TIP OF THE WEEK
Whether you’ve heard it in the office, a classroom or a soccer field, that old saying about mistakes being valuable learning tools really rings true, doesn’t it? If those mistakes occur during the course of a kitchen renovation, however, it may be difficult to be philosophical about them. It’s better by far to avoid making a big mistake when renovating a kitchen. Here are three wrong moves that you should never make when improving the most-used room in your home:
1. Giving up cabinets: Maybe you long for a window over the kitchen sink. Perhaps replacing or upgrading all the cabinets in the kitchen will take too big a bite out of your budget. Or maybe you intend to become a minimalist and need storage space for only two plates, two mugs and two wine glasses. Whatever you think your “reason” is for reducing the number of cabinets in your kitchen, don’t do it. Cabinet storage space is a top priority in any kitchen.
2. Cheaping out on appliances: New appliances can be a large part of your kitchen renovation budget, and the temptation to cut costs by buying cheaper quality products can be compelling. Yet kitchen appliances are among the most-used in any home. When you consider how often you’ll use them, how much wear and tear they’ll endure, and how great their impact is on the usability of the room, it makes sense to invest in the best appliances you can afford.
3. Giving up sunlight: More than one kitchen renovator has chosen to solve the problem of too little cabinet space by covering up a window. Not a smart move, especially when you consider the value of natural light and fresh air in a kitchen. If you have no wall space to spare for windows, adding Energy Star-qualified no-leak fresh-air skylights, like those from Velux America, can solve the problem.
Making a few cosmetic upgrades to even a small master bath can help increase a home’s appeal and value. For less than $5,000 you can easily repaint, upgrade faucets, replace old cabinet hardware and add decorative touches like designer towels. If you’ve already done all that, take a look at the floor or countertops — two cost-effective upgrades that can wow buyers. Since counters don’t make up that much square footage in most bathrooms, replacing them with granite can cost just a couple thousand dollars.
Bringing bright colors into the kitchen is a reprising trend, as it’s often a quick change that makes a bold statement for homeowners who don’t have a lot of time for a full kitchen renovation. However, designer Nate Berkus recommends sticking with a neutral palette for cabinets. White, charcoal, gray and black will always be elegant, he notes, especially in cabinetry. Using these more neutral tones as a base can bring about more opportunity to incorporate decor that can be easily switched out with the changing seasons and styles.
If you live somewhere where summer months are hot and dry, now might be a good time to think about some drought-tolerant gardening ideas. Some plants that do well in hot weather and don’t need too much water include portulacas, coneflowers, catmint, yarrow and silver artemisias. Cacti are a good bet if you’re looking into xeriscaping, as well.
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Home Help: 3 things to avoid when renovating your kitchen
TIP OF THE WEEK