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Increase the Value of Your Home with a Kitchen Remodel

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You have agonized over it for years. There aren’t enough cabinets. I hate the color of the appliances. I want a backsplash. I need an island for cooking and quick meals with the kids. It’s time. The kitchen is the heart of your home. More family time is spent in the kitchen and open adjoining room than anywhere in the house. So why shouldn’t it get the attention it deserves?

Kristi Goodloe, a Residential Sales Professional with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate/Kansas City Homes, says updating your kitchen is important.

“If you’re like me and watch enough of what I call “Fix and Flip TV,” you know this to be true – ‘kitchens and bathrooms sell homes.’ These are two rooms in our homes where we spend an inordinate amount of time. Whether you are remodeling for yourself or preparing to sell a home, I recommend you always start with the kitchen. It will have the most impact when that prospective buyer comes through your door. Don’t be afraid to get your creative juices cooking, but make sure your design is going to maximize your return on investment.”

One word trumps all others when contemplating a kitchen redesign: FUNCTION. First things first, reflect on how you use the space in your daily routine, and let the flow of the kitchen follow your method. Efficiency is more important in the kitchen than any other room in the house.

“Also, kitchens are the new family rooms,” notes Goodloe. “More and more kitchens are incorporating dining rooms and sitting rooms into a unified open floor plan. Consequently, kitchen cabinets are looking more like fine furniture, and counters and islands are becoming dining tables. Banquette seating offers comfort for people who congregate in the kitchen for more than food.”

So what are some things to consider as you design?  

  • Sink, Refrigerator, Stove and Microwave. Plot these first and walk the area after you map it to make sure it follows your workflow when preparing meals. Many experts say the appliances should form a triangle from each other for maximum efficiency. Also, make sure to leave counter space on both sides of your stove for greater functionality.
  • Regarding the microwave, you will want to consider all of the members of the household who use it. While not everyone cooks, almost everyone uses this beloved appliance. If there are smaller children in the house, don’t put the microwave above an oven, if there is a better option.
  • Keep all aisles and walkways for high-traffic areas open and broad.
  • When it comes to the counters, you need to evaluate the actual amount of cooking that occurs in your household on a regular basis. If you live off dining out and takeout, you probably don’t need the counter space that a “foodie chef” does. However, there is always resale value to consider when making improvements, and ample counter space is a big positive for most home buyers.
  • “Think smart storage,” advises Goodloe. “Integrated storage and streamlined options make keeping your kitchen clutter-free even easier. Pullouts mean bottles aren’t lost in the back of the cabinet, toe-kick drawers add storage where there once wasn’t any, built-in utensil trays keep spatulas and spoons in their places. I could go on and on about smart storage, but it’s making me want to rush home and redesign my own!”
  • Island or no island? That is the question. Unless you are just averse to the idea or have a tiny kitchen, an island is a very functional addition and usually relatively high on items that appeal to prospective buyers. If you decide to add an island, you will want to consider what you want it to do. Having the backside of the island serve as a dining bar is very popular.
  • As for lighting, choose what you like, but be practical. You don’t want hanging lights to interfere with the day-to-day operational use of the room. You also don’t want dim lighting that doesn’t lend itself to supporting those day-to-day functions. Goodloe maintains that statement pendants are still a thing, and the latest obsession is clear fixtures with Edison bulbs. They have an industrial vibe, but they are light, airy and stunning.

Next, let’s consider colors that are trending.

“We still love our white cabinetry, says, Goodloe. Beautiful and timeless, white cabinets are a versatile choice for any kitchen. One attraction of white cabinetry is it works with multiple design styles – including traditional, country chic and contemporary. White cabinetry opens a room to a number of décor choices and color palettes that have no boundaries, and they can turn the kitchen into a backdrop that can be embellished as much, or as little, as you’d like.”

She says finding the right white can be tricky and recommends:

  • A crisp white paint can renew seemingly outdated dark countertops to lighten your kitchen’s look for less.
  • For vintage charm, try a softer, more soothing creamy white.
  • For a kitchen with a lot of bold colors, try going with a cleaner white for visual relief.
  • Rather than a stark all-white kitchen, a grayish white on your cabinets will brighten and warm a space.

Goodloe also notes that right now, “Blue is big. It’s timeless and comes in a variety of shades such as sky, indigo and aqua. Plus, like white, blue works in a variety of design styles. Consider it as a go-to color for backsplashes, islands or even your perimeter cabinets.”

While stainless steel remains the color of choice on appliances, other metallics including gold and rose gold are popular. There is an emerging trend with color appliances in red, blue and different colors you may crave.

Before you finalize your plans, make sure your remodel will genuinely add the maximum value to your house, stresses Goodloe. “Remember, kitchens sell houses, but not poorly designed kitchens. I’m out with clients every week, and I look at a lot of kitchens. I take note of my clients’ comments and concerns, and I want to help homeowners avoid making these mistakes! One of the biggest complaints I hear about kitchen design is the lack of countertops. You want your countertops to be decorative, but they have to be functional, too.” 

Now that you are ready to renovate your kitchen, here is one final thing to consider. These projects tend to be long and arduous, even if a contractor is involved. So make your game plan for how you are going to feed the family while the project is underway. Maybe have one day be picnic day each week, and pick up sandwiches and easy to eat items at the local grocer. Or one day a week have a contest for everyone in the family to find a new place to eat no one has tried before. Make plans to dine w/friends and relatives you haven’t seen in a while and keep a small mini-fridge in a handy place with drink and snack essentials.

What are your kitchen dreams? Tell us here!

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Categories: Smart Spending, Your Home
Tags: Home Mortgages

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