ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tips For Renovating A Kitchen

Updated on January 30, 2010

When we enter a room, we immediately notice the "big picture," or overall appearance, and make a quick judgement: "good" or "bad." This first impression is based, in large part, on the room's color and light. Many people, especially renters, live with an ugly kitchen that lacks both pleasant color and good light. Fortunately, these are two facets of your space that are easy to change. Here's how to give your kitchen an entirely different look and feel without breaking the bank.

An Important Investment

When renovating a kitchen, it's important to do advance planning in terms of both function and aesthetics. Consumers today, more than ever, want a kitchen that's not only functionally efficient but visually beautiful. If a homeowner renovates his kitchen, he's sure to realize the return on his investment when he sells his home. A beautiful kitchen and bath are the new status symbols in home buying, so if you're renovating either one, do your homework. Renovating a kitchen can be expensive, inconvenient and sometimes even disastrous. If this project is too difficult to tackle yourself, consult a design professional. It's well worth the money, and even more so if you're trying to sell your home.

Advice From a Pro

More often than not, kitchens are painted white. Sometimes the walls are covered with enamel paint in a garish primary color. This treatment sometimes ends up looking better suited to your car than to your home. Enamel paint shows every imperfection because it reflects light. This doesn't mean it's completely out of the question, but if you're using it, know that proper wall and ceiling preparation is crucial if your kitchen is to have a high-quality look. Rather, try using a semigloss paint. It's easy to clean and isn't as shiny as enamel. Therefore slight imperfections aren't as easy to spot.

When choosing a wall color, it's best to flip through books and magazines for inspiration. For example, if you'd like a contemporary look, find a photograph of a kitchen that appeals to you, and let that image guide what colors you use, how they're placed and how they work together.

Counters, Walls and Floors

A commonly favorite look for a kitchen is a retro look, like the one your grandparents had. Retro means cherry-red plastic-laminate countertops, white appliances, white beaded-board wainscoting, white cabinets, and wallpaper with red fruit and green leaves. This is a great look and it's so easy to emulate the style affordably.

Countertops: Usually kitchen countertops are white or some other neutral shade of plastic-laminate (Formica). Plastic laminate counters get a bad rap, but they can be beautiful. They're also inexpensive and easy to maintain. To achieve the retro look, you can relaminate the countertops in cherry red and the visual impact will be huge.

Walls: To give the kitchen a wainscoting look without having beaded board, add a chair rail using 3-inch flat-stock molding. Paint the wall from below the chair rail to the baseboard with white semigloss paint. Paint the wall above the chair rail bright yellow or the same red as the counters. Another option is to use vinyl-coated wallpaper with a design that evokes a 1920s or 1930s theme.

Floors: If you have a wood floor that's in bad shape, paint it with the wall colors you've chosen. If your floor is vinyl or linoleum and is not attractive, try covering it with black-and-white checkerboard-patterned sheet vinyl, available from your local home center. If sheet vinyl is too expensive for your budget, use paint that's suitable for vinyl or linoleum and durable enough for use on floors. Paint over vinyl may have to be sealed, but it can be done. Ask the paint specialist at your local home center or hardware store for more information.

Cabinets and Lighting

Cabinets: If you've been blessed with 70s-style, ugly-brown fake-wood cabinets, there's help available. Primer and a top-quality semigloss paint will transform the dark, heavy things to something lighter and fresher. If you're skilled at decorative painting or faux finishing, cabinets are a great place to showcase your look. I wouldn't suggest a sponge technique, but perhaps thin stripes.

Lighting: After you've applied your colors, you'll need to work on lighting. Kitchens often have too little or too much light, and the fixtures are usually fluorescent. Fluorescent lighting is better suited to commercial than to residential use. If you do have fluorescent lighting, switch to yellow fluorescent bulbs, which will yield a warm feel, versus a cool one, and will take away some of the harshness of this type of lighting. Think about adding an inexpensive strip of lighting under the cabinets as an indirect light source. You might also consider installing a mirrored backsplash as it will look clean and elegant, and will add sparkle to your space.

There are all sorts of tricks to enhance a kitchen without spending a fortune. A word to the wise: before tackling the job, find an inspirational photograph to be your guide. Also, be sure you have a plan for each surface finish ahead of time. If you have a plan, you'll have fewer surprises later. Now, before you make your next meal, redo that kitchen!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)