Budgeting a Kitchen Upgrade

Kitchen upgrades can increase the asking price of a house when selling. However, these upgrades can cause homeowners to spend a huge chunk of money, especially if they don’t have a plan. Creating and staying within a budget can be difficult, but it is possible with a few steps.

Homeowners should set a budget based on the increase in value they believe they can get when they sell. Spending a ridiculous amount on an upscale kitchen in a middle-class neighborhood probably won’t reap a positive return.

From there, the costs should be broken down into percentages. Labor usually makes up between 20 to 35 percent of the budget costs. Then break up the costs based on the priorities. For example, the appliances may be in decent shape, but new cupboards and countertops may be in desperate need of an upgrade. It is also recommended to set aside about 20 percent of the budget for unexpected costs such as water damage.

Homeowners should also have a plan for how they are going to go about paying for the upgrade. Many people need to borrow money to finance a kitchen upgrade and they have multiple options for doing so. They can take out a home equity loan, a personal loan, refinance, or borrow against a retirement plan. It depends on the state of their finances and what will work best for them.

One detail that can get overlooked when doing a kitchen upgrade is the cost of not having a kitchen for a period of time. Homeowners will have to eat out or rely on take-out while the kitchen is being worked on, depending on what projects they are doing. This should be worked into the main budget as well.

Don’t just set a budget and then forget about it. Keep checking purchases and quotes against it. The easiest way to do this is to put it in a spreadsheet. This will help homeowners stay on track.

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New Year, New Kitchen

Organizing the home can be a fairly common New Year’s resolution, and is often needed after the holidays. If the kitchen is in a state of despair try some of these ideas to whip it back into shape.

Stash the Pots and Pans: Stacking them on top of each other means pulling out five different items when only the one on the bottom of the pile is needed. Trying installing a pot rack in an area where it could be out of the way, such as above an island. Or perhaps a pegboard on an open kitchen wall. Turning a cabinet into a pullout cabinet can be a great alternative as well. The dividers separate the pots and pans, making it convenient to get them in and out.

Tackle that Tupperware: Those plastic containers can quickly get out of control, causing an avalanche when the cabinet door opens. Separate and organize lids and containers by size and shape so they are much easier to stack. If a container is missing a lid or has become warped or badly stained, take the plunge and throw it out. Use containers to store the lids so they aren’t thrown about haphazardly and hard to find.

Spruce up the Spices: Throw away old spices and combine duplicate bottles to make more room. Organize it so the spices used less often are toward the back while the ones used more frequently are in the front.

Clear the Countertop: Appliances can take up an unnecessary amount of counter space, while hardly getting used. How often does that quesadilla press get used? What about that mini cupcake maker? If appliances do get used a decent amount, but not enough to be sitting out constantly, a nearby cupboard might be a better location. If they rarely get used, consider moving them to a basement or pantry area or even donating them. They’re just taking up valuable counter space.

Show off the China: Display pretty china or glassware on shelves or in cupboards with a glass front. This can simultaneously make the kitchen feel more open and display decorative pieces that have been hidden away. Displaying them on shelving can also make more room in the cupboards for appliances and other dishes.

Organizing the kitchen may seem like an impossible task, but once done it can bring a lot of stress relief into the home. Start the New Year with an organized and clutter free kitchen.

Mini Kitchen Makeovers

Sometimes we need a little change in our lives. Why not start with your home décor. Not all change has to be big, grand or expensive. Sometimes mini makeovers can help spruce up our living spaces, like the kitchen, without breaking the bank.

Add a little pop of color, maybe coordinating with the season, to your chair cushions. All you need is some fabric and a staple gun. Changing up the chair cushions at your kitchen table, island, bar or maybe all three can be a simple way to brighten up the kitchen or celebrate a certain holiday.

Organizing your storage areas like pantry and cupboards can create a less chaotic environment by getting rid of the clutter. Invest in a couple Lazy Susans and tin can racks and find a spot for everything. You’ll feel a lot better without the mess and it will be easier to find everything you need.

Have any old pictures hanging out around the house you wouldn’t mind getting rid of? Use the frame to make a gallery wall. Paint them with some latex paint and put knick knacks inside them like decorative plates or teacups. It’s an inexpensive way to add a visual element to an otherwise boring wall.

If you have too many cookbooks and nowhere to put them, add some shelves to a bare wall to save on counter space. You can also add fresh flowers and cute figurines on the shelves. It can double as storage and decoration.

Add some color to boring, plain window shades. Window shades serve an important purpose, but they don’t have to be unstylish. Use some paint and create a cute pattern on the shades in your kitchen windows.

Get a stylish rack to put your spices on. They will be easier for you to search through and grab while cooking. Put your spatulas, wooden spoons and whisks in a cute, cheap vase on the kitchen counter. They will also be easier to grab while adding a cute touch to the kitchen area.

Rugs have long been a fix for adding life into a boring space. Put one in the kitchen to guard the floor from spills and damage, but to also add a colorful, fun element to the kitchen. If you’re worried about cleaning it, try a flat weave or indoor-outdoor rug.

Show off those expensive and pretty pots and pans by hanging them on a rack. If you have the room to spare on a bare wall, use a simple rod like those used for curtains and add some S hooks to it. This can create a restaurant feel and open up some room in those crowded cupboards.

Use open shelving and put dishes on display. Why buy all those plates and bowls with the pretty pattern if they’re going to sit in the cupboard? Using open shelving can create an open and airy vibe in the kitchen.

Make a window treatment with leftover fabric and a tension rod for the window above the kitchen sink. You still get the natural light, but add a cute, decorative detail.

You can create a whole new space with small changes. Try a few of the ideas above to brighten, organize or show off your kitchen. Or try refinishing your countertops and sink for a whole new look. Contact Refinish First if you’re wanting to create a new kitchen style.

Designing the Perfect Kitchen

As kitchens are morphing into a focal point of the home and an integral part of entertaining, they are beginning to reflect personal style instead of just functionality. Here are a few kitchen styles to consider.

Country kitchens bring the weekend getaway feeling straight into your home. Using primary red, yellows, blue and cream with a mix of finishes on cabinets creates a lived-in feeling. Farmhouse tables and furniture-like cabinets are common in these kitchens. A slight distressed look and natural light bring the country anywhere, even in the suburbs.

Modern kitchens are all about sleek lines and polished surfaces. They are designed to cut out clutter and bring an air of sophistication. High-tech materials often adorn the highly reflective surfaces. Exotic woods are also used to bring luxury into the kitchen.

If you’re going for a cozy feeling that draws you in, the cottage style is perfect. High-end appliances in retro colors add to the charm of this style. There are often imperfect finishes on surfaces in these kitchens. Putting in homey touches and collectibles finishes off the look.

Contemporary kitchens mix functionality and family friendliness along with new and old materials. With lots of open space it creates room for hosts and guests to work and interact at the same time. Creating the perfect environment for entertaining.

Travel across the ocean to the South of France with a Mediterranean or French Country design. With colors that reflect nature and worn surfaces, it creates a romantic feel associated with that area. Using rich tones like russet, cobalt and ochre along with warm wooden cabinets can create the perfect atmosphere. Top it off with handmade ceramic accessories and copper pots.

Beaches are a wonderful place of relaxation. Coastal designs use cool shades of blue, green, white and sand to create a beach vibe. Use wicker and seagrass for seating and make sure to let in plenty of sunlight.

Old World design brings back a time when craftsmanship was important. This design says luxury with its dark mahogany finishes complete with carving and detail. Stone or wooden floors help complete the look along with heavy fabrics and historical accessories.

Lastly, the traditional kitchen is a staple in design. It revolves around holidays, after-school snacks and family. The clean, comfortable look is created with paneled or glass doors on the cupboards and bright, white elements. This kitchen design radiates a welcoming vibe in any home.

There are countless kitchen designs to reflect a certain place, time period or feeling in a home. They can be a blueprint for how to style the rest of the home or continue a style from the rest of the house.

No matter which kitchen style fits your family and personality, Refinish First can refinish the existing countertops and tile to match. Contact us today for a free kitchen refinishing estimate!

Kitchen Trends

 

Kitchens are becoming more of an artistic viewpoint. Functionality is being combined with creativity and design to create a kitchen worth marveling at. Check out these new kitchen trends and how you can incorporate them into your home.

Fewer upper cabinets creates wall space for decorative lighting such as sconces. Most sconces have adjustable arms so you can move the light directly where needed. They also come in a variety of finishes to match or make a statement in the kitchen.

Large backsplashes are another option with the upper cabinets gone. They can bring natural materials into the kitchen and become a focal point. Refinish First has a wide range of Stone Accents that can convert your backsplash and countertop from plain to eye catching.

Warmer metals are starting to replace chrome, nickel and stainless steel in the kitchen. Shades of iron and graphite are becoming more popular and can go well with that new Stone Accents backsplash.

Natural materials are coming into play this season as well. Brick, concrete and wood create an industrial, yet warm feeling. Creating open shelving with reclaimed wood can be a fun DIY project to add some rustic charm to your kitchen.

Need some ideas to get you started? Contact Refinish First. We would love to help you update your kitchen!

Choosing the Right Kitchen Faucet and Accessories

Often when remodeling we focus on the big things, like the counters and flooring. Many would argue correctly that these are critical because they will get the most use, take up the most space and make the largest visual impact. However, other details also need consideration in order to work nicely with these elements.

Like all things in building there are a wide array of faucets on the market and just as many price points. When choosing a model, consider the surfaces, cabinets and style of the home. Is it a bungalow or a Victorian home that needs something more traditional? Is it mid-century modern? Or is it eclectic and anything will work? From this research a style will emerge.

In addition to the wide range of faucet styles comes an array of possible features. One type makes it possible to turn the faucet on and off with the forearm leaving hands free to hold vegetables or keeping sticky hands off a lever. It’s also possible to get tall commercial faucets used for filling large pots. This is just a small sampling of what is on the market. Sometimes the hot and cold are on the faucet, or offset. The built in instant hot water and soap are also considerations.

Before choosing a new faucet, which is a worthwhile investment, count the number of holes on your sink and see what sort of space is available underneath to make a compatible choice. This will be a nice addition to the Refinish First counter and floor.