Transforming the Kitchen from Drab to Fab
by Amana Canada
published June 28, 2010
rating: (38 Ratings)
As the heart of most Canadian homes, the kitchen is where it’s at: it is the central meeting place for friends and families, the room you spend time in entertaining and experimenting with culinary creations, and the first impression guests have of a home.
But what if the kitchen is less than stellar? Unlocking style potential and increasing home equity doesn’t have to be a huge investment. According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada, kitchen renovations can yield a 75 to 100 per cent return on investment.
“You don’t need tons of effort or money to gain added appeal and value in the kitchen and laundry room,” says Lorna Gordon, host of Quebec’s hit DIY home improvement show, Le Mariage des meubles. “It’s all about making the right choices to achieve that ‘wow’ factor and choosing cost-effective solutions that will give the kitchen a fresh look to fit with your lifestyle.”
1. Keep it Clean and Clutter-Free
Keeping kitchens organized not only maintains overall tidiness but also keeps headaches at bay when trying to find pesky chip clips in a pinch. Take the time to create a system that is easily maintained – consider using labels, colour-coding, slip-proof cupboard liners and in-drawer trays to ensure kitchen gadgets stay put – no matter what size the kitchen is.
Lorna’s Tip: Dress up flour, sugar and other baking essentials by pouring them into decorative glass canisters for organization that’s easy on the eyes and the wallet.
2. Play with Colour and Light
While changing floors and tile work can be a costly investment, a quick coat of paint and new lighting can transform any space for a fraction of the cost. Maximize the kitchen’s appeal with a range of lighting options. Use overhead fixtures, under-cabinet lights and even lamps to brighten different areas of the kitchen. Don’t be afraid to also use colour accents with paint to further enlighten the space.
Lorna’s Tip: Use dimmers to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. In addition, the use of spotlights and wall sconces can draw attention to artistic elements of the kitchen, such as a colourful backsplash or must-have architectural details.
3. Choose Modern Appliances
Updated appliances can instantly transform a kitchen and add incredible value, especially if they are eco-friendly. Newer affordably priced options such as ENERGY STAR® qualified Amana® Home Appliances (www.amanacanada.ca) allow Canadians to achieve a modern, fresh look while still being environmentally responsible. For example, Amana Bottom-Freezer Refrigerators and dishwashers are all ENERGY STAR® qualified. “Appliances are the stars of the kitchen and can set the overall tone of the room,” says Lorna. “With more quality options available in every price range, it’s easier than ever to achieve an updated look that fits any budget.”
Lorna’s Tip: Opt for a suite of appliances to achieve modern décor throughout the kitchen, the result will be a cohesive look that is appealing to the eye.
4. Freshen Up Kitchen Cupboards
Overhauling kitchen cabinets can be a costly investment, but options are available for quick updates that add value and impact to any kitchen renovation. Consider painting or resurfacing cabinet doors and casings for instant drama, or try replacing only cabinet doors with more modern options to give the illusion of new cupboards.
Lorna’s Tip: Replacing knobs and handles can update kitchen cabinets in a snap. Try long vertical or integrated handles for a modern look or use painted porcelain knobs to achieve a cozy kitchen décor.
5. Update the Accessories
Just like the effects of jewelry on a little black dress, accessories can breathe new life into any kitchen. Vases, coloured glass, rugs and towels all combine to create visual appeal that can pull together a room instantly. Think of every surface as a new opportunity to accessorize by using a mixture of textiles, art, lighting and glassware to add extra impact and interest to the space.
Lorna’s Tip: Thrift stores and second hand stores are filled with treasures. Look for pieces with good bones that require minimal effort to bring out their hidden potential through sanding, painting or re-upholstering. Don’t hesitate to shop in department stores to find low-cost accessories.
Want to give your kitchen some style? Enter our giveaway for your chance to win an Amana Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator, with the EasyFreezer™ pull-out drawer and the EasyClose drawer track system (valued at $1,049)?