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Remodeling Kitchen Cabinets on a Budget: 4 Cost-Saving Tips

Kitchen remodeling is an expensive affair for most homeowners. Depending on the size of the kitchen as well as the size of upgrade, the cost of renovation could vary anything between $13,700 to $42,000, according to Houzz Kitchen Study, 2018.

According to Houzz Kitchen Study, 2018, the average spend on a kitchen remodel (200 square feet or larger) is a whopping $42,000

There are a number of elements that make a kitchen upgrade a costly business — countertops, backsplashes, appliances, and cabinetry. For example, if you choose customer cabinets instead of RTA cabinets, your budget will go up. Then there are many hardware accessories to personalize your kitchen decor.

Does that mean you should give up on your renovation project altogether? Not at all! From choosing a DIY painting to refacing your cabinets, there are a number of options available for every price point.

In this post, we will share a few tips on how you should be remodeling kitchen cabinets on a budget.

DIY Repainting, Staining, or Refinishing

One of the cheapest ways of remodeling kitchen cabinets on a budget is giving your kitchen cabinets a fresh coat of paint with re-stain or refinish. However, repainting is a professional job that requires knowledge and patience. If you’re an ambitious DIYer, keep the following points in mind:

One of the cheapest ways of remodeling kitchen cabinets on a budget is giving your kitchen cabinets a fresh coats of paint with restain or refinish.

The finish of Your Cabinets: Typically, this project is a time-consuming process which includes sanding, staining, repainting or refinishing. The process can vary a little bit, based on whether the current finish of your cabinets — is it veneer, wood or laminate?

Cost of Repainting: The entire budget of repainting, staining or refinishing cabinets essentially depends on two things — tools and labor. The tools typically include paint, primer, stain, sandpaper, brushes and other necessary tools.

If you want high-impact results, go for quality paint that is specifically designed for repainting cabinets. Cheaper paints often scratch and chip faster while low-quality brushes offer inconsistent results.

Process: You can save on labor by doing it yourself. However, keep in mind that it’s not a job for the faint-hearted. There’s some prep-work before you paint the cabinets or apply the finish. It really tastes your patience and involves multiple steps such as removing the hardware, cleaning, sanding, priming, painting and reinstalling.

New Knobs and Hardware

If painting is not your cup of tea, you could opt for changing the hardware of your kitchen cabinets for a brand-new look. Even if subtle in approach, swapping the hardware of your cabinets can have a huge aesthetic impact on your kitchen decor. There are several hardware components such as steen knobs, bin pulls, ceramic knobs and tubular bar pulls that can transform the look and feel of your kitchen cabinets as well as the entire kitchen.

If painting is not your cup of tea, you could opt for changing the hardware of your kitchen cabinets for a brand-new look

In terms of cost, the price of hardware can vary depending on the quality, size and the number of cabinets. While the price of simple knobs starts at $3, it can be as high as $50 for premium-quality knobs. Likewise, the price of hinges could vary depending on the specifications. Overall, get ready to spend about a couple of hundred dollars on a hardware upgrade.

Professional Repainting

Those unwilling to deal with the hassle of a repaint job prefer hiring professional help for the same. Even as the cost of hiring a professional repainting pro can be north of $1,000, it has many compelling benefits.

To begin with, the professional painters usually remove the cabinet door, carry them to their workshop for the repainting job. Apart from experience craftsmanship, they also use professional-grade tools and products to ensure great results.

By treating your cabinet doors in a professional facility, they not only offer the smoothest possible finish but also keep your doors safe from airborne particles. The end results often look very professional and are durable too.

New Cabinet Doors

While repainting or swapping hardware accessories doesn’t cut it for you, don’t worry — you can replace your cabinet doors altogether, offering your kitchen cabinets a completely new look. Of course, it’s more expensive than all other options discussed earlier; however, this will save time and make your cabinets look completely revamped.

dark grey cabinet door

At Maplevilles, we have a wide range of Shaker style fronts that simple, modern and reasonably priced for any kitchen remodeling budget. Replacing cabinet doors are much easier and way less expensive than ordering customer cabinets.

Pros and Cons of White Kitchen Cabinets (Updated)

What explains the growing popularity of all white kitchens and white kitchen cabinets?

Well, there are many benefits that make the white color a preferred choice for homeowners seeking kitchen renovation. White cabinets, coupled with countertops and backsplashes of the same color, offer an airy, bright, crisp and authentic feel to your kitchen, adding zing to the whole ambiance.

This is especially important homeowners who spend a substantial amount of their time in kitchens. Being the central traffic hub of your entire house, you want the kitchen to feel spacious and welcoming to guests and family members.

However, the pristine white kitchen decor also makes maintenance a daunting prospect for many. Before you invest your hard-earned money into a white kitchen renovation, learn the pros and cons associated with it.

Let us walk you through the advantages and drawbacks of white kitchens in general and white kitchen cabinets in particular.

The Pros: From offering a neutral foundation to surviving kitchen cabinet trends to being friendly with kitchen hardware accessories, white kitchen cabinets have a slew of advantages upfront.

White Kitchen Cabinets Offer a Neutral Foundation

White cabinets infuse neutrality and simplicity into your space, allowing other elements and accessories (esp in bold colors) to pop.

Foundation neutrals play a key role in any design and decor, and kitchen remodeling is no exception.

While choosing the right neutral can be tricky sometimes, you can be safe and sure to go with a white foundation neutral for your remodeling project. White cabinets infuse neutrality and simplicity into your space, allowing other elements and accessories (especially in bold colors) to pop.

Not only does your kitchen area appears large but it accommodates a variety of styles and patterns as well.

Since kitchen remodeling is an expensive and time-consuming proposition. With white kitchen cabinets, it will be easy to update your kitchen in the future as well.

Recommended Reading: Timeless Beauty of Vintage White Cabinets

White Kitchen Cabinets are an Everlasting Trend

When it comes to design, white remains consistent and impervious to short-lived kitchen remodeling trends.

Moreover, being a foundation neutral, white kitchen cabinets work with a variety of kitchen styles such as modern, traditional and transitional.

Recommended Reading: Modern vs. Traditional vs. Transitional Kitchen: Which One is Good for Me?

White Kitchen Cabinets are Versatile and Easy to Accessorize

White kitchen cabinets are versatile in that they are easy to update and accessorize.

White kitchen cabinets are versatile in that they are easy to update and accessorize.

For example, with white Shaker style cabinets, you could add these accessories to transform your kitchen decor.

You can offer your white kitchen a whole new look and boost its appeal simply by changing its handles and knobs. Therefore, white cabinets don’t really need a substantial improvement for a makeover.

Moreover, being a foundation neutral, they allow other elements to stand out in the color palette.

Recommended Reading: 6 Shaker Cabinet Hardware Accessories that Transform Your Kitchen

White Kitchen Cabinets Leverage Natural Lighting

Nothing makes a kitchen feel airy, large and spacious quite like white kitchen cabinets.

Nothing makes a kitchen feel airy, large and spacious quite like white kitchen cabinets. In general, white cabinets reflect light, especially when it comes from a natural source.

Therefore, if you have a relatively small kitchen with a natural source of lighting, white kitchen cabinets can help brighten it, offering an illusion of a larger space.

Moreover, if the white cabinets have a glossy finish, they are more likely to bound the light around.

Recommended Reading: The Beauty of Snow White Kitchen Cabinets Exposed

The Cons: Despite the aforementioned advantages, white kitchen cabinets also suffer from some shortcomings. Fortunately, there are ways to get around them easily.

White Kitchen Cabinets May Seem too Clinical

It’s important to know how to work with a white cabinet — a wrong approach means your kitchen can look cold, bland and clinical, evoking a boring mood.

That’s where professional help can help. The #1 rule of working with a white cabinet is to adding the right texture. For example, you can add contrasting backsplashes or countertops with white kitchen cabinets.

Alternatively, you can opt for two toned kitchen cabinets, i.e, darker color for wall cabinets and lighter colors for base cabinets or vice versa.

Recommended Reading: 4 Things You Should Know About All White Kitchens before Remodel

White Kitchen Cabinets are Harder to Maintain

White kitchen cabinets look great; however, they need more attention than other cabinets when it comes to maintenance.

White kitchen cabinets look great; however, they need more attention than other cabinets when it comes to maintenance. While white kitchen cabinets aren’t inherently dirtier than other cabinets, it’s easier to spot splashes, spills, and smudges on a white surface. That’s, however, not the case with patterned or darker cabinets.

This essentially means you should know how to look after your white kitchen cabinets.

White Cabinets are Prone to Direct Sunlight

Taking care of your white kitchen cabinets are not simply limited to cleaning the dirt or spills. White cabinets are prone to direct sunlight as they discolor and age pretty quickly if they’re exposed to sunlight for a longer period of time. Likewise, the scratches and worn corners are also more visible to eyes. All of this, however, can be avoided if you know how to keep white kitchen cabinets clean.

So, Should You Invest in White Kitchen Cabinets?

Apart from the extra maintenance, white kitchen cabinets need no special treatment to remain durable. Like any other cabinet color, be sure to invest high-quality white kitchen cabinets. While cheaper cabinets are easy on the wallet, they age less gracefully. Moreover, if hire professional help for kitchen installation, white cabinets can last just as long as cabinets of any other colors.

The Pros and Cons of Wooden Kitchen Cabinets (Updated)

Choosing the right material is an important aspect of buying kitchen cabinetry. The very choice of material decides the look and durability of your kitchen cabinets. While every material has its pros and cons, wood is usually one of the most preferred materials among homeowners these days.

Because of the growing demand, cabinet manufacturers offer a wide range of wood materials — species and finishes — to help you make the right choice based on your preferences and budget.

Why Wood is a Preferred Choice for Kitchen Cabinetry

Wood boasts a distinctive character that no other material can match up to. It has beautiful color variations, species, and natural grain patterns, especially real wood, which offers homeowners an opportunity to customize the style further. For example, you can either paint or stain kitchen cabinets based on their preferences. While the painted wooden kitchen cabinets hide the natural grain patterns, the stained cabinets reveal them in a personalized way.

Likewise, many prefer engineered wood such as thermofoil and laminate which are great in their way. However, if want the cabinets to reflect their natural appearances, i.e grain patterns, stick to real wood. Keep in mind it may inflate your budget a little bit though. In short, with wooden kitchen cabinets, the choices are limitless.

Recommended Reading: MDF vs Solid Wood: Which is Better for Your Cabinet Doors?

The Pros and Cons of Wooden Kitchen Cabinets

Pros:

Durability: Wooden kitchen cabinets are durable and it’s much easier to repair them than it is to fix cabinets constructed from any other material. For example, some wooden cabinets can be repaired with wood filler wax sticks to remove the scratches from the surface.

Versatility: As mentioned before, versatility is one of the main reasons why wooden cabinets are preferred for cabinetry. When you have a wide range of wood spices, styles, colors and finishes to choose from, you can personalize and customize your cabinetry like no other.

Mix ‘n’ Match: Thanks to the versatility of wooden kitchen cabinets, you can mix and match a wide range of finish options to meet the specific design of the kitchen remodel project.

Refacing: Wood cabinets are easier to reface. You can re-stain or paint them for a brand-new look.

Cons:

More Expensive: In many cases, hardwood cabinets mean you need to have higher a budget. The premium quality, durability, and versatility come with a price tag that’s beyond the budget for some.

Longer Lead Time: Wooden kitchen cabinets, especially custom or semi-cabinets, have a higher lead time, meaning they might take more time to construct and install. If you can’t afford to wait, you might want to choose a different material.

Prone to Humidity: One of the major drawbacks of wooden cabinets is they are prone to humidity. When the moisture content in wood cabinets fluctuate during a change of the surrounding climate, the wood tends to expand and contract. This results in warping of wood over time. However, this can be avoided by using high-quality veneer from all sides at the time of construction.

High Maintenance: Wooden kitchen cabinets require more maintenance. You need to clean them more often with special products that are specifically designed for wood cleaning. This essentially means high maintenance costs as well.

Recommended Reading: How to Keep White Kitchen Cabinets Clean – 6 Quick Tips

Before Choosing Wooden Kitchen Cabinets

The ability to strike the perfect balance between style and durability makes wooden cabinets one of the most sought-after materials in the cabinetry industry. They not only look great but stand up to the daily use pretty well.

Since real hardwood drives up the price of wooden kitchen cabinets, some manufacturers often apply hardwoods as veneers over a substrate, e.g, plywood. That’s okay because veneered cabinets are more stable than solid lumber, especially in extremely humid climates. Please, make sure wood is finished on all sides before it leaves the factory so it doesn’t warp.

Recommended Reading: Your Go-to Guide for Buying The Best Quality Kitchen Cabinets

How to Use Two Toned Kitchen Cabinets in Your Remodeling Like a Pro

When it comes to kitchen remodeling, choosing the right cabinet colors is a herculean task. One has to consider the size of the kitchen, layout, appliances, and accessories in order to make the right decision.

Plus, there are other decisions to make, such as choosing from stain, paint and glossy finishes. Indeed, sometimes, choosing just one color for your kitchen cabinets can be daunting.

In recent years, however, more and more homeowners are choosing two-toned kitchen cabinets for a trendy look.

What are Two toned Kitchen Cabinets?

A two-toned kitchen is one that accommodates cabinets featuring two (sometimes, three) distinct yet complementing colors. For example, the wall cabinets and the base cabinets will feature different colors while, in some cases, the kitchen island can also feature a different shade than the cabinets.

Just like subway tile, industrial-style lighting, and brass fixtures, two-toned kitchen cabinets is the latest trend that’s everybody is obsessing over these days.

Two-toned cabinets jazz up the visual interest of the kitchen and allow you to play with different materials creatively.

So, what how do you incorporate this trend into your kitchen remodeling project?

Here are some tips to help you use two toned kitchen cabinets for your next renovation plan.

Two Tone Kitchen Cabinets and Island

Two Tone Kitchen Cabinets and Island

The kitchen island can be a great focal element and it’s, therefore, considered a great choice for incorporating two-toned kitchen cabinets trend.

Among all elements in a kitchen, islands have an inherent edge over others in terms of being an accent piece. It’s where the family huddle around to share a meal and life. When you choose a distinctively bold finish for your island, offering an interesting contrast to the cabinets, it boosts visual interest of your kitchen.

Use Two Separate Materials

Use Two Separate Materials

Two-toned kitchen design is all about mixing and matching to create a bold statement. Naturally, it applies to the materials you use for your cabinets as well as other elements such as countertops and island. For example, you could choose a wood finish for your upper cabinets while opting for laminate for a sleek appearance. Likewise, you could pair glass with aluminum for an industrial feel.

When you’re approaching a two-toned kitchen trend, always start with your intended design style and draw inspiration from popular home improvement blogs such as Houzz or Apartment Therapy to explore the ideal materials for the right combination.

Balance Between Light and Dark Shades

Balance Between Light and Dark Shades

This is the most common approach to creating two-toned kitchen. Simply use a lighter shade for your upper or wall cabinets and choose a darker shade for your lower or base cabinets. This not only helps create the perfect balance between the upper and lower cabinets but ground the space as well.

That said, if you’re not game for bold shades for your base cabinets, you can always opt for a hue that’s easy on the eye and still complimenting the lighter shade of the wall cabinets. The combination of Sage and White, for example, can work great if you know how to take care of the other elements in your kitchen.

Use Coordinating Elements

Use Coordinating Elements

When it comes to using two-toned kitchen cabinets for your kitchen remodeling, you could get creative with the options available to you. For example, you could either choose two distinctive colors for the upper and lower cabinets or go with two slightly different variants of the same color. Either way, you should consider using coordinating elements such as steel knobs or ceramic knobs for a unified look. Likewise, choose your hardware and appliances carefully so as to complement the cabinets.

Two Toned Kitchen Cabinet Ideas

Looking for ideas to get started? Here are some popular ideas on two toned kitchen cabinets for you to get inspired with.

Two tone kitchen cabinets brown and white

Two tone kitchen cabinets brown and white

Two tone kitchen cabinets grey and white

Two tone kitchen cabinets grey and white

Two tone kitchen cabinets wood and white

Two tone kitchen cabinets wood and white

Two tone kitchen cabinets with black countertops

Two tone kitchen cabinets with black countertops

Two tone cabinet doors

Two tone cabinet doors

Final Thoughts

Kitchens, especially open kitchens, are increasingly becoming the most-trafficked rooms in modern living where style and functionality must live together. In order to boost the aesthetic value of your kitchen, you need to follow the latest trends and experiment with colors. That’s where two-toned kitchen cabinets can play a crucial role in your kitchen remodeling.

How to Keep White Kitchen Cabinets Clean: 6 Quick Tips

White kitchens (aka all-white kitchens) are becoming an increasingly hot favorite among the homeowners these days. A white kitchen typically features major components — cabinets, countertops, and backsplashes — in predominantly white shade, offering a bright, crisp and authentic feel. Not only does it bring a sense of tranquility to your kitchen, but it makes it feel more expansive as well.

Despite these advantages, some homeowners shy away from white kitchens, thanks to the popular notion that white kitchens are harder to maintain.

Being a hub of the family activity and high-traffic zone, any kitchen would need a little cleaning and maintenance. White kitchens are no more difficult. So, follow these easy tips and learn how to keep white kitchen cabinets clean.

  • Use Blinds to Protect Your White Cabinets from Sunlight
  • Switch on Exhaust Fan to Avoid Grease Build-up
  • Clean Cabinets with Vinegar and Baking Soda
  • Soak Sinks in Bleach
  • Clean the Grout on Backsplash
  • Remove Stains From Laminates

Use Blinds to Protect Your White Cabinets from Sunlight

too much exposure to direct sunlight can also cause white cabinets, worktops and laminate surfaces to turn yellow.

Natural light is a huge plus for any kitchen. Moreover, white kitchens tend to reflect the light better and keep your kitchen adequately illuminated.

However, too much exposure to direct sunlight can also cause white cabinets, worktops, and laminate surfaces to turn yellow. Make sure you protect them by installing blinds, curtains or tinted glass windows.

Switch on Exhaust Fan to Avoid Grease Build-up

it is extremely important that you switch on your exhaust fan or range hood before cooking.

Nobody like greasy kitchens but only a few make the necessary efforts to avoid grease from accumulating in their kitchen.

Every time you cook, grease particles float around your kitchen and sit on your cabinetry and counters causing stains to accumulate over time. When you have a white kitchen, it’s even more important for you to prevent the grease from building up.

Therefore, it is extremely important that you switch on your exhaust fan or range hood before cooking. Here are some more ways to prevent grease from building up in your kitchen.

Clean Cabinets with Vinegar and Baking Soda

it’s always a good practice to make your own organic solutions to clean your white cabinets, countertops and backsplash.

Apart from preventing grease build-up in your kitchen, you need to follow a monthly kitchen clean-up routine. While there are many cleaning solutions available, it’s always a good practice to make your own organic solutions to clean your white cabinets, countertops, and backsplash.

Creating your own cleaning solution is simple:

Step #1: Take one cup of vinegar, two cups of warm water, and one tablespoon of baking soda.

Step #2: Dip a rag in the solution, wring out the excess liquid and wipe down your cabinets.

Also, check out these alternative methods to clean your kitchen cabinets.

Soak Sinks in Bleach

Sinks are some of the common elements in the kitchen that get grimy pretty quickly. With white sinks, grimes are even harder to escape. Therefore, they need frequent cleaning to stay clean and spotless.

Thankfully, you can get rid of the grimes and prevent signs of wear by using household bleach.

Here’s how to do it:

Step #1: Line the bottom of your kitchen sink with paper towels and wet them with bleach.

Step #2: Leave the bleach-soaked towel for half an hour.

Step #3: Remove the towel from the sink and rinse the sink with warm water.

Alternatively, you could use a solution of club soda and lemon juice and follow the same steps as mentioned above.

Clean the Grout on Backsplash

Despite regular cleaning, grouts can accumulate on the kitchen backsplash over time.

In fact, they become more obvious on a white backsplash, making it a must for you to clean them routinely.

To clean grout, create a paste by mixing baking soda and water. Apply the mixture to the grout and spray some vinegar on to it. Then scrub it clean with a toothbrush before rinsing off the mixture.

Remove Stains From Laminates

If your countertops have white laminate, they catch stains easily and need cleaning to stay spotless.

To get rid of the stains on your counters, mix one part cleaning detergent with three parts baking soda and make a solution.

Apply it onto the stain and scrub it down with a nylon brush. Finally, wipe the countertop off with a damp cloth and let it dry immediately.

Final Thoughts

All kitchens are vulnerable to dirt, grease, and grime, especially when it works for a large family. With the above tips, you can keep your white cabinets, counters, sinks, and appliances sparkling clean around the year.

9 Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens

Cooking in a small kitchen can be stress-inducing if there is clutter in it. If random stuff is stored on the countertop, you may spill some things or you may even hurt yourself while chopping veggies if you are trying to get things done in a hurry.

Small kitchens and apartment living is a reality for millions. Luckily, you need not wait to move into your dream home with a luxurious and spacious kitchen to improve your cooking experience. You can add some smart storage space to your existing small kitchen to immediately improve your kitchen experience. So, check out these clever storage ideas for small kitchens.

Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens: Inside Cabinets

Cabinets are the mainstay of kitchen storage in kitchens of any size. You can make the most of them by using pan dividers, risers, and rolling shelves inside your cabinets. These will increase organization inside your cabinets so that you don’t risk having an ‘avalanche’ of lids when you open your cabinet door.

Here are a few specific ways you can increase your storage space inside your cabinets by just making the most of what you have.

Pullout Shelving: To make sure you actually use your cabinets to their full capacity, you can do no better than to install pullout shelving. Pullout shelving will make objects at the far back of the cabinet accessible. Pullout shelving is also advisable if the kitchen is going to be used by someone with a lower back problem. With a pullout shelf, you won’t have to bend so much. Even if you don’t have a back problem, you don’t want to develop a chronic back problem by bending constantly to retrieve items from the cabinet.

To keep your kitchen storage organized and easy to access, try adding a pullout shelf to your cabinets.

Bottom cabinets equipped with pullout shelves are particularly appropriate to store heavy kitchen items such as pots and pan.

Rollout Trash Bin: A rollout trash bin is both a functional and aesthetic enhancement of your kitchen. With a rollout trash bin placed inside the cabinet, you save some valuable kitchen space. The trash bin won’t get in your way if it’s hidden away when not in use.

a rollout trash bin concealed inside the cabinet can offer quick access.

Conversion of your bottom cabinet into a trash bin can also become a DIY project.

Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens: Behind Cabinet Doors

In fact, instead of storing plastic wrap and aluminum foil in the drawer, why not place them behind your cabinet door?

You can add hooks and caddies to the insides of your cabinet doors and make use of this often-underutilized space. You can hang pans and other kitchen items from the hooks inside cabinet doors. Similarly, the backsides of cabinet doors are the perfect storage place for plastic wrap and aluminum foil. All you will need to do is attach a magazine file at the back of your cabinet door and your plastic wrap and aluminum foil will fit snugly in it.

Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens: Above Cabinets

The tiny and somewhat inaccessible space between the top of cabinets and the kitchen ceiling is often a ‘wasted space’ in most kitchens. Put this space to use by adding some enclosed boxes to hold seasonal appliances or rarely used items.

You can also use baskets in which you store some items. When you need them, you can pull the basket down without risking creating a mess by having a bunch of items come tumbling down when you are trying to access one item.

Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens: Under Cabinets

The empty space under the kitchen cabinets need not go to waste. You can retrofit a toe-kick drawer there and store cake pans or other flat items.

Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens: Drawers

A well-organized kitchen drawer should allow you to open and close smoothly and find what you need immediately.

Randomly storing stuff inside kitchen drawers is not the optimum way to make the most of your drawer space. One way to add storage to your small kitchen is to smartly organize your drawers.

You should be able to find what you need immediately inside the drawers without having to rummage. Keep the frequently used utensils handy and put the rarely used items elsewhere.

Drawer Organizers: There are options galore in terms of drawer organizers and drawer dividers. You can buy one according to the kind of flatware, silverware, knives, or utensils that you own and which need to be kept organized inside the drawers.

Built-In Chopping Board: A cutting board built into a kitchen cabinet drawer will save precious counter space. This works even better in combination with a pullout garbage bin. With a hole in the cutting board, you can push scraps directly into the bin.

Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens: Gap Between The Fridge and The Wall

the perfect space for a slide-out pantry you can use to stock canned goods or spices.

There’s usually a small gap between the refrigerator and the wall. Why let this space go to waste? Put a slide-out pantry in the gap and store some canned goods, spices or other items there.

Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens: Wall Studs

Make up some of the lost storage by borrowing space in between wall studs for small niches.

The space between wall studs can be put to good use as a small pantry area or an appliance garage where you store occasionally used appliances.

Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens: Bottom Side of Open Shelving

Get some mason jars with metal lids and screw them into the bottom of your shelf.

When you go for open shelving instead of wall-mounted kitchen cabinets, you can use both surfaces of the shelves to store stuff. You can attach some mason jars to the bottom of the shelving and thereby create an interesting way to store additional items in clear jars. You can do with the bottoms of wall-mounted kitchen cabinets as well.

Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens: Use Empty Walls

The wall-mounted pallet offers the perfect foundation where you can put your pot racks and magnetic strips in one place.

Make sure to leave no walls unused when you are starved for space in your small kitchen. You can opt for pegboards or magnetic knife racks or magnetic strips. Stick magnetic racks to the side of your fridge or hang pots and pans from the ceiling.

Final Thoughts

There are endless ways to get creative in how to make the most of the limited space in your small kitchen. Just do some research, explore friends’ and others’ kitchens when you have the opportunity and then set free your inner interior designer!

13 Quick Tips to Maximize Your Kitchen Counter Space

Your kitchen size and kitchen countertop size will be in proportion with the size of your house. But whether you live in a tiny walk-up apartment, a rent controlled apartment, a brownstone and so on, your kitchen countertop space may appear inadequate to meet your needs.

The reason why your kitchen counter space appears inadequate is that there is clutter on it. We’ll share a few kitchen counter space hacks to help you maximize your kitchen counter space.

Take Everything Off of Your Counter

It’s about clever tricks and developing habits that help. One such habit is to leave as few items on your countertop as possible. No file folders or laptop chargers need to be on the kitchen counters. Neither should car keys nor wine bottles from last evening’s parties be left overnight on the kitchen counter.

Everything should be transferred to its properly designated place inside cabinets, drawers, or on shelves.

Have Kitchen Wine Racks and Cellars

If you like drinking wine with your spouse or have occasional or frequent wine parties with a few buddies, you can have a wine cellar hidden right inside a kitchen island. And you have amazing options for kitchen countertop wine racks in ‘rustic’ and other designs. You can even DIY wine racks.

Put Things in Kitchen Containers

Leftover dry spices, condiments, tea bags are among the things that should not be left on the counter loose. It’s nice to have kitchen odds and ends to meet your needs but make sure there is no loose stuff just lying on your counter by putting them in a designated area meant for them.

It can be as simple as using a mixing bowl or a coffee mug to store some leftover cooking ingredient which doesn’t need to be stored in the refrigerator.

Kitchen Shelving Helps Save Space

Open kitchen shelving goes a long way to improve your kitchen’s appearance and it also helps you keep your counter space clean. Open shelving is more about function than about design. If you don’t have a pantry in your kitchen, you can convert a spare kitchen wall into shelves that will serve as an open pantry. You can add open shelving above the kitchen sink to store dish soaps, scrub pads, etc.

Open kitchen shelves are also easily re-designed or updated so that you can give your kitchen a fresh look every year or every couple of years without having to break the bank.

Kitchen Storage Trays

Kitchen trays can help you tidy up your kitchen counters. Trays beat shelves as trays can be mobile. You can use the stuff in a tray and then when not in use, you can move the whole tray away.

Trays are really versatile and come in a variety of styles to meet all sorts of needs.

Kitchen Wall Appliances

Putting your microwave on the counter is one sure way to reduce the usable counter space available to you. You can easily move this appliance to the kitchen wall. It doesn’t require much or expensive carpentry and while you are at it, you may even think of putting a wine cooler or oven or grill or coffee machine onto a kitchen wall.

You can also get creative such as buying your appliances from one manufacturer and then setting them up on a wall. This way, you may achieve symmetrical and quite elegant look if the control panels and knobs, handles and doors align.

Kitchen Dish Racks

Doing the dishes can mess up the area around the sink. Dish racks are a great solution for holding and organizing your dishes. Dish racks and towel racks will keep your countertop area from turning into a mess as well as helping maintain a healthy environment inside your kitchen by not letting bacteria grow.

Racks are really useful inside kitchens. You can use retractable racks inside one of the cabinets as well to organize your pots and pans.

Hooks

Hooks are a multipurpose solution to organize your kitchen stuff and keep your counter free from clutter. Hooks can be installed in different places and you can hang different pots and pans from them.

Side hooks inside your cabinet doors can be great to store your smaller kitchen utensils.

Repurpose Kitchen Sink Space

The sink and its surrounding space remain unused when the sink is not in use. You can use the sink area by covering it with a cutting board and proceed to cut vegetables there without having to use the other counter space. This can be pretty handy if your kitchen or counter area is especially limited.

Kitchen Carts

Kitchen carts are a great option as kitchen islands. They can be used to move food around. They can also have shelving to store things. They can do double duty as a table to store things temporarily. In all these ways, they help keep your kitchen counter clutter free.

Kitchen carts come in a variety of materials such as wood, bamboo, granite, marble, stainless steel and so on and you can choose one that matches the rest of your kitchen.

Kitchen Pegboards

Kitchen pegboards are a great way to get those cooking utensils and pots off of your kitchen counter. You can even go for DIY kitchen pegboards or just order them online.

Kitchen Tables

Kitchen tables can be useful inside the kitchen but they can also ‘get in the way.’ You can definitely put a kitchen table to good use by transferring some of the stuff from your counter to it. Go for kitchen tables that are adjustable in size or foldable or those that have wheels.

Kitchen Organization

Your kitchen counter will look spacious or otherwise depending on how organized the rest of your kitchen is. So, you can pay attention to the organization of your kitchen as a whole. For more ideas about how to free up more kitchen counter space, you can have a look at other kitchens — by just browsing online or paying attention to the kitchens of your friends who may be obsessive about organizing things.

7 Essential Elements to a Functional Kitchen Design

Having a functional kitchen design is the key to ensuring you enjoy your time in the kitchen preparing food. This is true whether you have a large, spacious family kitchen or a small and cozy kitchen. Your kitchen will need to be designed keeping in mind whether you have kids and pets.

Let us dive into a few functional kitchen design elements that make your kitchen really user-friendly.

The Kitchen Work Triangle

You can have countertop herbs growing in your family kitchen to add a bit of greenery to your kitchen but designing your kitchen layout around the kitchen work triangle will be really beneficial for your kitchen productivity.

The kitchen work triangle is the most important element of functional kitchen design as it links the kitchen sink, cooking stove, and the refrigerator.

kitchen-layout_triangle

If you have the right work triangle, you’ll be making fewer trips to the refrigerator and there may be less risk of spills on the kitchen floor among other benefits. Even if the kitchen work triangle may be a decades-old concept, ergonomic design principles are always relevant even though there may be alternative layout options that take into consideration modern lifestyles/social changes of the last few decades.

Pay Attention to Lighting

A gnome-shaped end table might add a funky touch or some uniqueness to your kitchen, but kitchen lighting is what will ensure that you can focus on the cooking. One functional kitchen design element is to make sure you have the right lighting over your kitchen countertops as well as inside kitchen cabinets and drawers. Think of installing illuminated cutlery trays inside drawers.

There are a plethora of options available to choose from when it comes to LED under cabinet lighting. You can buy under cabinet lighting online from the likes of Amazon, Ikea, Best Buy, or Home Depot. You can DIY their installation or hire professionals to do the installation for you.

Seating & Placement

Your kitchen likely will have seating for friends and family. A key functional kitchen design element is to place those seats ‘out of the way’ from the kitchen triangle area. You can create a breakfast nook or a homework table for your kid. In case of a small kitchen, you could even build a desk into the kitchen cabinetry.

Be creative. Think of breakfast bars, movable benches and see through chairs for your small kitchen.

Properly Functioning Appliances

kitchen cabinet storage ideas
Small kitchen interior with white wooden cabinets, tile floor, and kitchen island

A kitchen appliance that is out-of-order does not belong in the kitchen. You should take care to repair your kitchen appliances to make your cooking experience stress-free. What use are coffee makers, blenders, mixers, juicers or rice cookers if they are not in proper working order?

Repairing is also cost-effective compared to replacing an appliance and this is one of the reasons why a decision to buy a ‘kitchen appliance suite’ should not be taken lightly.

Keep Prep Surfaces Clear

A large but cluttered kitchen can induce stress as well as being an eye-sore. Just as entropy has a tendency to increase, a messy kitchen has a tendency to grow messier. A key element of functional kitchen design is to have clean kitchen countertops and organized kitchen cabinets.

Does your kitchen need to be reorganized or deep cleaned?

Read about how to create an organized kitchen and how to deep clean your kitchen.

Integrate New Kitchen Technologies

Innovation doesn’t automatically equal progress but many smart kitchen appliances definitely make life easier. Use the latest smart kitchen appliances to up your sous vide cooking game with sous vide precision cooker or to track two temperatures at once with a kitchen thermometer. Smart kitchen scales and wi-fi enabled crock-pots are among other handy kitchen appliances you can buy. There are smart scales, smart blenders, and home brewing systems and other appliances to cater to your needs. These usually come with Bluetooth connectivity and smartphone apps as needed.

You can add some of these smart appliances to your kitchen as a functional kitchen design element.

Mount Your Microwave

Mount Your Microwave

Microwaves tend to just sit there on your kitchen countertop and eat up valuable counter space. A useful functional kitchen design element is to mount your microwave on a shelf within the kitchen cabinetry. You may install a drawer-style microwave inside a kitchen island for a discreet look.  This below-countertop positioning makes it a safe option and gives a high-end look to your kitchen.

Final Thoughts

You have to crystallize your objectives while keeping the constraints in mind such as budgets and the size of your kitchen. Once you are sure about what you want in your kitchen and in terms of your kitchen’s functionality, you can create a really functional kitchen by following some of the steps outlined above and making other adjustments that meet your needs.

Kitchen Remodel ROI: What’s the Average Return on a Kitchen Renovation?

Kitchen remodeling is a very rewarding experience as it boosts the market value of your home when you consider it for sale. Most old kitchens need a full remodel while other kitchens may require a partial or minor update in order to sparkle.

While remodeling requires you do make some adjustment in your lifestyle, it significantly improves the quality of your life when it’s completed.

As a matter of fact, kitchen renovation offers better value than updating any other room in your house.

But, how much return does a kitchen remodeling really offer?

Let’s take a look:

Kitchen Remodel ROI: Minor Remodel

It’s not uncommon for some homeowners to feel concerned and overwhelmed about kitchen remodeling projects, considering the time and budget that go into them. Plus, when you hear stories about kitchen renovations failing deadlines and going over the allocated budget, it can make you rethink your project. However, minor kitchen remodeling is quite different from major kitchen updates at least in two ways:

#1 – Budget: Since a minor kitchen remodeling involves updating just the surface level features such as adding a kitchen island, updating kitchen cabinets or countertops, they are unlikely to put you under stress financially.

#2 – ROI: Minor kitchen updates are also more efficient in terms of recouping the cost of investment on your kitchen remodeling. According to the 2019 Cost vs Value report released by Remodeling.hw.net, a minor kitchen remodeling is likely to fetch around 80.5% ROI.

What Constitutes Minor Cabinet Updates?

New Cabinets: When it comes to kitchen decor, your guests would invariably notice your cabinets. That’s why cabinets account for 31% of the entire kitchen remodeling budget for homeowners, according to a study conducted by Houzz.

What’s the Average ROI on Kitchen Remodel?

A minor kitchen update, however, doesn’t necessarily mean you replace your old cabinets altogether. A simple cabinet refacing, painting or staining can also dramatically revive your cabinetry and add zing to your kitchen decor within your small budget. Plus, it offers a great ROI as well.

New Floors: Flooring is not exactly a pressing need for many homeowners when it comes to their kitchen remodeling priorities. In fact, homeowners would spend only 20% of their budget on flooring, as per the Houzz Survey. If you’re on a tight budget and hard-pressed for time, you could choose relatively cheaper flooring options such as linoleum or vinyl tiles. However, keep in mind they may not recoup your investments well enough. Go for bamboo or cork if you are aiming for eco-friendly floors.

New Fixtures: A minor kitchen remodeling can also including updating the light fixtures and switches. While homeowners spend only 16% of their kitchen remodeling budget on a light fixture, they can still infuse life into any old and outdated kitchen.

Kitchen Remodel ROI: Major Remodel

A major kitchen remodel typically consists of a complete overhaul of your current kitchen and often takes a long time and a higher budget to complete than a minor kitchen update. However, depending on your future goals, it’s worth it. Since the kitchen is one of the most trafficked rooms in the entire house, it makes sense to spend a reasonable portion of your home renovation on updating your current kitchen. That said, unless you plan to stay in your home for at least 20 years, a remodeled kitchen is unlikely to recoup your investment. In any case, a major kitchen remodel gets lower ROI than a minor kitchen renovation.

Here’s what constitutes a major kitchen renovation plan:

New Appliances: If you want to offer your current kitchen a major update, replacing your old appliances with new appliances is a great idea. When you’re at it, remember to choose an expensive and renowned brand that offer visually appalling, functional and energy-efficient appliances. For many homeowners, one of the compelling reasons for investing in expensive appliances is to boost the market value of their house. A highly functional and aesthetically pleasing kitchen is like to give you a higher ROI.

New Layout: Apart from new appliances, many homeowners consider layout update as a major kitchen remodeling project which typically includes installing an island, updating cabinets and fixture and even shifting stove and dishwasher. While expensive, updating kitchen layout can lead to a boost in productivity as well as increased market value of your home.

While there are various layouts to choose from, L-shape kitchen layout is the current trend, thanks to the open concept plan, efficient work triangle and ergonomic status it offers. Moreover, with the L-shape kitchen, you’re likely to keep the traffic away from working areas.

So, What’s the Average ROI on Kitchen Remodel?

So, there you have it. The average ROI on kitchen remodel depends largely on the scale of the update. While the ROI on a minor kitchen update is 80.5%, it’s lower (62.1%) for a major kitchen renovation, if it’s in a midrange scale. Either way, a kitchen update is always worth as it can improve your overall experience in the kitchen as well as boost the market value of your house.

7 Factors Influencing Kitchen Remodel Costs

Calculating kitchen remodeling costs can be a tricky affair for many homeowners. While many assume that kitchen cabinetry and appliances account for a large portion of their renovation budget, others believe it’s the labor fees that greatly influence the costs of a remodeling project. According to a recent survey by Houzz, the average cost of a small kitchen remodel (200+ sq. ft.) would be around $13,700 while a major kitchen remodeling can set you back by a whopping $42,000.

From budget to raw materials to labor costs, there are several factors that determine the costs of your kitchen remodeling project. Let’s take a look at the factors influencing kitchen remodel costs.

Kitchen Remodeling Budget

The budget is the most important component that influences your kitchen remodel costs. Homeowners should determine their kitchen renovation budget upfront. Without a fixed budget, it’s difficult to control the costs. However, you should always have a contingency budget in order to meet the sudden changes in plans.

Price to Hire a Pro

Houzz survey found nearly 85% of the home renovators hire professional help for their project

Most mid-to-high range kitchen remodels are often too complicated for DYIers. It’s not surprising that the Houzz survey found nearly 85% of the home renovators hire professional help for their project. As a matter of fact, 25% of your total remodeling budget will go towards labor costs.

Cost of Materials for Kitchen Remodeling

Cost of Materials for Kitchen Remodeling

Even as you save the labor costs by not hiring a pro (going the DIY route), you still need to spend on the materials such as countertops, cabinets, flooring, backsplash, sinks, and lighting. The costs of the materials depend on your budget and style. For example, the estimated cost of engineered quartz counters is nearly $38 per square foot while it’s $38 per square foot for laminate counters.

ROI on Kitchen Remodeling

Unless you plan to live in your house for at least 20 years, you should factor in ROI on your kitchen remodeling. Unfortunately, kitchen remodeling is not of those home renovations that help recoup 100% of your investments. According to Remodeling Magazine, you’re less likely to recover your investment in a major kitchen remodeling than you are to recoup on basic home maintenance such as new siding. If you’re doing a minor kitchen remodel ($15,000), the resale will return about 93% of the investments.

Nevertheless, you’re likely to enjoy the benefits of the upgrades of your remodeled kitchen if you plan to live at least ten years in the house.

Longevity of Your Kitchen Renovation

If you’re planning to stay in your current house for a lifetime, it makes sense to splurge on your kitchen upgrades. Since the kitchen is one of the most trafficked rooms in your entire home, you’re likely to enjoy the benefits. However, if you’re planning for a resale after, say, 3 years after the kitchen renovation, you should spend judiciously. According to HomeAdvisor, if you’re planning to sell your house in the near future, then consider spending between 5-15% of your home’s total value on kitchen upgrades. This way, you’re likely to recover the remodeling investments during the resale.

Personal Tastes

Your personal tastes also affect the kitchen remodel costs to a great extent. For example, if you opt for quartz counters instead of say, laminate counters, your remodeling costs will definitely go higher. Moreover, if you wish to modernize your kitchen appliances, it will add to the costs as well. Traditional kitchens tend to cost less than a kitchen with modern designs.

Kitchen Remodeling Trends

Current kitchen trends can affect your kitchen remodel costs. Needless to say, popular kitchen trends such as hardwood flooring, sleek appliances, and quartz countertops come with a higher price tag. However, they also help you get a decent ROI on your investments when you sell your home in the future.

Final Thoughts

Since these kitchen remodel factors vary from project to project, it’s rather difficult to determine a universal average of your kitchen renovation project. However, based on the above variables, you should have a pretty good idea on the approximate budget of a kitchen renovation based on your preferences.