8 TIPS TO REFRESH YOUR KITCHEN

The kitchen is undoubtedly the most expensive room to renovate. Nevertheless, small changes can make a big difference even when major renovations collide with constrained budgets. Here are eight ideas to transform your kitchen while saving time and money.

ADD A BACKSPLASH

TIP #1: ADD A BACKSPLASH

Installing new ceramic tiles on the backsplash is often enough, giving your kitchen a trendy look. A few hours is all you need to rid yourself of outdated ceramic tile prints or cooking stains on painted backsplashes. Simply use self-adhesive tiles. Other trendy ideas to consider for the backsplash: mirror tiles, decorative slabs with metallic effects, a painted backsplash covered with Plexiglas or, if you prefer a refined contemporary style, larger ceramic tiles similar to the countertop material.

TIP #2: PAINT THE CUPBOARDS

A well-executed paint job on wooden or melamine cupboards completely transforms the kitchen. When it comes to color: the trend is to white kitchens and “two-tone” kitchens that combine, wood-finish cupboards with neutral and soft colors: favourites like light-gray, ivory and taupe. High gloss painted cupboards, similar to lacquer, is also trendy. It is important to note that a high quality of end result depends upon proper surface preparation.

DECORATE USING CHALKBOARD

TIP #3: DECORATE USING CHALKBOARD

Chalkboard paint is a cool, affordable way to add character to the kitchen giving it an attractive bistro look. You can also use this finish to give a different look to the pantry door or paint a buffet on which you can whimsically inventory drawer contents with chalk. Be careful: chalk will be more or less easy to erase depending on the selected surface porosity. If you prefer a less permanent solution, grab a piece of plywood - paint and frame it! Good to know: White (!) chalkboard paint is also available.

TIP #4: ADD RECYCLED MELAMINE DRAWERS

Here is a clever and environmentally friendly tip from cabinetmaker, Yves Grandmaison. This craftsman systematically recycles and renovates melamine cupboards using them as base for drawers. It is an innovative solution when damaged drawers don’t work well or if you simply want to add some rail drawers behind the pantry door for easy access. Mr. Grandmaison recommends choosing pieces that are right sized to minimise loss. Also recommended are particle board screws to avoid shattering drawers during setup. “Since melamine takes more than 200 years to naturally decompose it is important to recycle what we can, thinks Yves Grandmaison. Money saved can be reinvested in beautiful wood species for doors.”

ADD A KITCHEN ISLAND

TIP #5: ADD A KITCHEN ISLAND

A convivial gathering point, the island offers extra work area and considerable storage space. Mixing styles is in vogue so choose an island in a different wood or different color from your cupboards and even add a contrasting worktop. You need at least 36 inches of clearing around it for the island to be a real kitchen improvement. The island must not impede flow of traffic between the refrigerator, stove and sink: the functional kitchen work triangle. Finally, make sure you can open cupboards and appliance doors without damaging them.

TIP #6: CHANGE THE FAUCET OR ADD A SINK

The faucet betrays a kitchen’s age. A leaky one is annoying and gives the room a sense of neglect. However, changing a faucet is quickly done and a new mixer faucet with a showerhead used to clean the sink or rinse vegetables makes cooking more enjoyable. If the basement ceiling allows ease of access to kitchen plumbing: add a second sink. Encased in the island this little extra frees the area around the main sink especially when family members pitch in during meal preparation.

FEATURE A NEW EXHAUST HOOD

TIP #7: FEATURE A NEW EXHAUST HOOD

The exhaust hood has recently become a focal point in kitchens, particularly contemporary designs. We love square-shaped, round or trapezoidal shapes in stainless steel exhaust hoods with an extension stretching to the ceiling. Changing an exhaust hood is relatively simple as long as the new model exhaust is located at the same place as old one. Removing unnecessary items located near the hood will make it the focal point and give a more updated uncluttered feel.

TIP #8: REPLACE THE WORKTOP

The worktop is undeniably one of the kitchen areas that can get damaged the quickest, particularly lower-end materials like laminated wood. Hardware stores offer standard-sized countertops ready to use if custom made countertops are price prohibitive. It is important to take proper measurements before buying a new countertop. Begin with sections requiring 45 cuts after removing sink and existing countertops. Cut an opening using the template to install the sink when the entire countertop is in place.

Source : Rénovation-Bricolage Author : Chantal Lapointe


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