Here are four things you can do in a weekend to make your kitchen look better, function better, and impress your guests. In fact, if you are motivated you can get all four items done in just one weekend! Let's begin.
Do you know Monika Hibbs? I just discovered her website this week. She has an amazing kitchen in which she makes amazing food for her husband and two adorable children. I saw a photo of her kitchen and realized, no, everyone can't have huge new windows and a farmhouse sink in their kitchen, but everyone CAN have many of the elements that make kitchens like hers work so well.
1. UPDATE YOUR FAUCET
The sink faucet is a really nice vertical element and can be very important, especially if your sink is in an island. How do you get the most impact from your faucet? It's not always by spending the most money. Picking a name brand for your faucet can be important for lasting quality, but in terms of style more expensive doesn't necessarily equal better. Many expensive faucets are well built and elegant but plain.
To replace your faucet, first note the number of holes and the centerset distance on your current faucet and match that (there may be an extra hole for the soap dispenser or spray).
If you have one hole I recommend a commercial style pre-rinse faucet with the cross bar. That bar is functional but more importantly, it draws your attention. This style is best for a modern or transitional kitchen but works in a traditional setting as well.
If you have 2 or 3 holes choose a bridge faucet - they make a great impact and are very popular right now. These work best in a traditional or transitional kitchen and most styles would look out of place in a modern kitchen.
A WORD ABOUT FINISHES
Note the finish of your existing faucet and hardware and match that. Chrome will always be the cheapest but that doesn't mean it always looks cheap. It works very well in a classic white or gray kitchen, but do avoid it if you have a cream kitchen or bronze hardware. Brushed nickel and stainless steel are softer options within the silver range. Matte black is a very trendy finish right now and looks gorgeous with a gray or beige kitchen. Brass has had quite a run lately but I would stay away unless you have marble countertops (in which case go for it!). It tends to clash with granite and looks dated with anything else.
2. ADD PEDESTAL FEET OR A TOE KICK VALANCE
Adding attractive pedestal feet or a curved toe kick valance is an easy way to give your cabinets a more custom look. They are a beautiful addition to any kitchen or bathroom cabinets and are simple to install. They can be stained or painted to match your kitchen. Just measure before you order to make sure they will fit!
3. ADD A TRASH PULLOUT
Do you know what looks terrible in a kitchen? Trash. Yet it is so easy to hide. Any existing cabinet 12" - 21" wide can be turned into a trash pullout. The most convenient location for this will usually be next to your sink or where you do the most cooking prep. Will you be losing some valuable kitchen storage space? Absolutely. It's worth it though. Whatever was in that cabinet, get rid of it or find another place for it. You will love walking through your kitchen and not bumping into the trash. You will love never seeing that the trash is too full. You will love that your guests can't see it, either. Add soft close slides to make it even more luxurious.
Is there a trash pullout in that cabinet to the right of the sink? I don't know, and that's exactly why you want a trash pullout!
4. UPGRADE YOUR LIGHTING
Lighting is so important. Ideally your kitchen has three levels of light:
I think everyone would love a nice big window behind the sink, but not every kitchen is set up this way. If yours is dark and you are renovating, consider adding a window. Nothing will make you want to cook less than a dark, dreary kitchen.
Here are things you can do NOW to update your lighting:
- Dust and clean your light fixtures.
- Use the right bulbs.
- Add under cabinet lights.
If you have under-cabinet lights already, congratulations! You know how helpful they are. If not, I urge you to install some today. This can be a DIY job, especially if you use a plug-in version. Hiding the wiring is a little more involved but still possible.
- Clean and de-clutter
- Paint (choose a satin sheen for durability without excessive shine)
- Buy fresh flowers weekly