How many times have you walked into your kitchen and thought: “My kitchen really needs a facelift?” I can’t tell you the number of times I hear from friends who share this dilemma. The problem is that they aren’t quite ready for a complete renovation or a brand new kitchen. They simply want to breathe new life into a dated kitchen, whether ultimately to sell the house or to stretch the life of the kitchen for a few more years.
So, how do you make an impact when refreshing your tired kitchen? Start first with the cabinets. If they are sound and in good shape, consider having them professionally painted. Techniques differ amongst painters — some brush the paint on, while others spray, so be sure to ask your painter about his process. The prep work takes the most time and is a vital component of a great paint job, so make sure that you’re hiring a meticulous, professional painter with great references since this won’t be an insignificant amount of money.
If your countertops are in good shape and aren’t dated, consider yourself lucky! Replacing countertops is most-definitely an option, but will certainly impact your costs, especially if your budget is tight. And if you’re replacing your countertop, this would be a good time to switch out your faucet for a newer model, and your sink for an undermount (if you don’t already have one).
While changing out a dated tiled backsplash for something more current will require demolition and repair to the sheetrock, this is a change that will have tremendous impact. Make sure to hire a good tile installer who knows how to remove the old tile, repair the wall behind and install new tile. The process will take several days, but the wow-factor will be big.
Changing out your cabinet hardware will also go a long way towards making your kitchen look fresh. If you currently have cabinet knobs and want to change to bar pulls, now is the time to do so since the painter can easily fill the holes. Just remember: you’ll need to hire someone to measure and re-drill holes for the new hardware once the cabinet paint has cured. Alternatively, if you want to keep it simple and manage your costs, opt to keep the same type of hardware you currently have (i.e.: knobs or bar pulls) and just replace with a different style and/or finish. No need to patch and re-drill holes.
Finally, a great way to make a big statement is to replace your lighting. Does the light fixture over your kitchen table appear dated? Do the pendants over your island look like they are stuck in the ’80s? Lighting is often overlooked and is such an integral part of any space, and updating it can be literally transformative. For some reason, people are often reluctant to change out light fixtures, when in fact this is one of the most impactful changes you can make in any space — give it a try!
Clearly even a facelift in your kitchen isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you’re willing to live through both the mess and the frustration of being displaced for a few weeks, these changes will certainly have a big impact on your space. Any good designer can guide you through the process and manage all of the details to help you with your update. It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it!