The price of new countertops differs widely based on materials. Stone surfaces, like quartz and granite, are the most durable, but also the most expensive. Solid surface and laminate are less costly but require more maintenance. Ceramic tiles are generally an affordable backsplash alternative, depending on their brand and the complexity of the tiling layout.
If you want to use your kitchen as an office, make it part of the remodel. You don’t need a lot of space. A small seating area with a computer station is often adequate. During the remodel, add Internet access and outlets for plugging in your computer equipment (visit familyhandyman.com and search for “add outlets”). Also add storage space like shelving or a recessed wall cabinet so your paperwork won’t get lost or create a mess.
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 Ashley Patterson transformed a tight stove-top space in her outdated kitchen into a bright white bar cabinet perfect for storing stemware.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.
Don't place limitations on your color palette. While natural earth tones work well in some homes, playful pastels pair elegantly with other spaces.Homeowners Curtis and Jennie Hemmert began their kitchen remodel with a foundation of chestnut-hued wooden cabinets that begged for a coat of color. Semigloss seafoam-hued paint lends the Hemmerts' homey kitchen more whimsy and visually opens the space.
Countertops, cabinets, and floor treatments may take center stage during a remodel, but the backsplash deserves attention as well. A color-coordinated backsplash made of wood, wallpaper, or tile can make a vibrant visual impact and enhance minute details of a modern kitchen. When selecting your backsplash material and design, ensure that the pattern plays well with the color palette and style of your kitchen. Homeowner Kristin Jackson's kitchen design received a beautiful visual boost from glossy white tiles arranged to mimic herringbone. The pop of pattern enlivens the sleek setup without overwhelming the space.
Be sure there are appropriate power sources for relocated or new appliances. Many people realize too late that they don’t have the right gas or electric lines, Richard says. Plumber Stuart McGroder also suggests measuring appliances to ensure that they fit comfortably into allocated spaces. “If a dishwasher is crammed in, it could push up against the hose and won’t drain properly,” Stuart says.
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.