Find yourself weighing the pros and cons of granite countertops in your spare time? Or considering the finer points of cherry cabinetry? You're not alone. Designs can be classified into two categories: One being projects that add monetary value to the house, the others make the house more appealing," says Driscoll, a New Hampshire based contractor. "For example, a larger kitchen will increase the actual value of the house, whereas granite countertops are going to make the house more appealing to buyers."
Area #1: Cabinets
If you're not sure where to start designing your kitchen, the cabinets might be your best bet. Why? While cabinets may look like just a series of wooden boxes, they're actually a major focal point. Because of the steep cost of cabinetry - anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000, according to Driscoll - it's best to consider all of your options. Oak or cherry cabinets tinted with a fancy stain are nice. However for that cabin feel, pine or hickory does the trick. Consider adding soft-close doors and drawers or dove tail drawer boxes for that top of the line cabinet feel.
Area #2: Floor Installation
Linoleum, laminate, exotic hardwood. There are many flooring options in fashion these days. The trick is choosing one that suits your tastes, goes easy on the wallet, and will hold up to wear and tear. According to Driscoll, hardwood is the way to go, but faux may be better than the real deal, at least when it comes to staying under budget. "With the popularity of the floating floor [also known as laminate flooring], people are trending toward the hardwood look," says Driscoll. "These floating floors come in a range of colors, qualities and prices" and nail the hardwood look at a fraction of the price.
Why are they so magical? The great thing about floating floors, Driscoll says, is that because they often use snap-and-lock technology, they don't need nailing down, which means they can be DIYed pretty easily. Have a little extra cash to throw around? As with cabinets, consider going exotic. "People are investing more into the cherry and yellow pine floors," says Driscoll. "This being said, the exotic woods are a luxury item”.
Area #3: Countertop Installation
Think of your kitchen countertops as the star of the show - the right material is what creates that wow factor when you enter a room. Want to cast the right character in this role? Laminate, Corian, Zodiaq, or Granite all creates personality. Unfortunately, price and durability do not always go hand in hand, he says, so be sure to consider the strength of the material.
Once you've selected a material, enjoy shopping for the right colors. There are lots to choose from.
Area #4: Lighting
You've heard it before: Lighting is the key to setting a mood. Pick the right lights and install them in the right place, and your kitchen will not only look good, it'll also be more comfortable for you and your guests no matter the time of day, says Driscoll.
Lately, pendants over a kitchen island or breakfast bar are all the rage, Driscoll says, as is under-cabinet lighting. Both can add ambiance to the kitchen and also supply good task lighting for chopping vegetables and stirring what's on the stove, he says. Also consider the proper fixtures for your taste and adding dimmers to control light volume. Both can give you that personal look you desire.
Open Floor Plan Has the heart of your current home been feeling a little cramped lately? According to Anders Hanson, contractor and owner of Hanson Remodels and Landscapes in California, open floor plans, where the kitchen opens up to a living room or a dining room without walls blocking the view, are extremely trendy right now. "Life in the 50's and 60's was different," says Hanson. "Rooms were much smaller, and now a lot of homeowners want a more modern, open look." Why? Well, according to Hanson, open floor plans improve the flow of a home and allow more natural light into its spaces. Area #6: Tile Backsplash Want to make your kitchen really pop? A tile backsplash can add appeal and allow homeowners to put their personal touch on the kitchen, says Driscoll. Tiles for kitchen backsplashes come in all different colors, finishes, and shapes, running the gamut from old-world looking, neutral-stone rectangles to bright, modern glass squares.
Area #6: Tile Backsplash
Want to make your kitchen really pop? A tile backsplash can add appeal and allow homeowners to put their personal touch on the kitchen, says Driscoll. Tiles for kitchen backsplashes come in all different colors, finishes, and shapes, running the gamut from old-world looking, neutral-stone rectangles to bright, modern glass squares.