Kitchens (and bathrooms) tend to be rooms where major updates are time-consuming, disruptive and often expensive. That’s why buyers love properties where the kitchen and bathrooms already look great and function well. If you’re thinking of upgrading your kitchen, here are four tips on how to maximize the value you get from it.
Hold off updating cabinets
If you’re planning a major overhaul of your kitchen, then it might be appropriate to get new cabinets. Even so, you should probably think about whether you can repurpose your current ones before you take the plunge.
If your cabinets are in good condition but look dated then paint can give them a whole new lease of life. Painting laminate can be tedious but it’s much more affordable than buying new cabinets. You can also switch out the hardware to complete the effect.
If storage appears to be the issue, then have an honest assessment of your current level of organization. You may find that the solution you really need is to declutter thoroughly and buy some organisational products. Again, this isn’t always the most fun job but it can save you a lot of money compared to buying new cabinets, even from big box stores.
Take sinks and worktops seriously
A decent-sized kitchen sink with a high-quality tap makes cooking and cleaning a whole lot easier. Remember, kitchen sinks can wind up being used to wash a lot more than food. If there’s no dishwasher, it’s useful to have plenty of space to wash (and dry) crockery, cutlery and cooking equipment. Even when there is, the kitchen sink is often the place to wash everything from pets to welly boots.
That means people generally appreciate sinks that are on the deeper side. They certainly appreciate taps designed for flexible use. Taps for kitchens serve a very different purpose from taps in bathrooms. Taps in bathrooms generally only have to fill the relevant basis. Taps in kitchens can be used to fill anything. That’s why the preferred choice is generally a long-necked mixer tap with an extendable spout.
Work surfaces also matter. If your budget is up to it, it really is worth going for one of the more premium options. In domestic kitchens, the preferred options tend to be wood, stone (natural or composite) and concrete. Steel has a niche but generally only fits in with very modern homes. If you want the functionality of steel but a more traditional look, copper might be a good alternative.
Spend money on brand-name appliances
The big-name kitchen brands justify their prices by offering a combination of functionality, longevity and reliability. Given that your kitchen appliances are usually fundamental to the running of your home, it’s normally worth investing in the best you can afford. Premium appliances also tend to be both quieter and more energy-efficient than budget options.
In principle, you can take your appliances with you when you move. In practice, it’s often more common to include them with a sale. People generally have enough to move and organize without having to deal with disconnecting, moving and reconnecting appliances. Even if you are taking your white goods with you, having brand-name appliances encourages buyers to think of how they could have a similar lifestyle.
Keep it light, bright and neutral
The nature of kitchens means that they have a particularly strong need for effective lighting. This can be decorative as well as practical but it does need to put safety first. Similarly, keeping surfaces on the lighter side will help that light to bounce off surfaces. That said, be careful of glass. Kitchens are often places where you want to be able to close doors and walk away.
Neutral colours aren’t necessarily exciting but they are classic. That’s what you want from investment pieces so it’s best to stick to them. You can ring in the changes with seasonal decor like linens or even decals on your appliances.