor can help you to make the most of your small kitchen remodel.  Fortunately for kitchen remodeling Toronto-area homeowners have many excellent renovation professionals available.

If you’ve remodeled a small kitchen, we’d love to hear your own suggestions for make the most of limited square footage in the comments section.

Kitchen Renovation Features

Kitchen RenovationIf you’re planning a kitchen remodel or are simply looking to make some upgrades, the sheer number of available kitchen renovation features can be overwhelming.  It’s important to hone in on the features you like best, and prioritize them in your kitchen renovation project.

Here’s a rundown some common kitchen features that add aesthetic appeal and functional convenience.  These kitchen remodeling ideas should have you well on the way to your dream kitchen.

Double Ovens

Double ovens enable you to have a main oven that can be accessed without bending over, and a secondary additional oven that can be used to cook at a different temperature when needed.  They also open up the possibility of an island cook top, allowing more flexibility for your kitchen’s floorplan.

Island Cooktop

An island cooktop sits flush with the kitchen counter on a kitchen island.  This allows for ample counter space surrounding the cooktop, and can also be outfitted with a downdraft exhaust system, eliminating the need for a view-obstructing range hood.

Appliance Garage

 An appliance garage keeps frequently used appliances accessible, but keeps them out of sight when they’re not being used.  This tidies up counter space, allowing a sleeker look.

Built-in Refrigerator

A built-in refrigerator is customized to your kitchen, and is flush with kitchen cabinets or other appliances.  This keeps the look of your kitchen smooth and integrated, and makes more efficient use of square footage.

Warming Drawers

Warming drawers can be used to warm plates or keep food hot while other dishes are prepared.  This adds a lot of functionality, but doesn’t require a lot of space.

Built-in Trash/Recycle Drawer

A trash and/or recycle drawer that’s built into your kitchen cabinets is very convenient, and also keeps pets and small children from accessing your kitchen trash.  This is another very convenient, functional kitchen upgrade.

If you’ve recently remodeled your kitchen or are planning a kitchen renovation, we’d love to hear which kitchen features you included or are interested in.  Tell us all about it in the comment section.

Kitchen Remodeling Ideas

Kitchen RenovationThe kitchen is one of the highest traffic rooms in a home, and a quality kitchen remodel greatly improves a home’s general ambiance.  This makes your home a more enjoyable place to be, and also increases its retail value.

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start with a kitchen renovation project, as there’s a lot to be done, and many options are available.  These kitchen remodeling ideas will help you get the most out of your renovation, and make a great addition to any kitchen.

Cabinets

Cabinets cover a lot of wall space in the kitchen, and an update can greatly improve your kitchen’s overall appearance.  Tall cabinets give your kitchen a sleek, streamlined look, as they increase storage space and decrease clutter.

Open shelving is currently a popular kitchen design trend, as it lends a modern look and can make your kitchen in general feel more open.  Open shelves are also more convenient, and are particularly good for storing pots, pans and other items that receive frequent use.

Cabinets can be tricky to design and install, so it may be best to consult a professional for this aspect of your kitchen remodel project.  Fortunately for kitchen renovation Toronto homeowners have many well-qualified renovation professionals available.

Lighting

Updating your kitchen’s lighting can also really improve a kitchen’s look.  Increasing the amount of lighting in your kitchen can brighten the space up.  Pendant lighting is popular at the moment, and affords an opportunity to customize your kitchen’s look to your personal style.  Many styles of pendant lighting are available, from ultramodern to old-world charm.

Counter Tops

Counter top trends have changed a lot over the years, and older counter tops are one of the major factors that make a kitchen seem outdated.  Granite counter tops are attractive, but can potentially trap dangerous bacteria, so aren’t the most practical choice.  Coriander and engineered quartz have a similar look, but are much easier to keep clean, so may be a better option.  Additionally, engineered quartz is very hard, so can be used directly as a cutting surface.

If you’ve recently remodeled your kitchen or currently have a kitchen renovation in progress, we’d love to hear your own kitchen remodeling ideas in the comment section.  If you’re currently in the planning stage, we’d also be glad to answer any questions you may have regarding kitchen design.