Bring Your Kitchen into the 2010s Before They’re Over


If you’re reading this, one thing is known for sure: you care about your home. It’s where you rest your head, make memories to last a lifetime and invest your hard-earned cash.

But does your home reflect the way you value it?

We live in a world that demands a lot from the limited amount of time we have on-hand. Our increasingly demanding work schedules and busy social lives can leave us pushing a lot to the backburner. And any homeowner is likely familiar with the feeling that they’ve put off important work for too long.

But upgrading your house need not be the daunting task that it is for so many. With a few simple improvements, you can make your home feel up-to-date while increasing your property value.

What better place to start than your kitchen? According to the American Housing Survey, homeowners who remodeled their kitchens between 2011 and 2013 spent about $5,000 on their projects. The median cost is lower for those who chose to go the DIY route, sitting at about $3,000 with results that were roughly equal.

How do you update without breaking the bank? Start with your cabinets. Your outdated cabinetry might be signaling your home’s age, or even worse— making it look older than it actually is. Whether you’ve got the bright colors of the 60s or the oak with brass handles popularized more recently, they’re telling the same story.

Contemporary design calls for neutral hues and clean edges. Replacing the old with new shaker cabinets will definitely do the trick. But, if you’re on a budget, why not simply update the old with a fresh coat of paint? It’s a project that could be completed in a single weekend and a glossy finish will breathe new life into your space. This is especially true if paired with new countertops.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with laminate or tile counters, but if you want your kitchen to look like it’s seen power tools sometime in the last decade you need to upgrade to a good quartz or granite surface. These counters offer a range of colors and textures, they’re easy to clean, tough and give your kitchen a cleaner look by ridding it of dingy grout. According to Zillow, upgrading to granite or quartz can cost between $50 and $150 per square foot, but add 4 to 6 percent to the sales price when included in the listing description.

Finally, consider buying new appliances to match your new colors. The last few years have seen stainless steel refrigerators and dishwashers making a quiet exit to be replaced by dark brushed-metal finishes. These neutral-colored appliances can help your kitchen maintain a clean look and resist the smudges that plague their shinier counterparts.

The same goes for lights, which have increasingly taken on a modern, ‘new industrial’ look in recent years. Pendant lights can lend a contemporary look while further drawing the eye up and making the room feel bigger. They can make the room feel both trendier and warmer. According to Zillow, for-sale homes with ‘pendant lighting’ in their listing descriptions sold for an average of “5 percent above expected value and 48 days sooner.” Who can argue with that?

And while you’re choosing your appliances, pay mind to their energy efficiency. Not only will this increase your home’s resale value when you’re ready to move, but it can save you a mint on utilities in the meanwhile.

According to the American Housing Survey, nearly 3 million Americans remodeled their kitchens between 2011 and 2013. All those people aren’t just investing their money in their homes— they’re putting sweat and love back into the space that nurtures them. When the times comes for them to sell, they can bet that their improvements will have increased the value of their home, but the value gained in updating the space for themselves and their family is immeasurable.

Written by Ian Hanner 03/08/2018