Think you need a TV crew to transform the look of your home? Think again. Leslie Segrete, star of “While You Were Out” and “Trading Spaces,” says it’s possible for anyone to make major home improvements, especially in the kitchen, with a small budget and some elbow grease.
“The kitchen should be the hub of your home, where you can spend time with family and friends,” says Segrete. “However, if your kitchen makes you want to dine out — it’s time for an update.”
With a limited budget, here are Segrete’s tips to make your kitchen comfortable and inviting while also achieving the best bang for your buck.
Freshen Your Flooring
There are a variety of easy-to-install, inexpensive and great-looking flooring materials available today. Laminates offer looks that replicate wood grains, natural stone and tile and are easily installed. Engineered hardwood flooring can withstand wear and moist environments. Plus, new innovative, locking systems make this an easy DIY project.
Once chosen, remove all furniture and appliances and create a level sub-floor by installing 1/4-inch plywood over your existing surface. Install your flooring and enjoy the beautiful new room foundation.
Complement the Cabinets
Do your cabinets need a facelift? Updating the look of your kitchen cabinets is an ideal project. Remove all the cabinet doors, drawers and hardware, labeling each for easy reassembly. For solid wood cabinets, strip, sand, repair and clean the wood to create a fresh surface. Then, apply a new stain and urethane top coat. Laminate or wood veneer cabinets can easily be updated with a fresh coat of paint; use high-gloss paint for a sleek modern finish or try a faux-finish distressing technique, for a more traditional look. Clean and prime the surface before you add a new color. For the final touch replace knobs and drawer pulls with new, updated finishes.
Accessorize at the Sink
While changing a sink may be more than you’re willing or able to do, simply installing a new faucet can update styling and enhance functionality. Faucets today come in a wealth of designs and feature coordinating accessories, such as soap/lotion dispensers. Add one of the most popular styles, a high arc faucet, such as Moen’s Adeline faucet. This style is not only beautiful, but offers practical ease for tasks such as filling large pots or pitchers, and their prominence makes them a design focal point. Or try a highly functional, pullout faucet, such as Moen’s Renzo faucet. Featuring multiple spray settings at your fingertips, these faucets make everything from watering plants to cleaning veggies a breeze. Both are available at The Home Depot and Menard’s and feature popular finishes, such as Chrome and Stainless.
Create Lovely Lighting
Lighting can totally change the look of the kitchen. Rather than overhauling the fluorescent ceiling fixtures, instead, simply accent your current lighting with stylish, new pieces. Swap the basic light fixture from above your kitchen table with a chandelier for a great focal point. To aid in tasks, add pendants lights above spots used most often. Or for an ambient glow, vintage wall sconces are a great addition to an Old-World kitchen or contrast in a modern kitchen. Finally, install dimmer switches to provide the perfect amount of light no matter what your activity.
Seats for Socializing
The final step for a comfortable and inviting kitchen is adding a seating area. Measure the area for the table and chairs and be sure that your selection has about three feet on all sides to allow room for movement. Depending on the style of your kitchen, choose a solid wood set for a warm, homey feel, or add a marble or glass table to complement a more modern décor. Next, add a beautiful centerpiece for a unique decorative accent and be sure that you have comfortable, upholstered seat cushions to encourage hours of chatting with friends, dining with family or a comfortable spot for kids to color, craft or do homework.
“While home improvement projects do involve dedication and patience, they pay off when you can enjoy your beautiful new room,” says Segrete. “With these updates, your kitchen will soon be transformed and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you did it yourself without spending a fortune.”