In a charming Paris apartment, an open-concept kitchen and dining area is outfitted with 17th-century French chairs, a Napoleon III chandelier, along with a backsplash featuring 18th-century Portuguese tile. The custom French oak boiseries and cabinets are in the style of the 18th century. The kitchen's flooring is antique oak and the fireplace is original to the apartment.

If you’re getting new cabinets but want to keep your old refrigerator, leave enough space between cabinets so you can replace your fridge with a wider model later. (Most refrigerators are 32 to 36 in. wide.) Install filler strips or panels to fill up the extra space. You can install shelving between the panels over the top of the fridge or install top cabinets. Order the filler strips and panels with your cabinets so they match.

If they’re quality wood and still in good working order, you’re in luck. This is one of the first things I check when sizing up a pre-remodel kitchen, since cabinet frames are the most expensive component of the entire space.  It’s quite simple to give salvageable cabinets a face lift. Three common ways to repurpose and save thousands include: adding new doors and drawer fronts, re-laminating fronts and sides, or repainting – which leads us to......Don’t Just Paint – Spray Paint. Have all the cabinets cleaned and lightly sanded, then have a painter come in to spray them. Don’t try to DIY this one; a couple of cans of spray paint from the hardware store just won’t do the trick. A professional spray job can make ugly cabinets look factory-new. And you can’t get the same look by painting or rolling the cabinets yourself.
If you do have the budget to rearrange appliances, make sure to keep your floor plan in mind. Does it follow the natural triangular traffic pattern between the refrigerator, stove, and oven? Is the dishwasher next to the sink? It should be, because otherwise, you create a mess every time you walk across the room with a dripping dish in your hand. To save money, I once put a dishwasher in the counter opposite the sink – and as a result, I cleaned up drips on the floor for years.
Task Lighting: Under-cabinet lighting should be on your must-do list, since cabinets create such dark work areas. And since you’re remodeling, there won’t be a better time to hard-wire your lights. (Here’s more about under-cabinet lights.) Plan for at least two fixtures per task area to eliminate shadows. Pendant lights are good for islands and other counters without low cabinets. Recessed lights and track lights work well over sinks and general prep areas with no cabinets overhead.
If you entertain often, don't forget to fit a bar into your remodel plans. A small nook with adequate room for spirits, bar equipment, and snacks will facilitate fetes. Ashley Patterson transformed a tight stove-top space in her outdated kitchen into a bright white bar cabinet perfect for storing stemware. The spot serves double duty as an organizational implement and a conversation piece.
There are several elements in your kitchen with storage capabilities. Most homeowners start with their cabinets. If you need new cabinets, now is the time to update storage capacity with drawer inserts, roll-out trays or more shelves. You can also choose a closed cabinet design, a glass face to display the items in the cabinets, or even have open shelving.
If you do have the budget to rearrange appliances, make sure to keep your floor plan in mind. Does it follow the natural triangular traffic pattern between the refrigerator, stove, and oven? Is the dishwasher next to the sink? It should be, because otherwise, you create a mess every time you walk across the room with a dripping dish in your hand. To save money, I once put a dishwasher in the counter opposite the sink – and as a result, I cleaned up drips on the floor for years.
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