Q: I have just moved into a condo that is 12 years old. I’d like to update the kitchen and am on a tight budget.
– Samantha, Halifax
Updating a tired kitchen is not only a great way to modernize your home (especially in an open-concept space) but to add re-sale value to your investment.
I usually recommend a full re-do about every 10 to15 years for a kitchen.
Once one thing starts to break down or look outdated usually everything else follows within a few years.
These ideas should allow your kitchen to feel modernized for another five years or so.
Countertops: Replacing the countertops will help update the old kitchen cupboards and change the overall feel of the kitchen.
Look for a trend-setting counter to add a modern look to the room.
Consider non-shiny matte finishes and oiled soapstone for a dramatic look (blends nicely with appliances) or carrara marble for a lighter look — the carrara is great if your kitchen has white appliances.
Check wilsonart.com for fashionable laminate countertop options.
Hardware: Old colonial-styled brass hardware will instantly outdate your kitchen cupboards.
I suggest replacing them with knobs or pulls with a sleek design in a sliver metal finish to update the kitchen.
My favourite are the ATTEST Knob from Ikea, which are excellent value at $7.99 for a two-pack!
A few stainless countertop appliances: If major stainless steel appliances are not in your budget, invest in a few useful countertop appliances to help offer an updated look to the kitchen.
Depending on the size of your kitchen, a new coffee machine, blender and toaster will add sparkle and modernization.
My dream machine these days is the high-end ENA 9 espresso maker by Jura. It will definitely give a luxurious look to any kitchen.
Focal wall and backsplash: Consider applying peel-and-stick vinyl tiles onto the walls rather than floors.
They are waterproof and extremely durable and inexpensive way to add pizzazz to boring walls or backsplash.
Vinyl tiles usually come in 12-by-12 inches and are easily cut and applied. At $1 to $4 per square foot, they are a great way to change an outdated backsplash.
Choose a colour/style of tile that blends well with the cupboards.
Classic travertine or sandstone looks will keep guests assuming that you have the real thing on the walls.
This idea equally looks great on a blank galley wall in a kitchen or bathroom.
Home Depot’s assorted Tarkett vinyl tiles offer textured vinyl tiles that look just like real stone.
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