Saturday, July 11, 2009

Put On Your Hard Hat - Be Your Own Kitchen Contractor

For being the heart of the home, the kitchen is all to often a cramped space with fixtures that reveal the decade your home was built. And this is understandable given the mind-boggling cost and hassle involved in renovating a kitchen. But there are some ingenious ways to maximize space, efficiency and style in your kitchen, with minimal help and for a fraction of the cost.


One of the biggest and least expensive ways to freshen up your kitchen is to paint your cabinets. Personally, I think there's nothing better than white cabinets to make a kitchen feel bright, clean and happy. Or paint cabinets a great color like turquoise or pear green for a kitchen with personality. And if you want to have your cake and eat it to - paint the outsides white and insides a color. Adding bright nickle hardware while you're at it takes decades off the kitchen and adds an unbeatable sparkle. Martha Stewart has a great tutorial on "How to Paint Cabinets" here.



One enviable perk of newer kitchens are the sleek tile backsplashes that line the counter tops. But for all of us who have old pokey kitchens there is a simple alternative that adds both sparkle and increases the sense of space - mirrored backsplashes. They are inexpensive, and don't require a contractor. Any glass supply company will measure and install it for you.


No matter who you are, everyone needs more counter space. And granite ones sure would be nice. But a great alternative is a marble topped table "island". It adds a real sense of luxury and increases your workspace. And believe it or not, this can cost about the same as most portable islands available through retailers like Crate and Barrel. Just take a narrow table with some character (often available for a steal on Craigslist) and have a local marble supply place measure and install a marble top. And the best thing about it - it comes with you when you move.


Another common item on the kitchen wishlist is added space for a breakfast nook. And while most of us can't spring for an addition, we can make the most of the little space we have. The photo below (while grainy) shows an ingenious use of a small corner by sandwhiching a narrow table between two porch benches. Who would have thought that space could seat four - and look so charming doing it?


And for all you with a less than stellar view from your kitchen window, glass ledges in the window sill add an element of visual interest while storing glasses within easy reach of the sink.


Once the hard labor is done, add personality to your kitchen with details like wine crate drawers complete with nickel pulls:


Picture credits: 1, 2 & 4. House Beautiful, 3, 5 & 8 Helen Norman 6. Domino Magazine 7. House and Home via Desire to Inspire

No comments:

Post a Comment