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Remodeling a Kitchen

Few other home improvement projects improve your enjoyment of your living space as much as a kitchen remodel. Remodeling a kitchen can be expensive. An average kitchen remodel costs more than $50,000. However, you can expect to recoup between 60 and 75 percent of these costs upon selling your home.

Kitchen Remodeling Ideas

Kitchen remodeling designs often begin with the basics of food preparation. The "kitchen work triangle" features the sink, refrigerator and stovetop at three points, allowing easy access from one workstation to the other.

However, today's kitchen isn't just a food prep area. Many families also congregate, eat and relax in the kitchen area. People who entertain design the kitchen as the focal point of their homes where friends linger and socialize.

Consider these ideas in the design of your kitchen remodel:

  • Build a breakfast nook that doubles as a cozy office or homework station.
  • Design your kitchen island for both food preparation and eating.
  • Install open shelving to display large or ornamental pieces.
  • Install panels on your appliances that match your cabinets to camouflage them.
  • Install skylights to increase natural light.
  • Refinish countertops in earth-friendly materials.
  • Replace cabinet storage space with a walk-in pantry.
  • Replace some of wood cabinet doors with glass.

Your kitchen wish list should include appliances and spaces that accommodate your interests. If you're a gourmet cook, you may want the latest appliances, a large food prep area and abundant storage space for ingredients, pots and pans. A butler’s pantry just off the kitchen is a popular choice for storage, dessert preparation, a wine cellar and other special features.

On the other hand, if you often entertain in the kitchen, you'll want adequate and comfortable seating for your guests. A well-designed island or peninsula ensures that the cook’s back isn’t what guests see when they come by to offer help or to sit and visit. You can build your range top, range hood and a small sink into your island. Some have a trash receptacle or a wine fridge and most have plenty of electrical outlets.

Most cooks are concerned about storage in their kitchens. While some like to display pots and pans on a pot rack and quickly reach up to pick out the one they need while cooking, others prefer to keep them out of sight. Slide-out shelves and large drawers are ideal for the storage of pots and pans. Include narrow spaces for storing cake pans and cookie sheets.

If you hate clutter on counter tops, look for appliance garages that stow your coffee maker, toaster, blender and other everyday electrics out of sight.

Finally, consult a specialist in your building supply store to ensure that your make good lighting choices for your kitchen area. Modern lighting includes a combination of hidden and displayed lighting fixtures. Can lights and high intensity lights under your cabinets can light up your food prep area. Modern fixtures that hang over your kitchen island can create a warm, elegant mood for guests and family.

Cutting Costs during a Kitchen Remodel

Cut costs by selecting materials with care. Bamboo and cork floors can be as attractive as wood floors or tile, and they’re cheaper, more durable and often more comfortable to stand on when you're working in the kitchen. They’re also good for the planet.

Laminate counters are less expensive than tile or granite, but they come in a wide range of colors and designs. Poured concrete is a modern option and the textures, colors and patterns are surprisingly diverse. Many homeowners consider them the most versatile option.

Try to avoid moving stoves, refrigerators, sinks and other appliances during a kitchen remodel, as this requires spending extra money for reworking plumbing, electrical wiring and gas lines.

Remodeling a kitchen on a budget may also require tackling the project in stages instead of as a single renovation. Break the remodeling project down into logical steps. Complete one step and then save up for the next; each completed step brings you closer to your finished kitchen.

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