Kitchen Cabinet Makeovers – Ideas, Tips, Countertop
Redo Kitchen Cabinets
Kitchens are one of the most popular rooms in the home and probably the number one room where remodelling can add tremendous value to your property. House flippers will focus a large portion of the budget on the kitchen makeover as it is the biggest draw for house shoppers.
What if your kitchen is in need of a face lift but you don’t have the major budget of a seasoned house flipper? You can benefit from a strong first impression by simply refacing your kitchen cabinets.
Essentially this requires a redo of the front faces of the cabinets and the hardware. This includes the doors, drawer fronts, cabinet handles and the cabinet body fronts.
One of the most common methods (and probably the cheapest) is to repaint all cabinet surfaces and doors. This doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process, usually, you can accomplish the entire job in 2 or 3 days.
It does make a bit of a mess so it’s advised that you do all the door and drawer painting outside or in a well ventilated area of your home.
For the cabinet body fronts, you’ll paint them where they stand, so put up plastic sheeting over the doorways to prevent excess paint and fumes from leaking into other rooms of your house.
The other most popular method is to simply replace all the doors, drawers and hardware while leaving the cabinet bodies in place and either painting or refinishing those.
This method allows you the fun and freedom of shopping for new cabinet doors but also saving hundreds or thousands of dollars over the price of entirely new cabinets.
Cabinet refacing also allows you a lot of creative freedom. Crafty individuals will often cut out the middle section of cabinet doors and replace them with all sorts of materials including punched copper, shiny objects between panes of glass, or even dried food materials in colourful arrangements.
Simply using glass inserts will provide a more open space visually, but be sure you’re on the neat side as visitors will see the entire contents of your cabinets!
Before starting your cabinet refacing project check out various kitchen remodelling photos on the internet and in your local home improvement stores. They will have hundreds of great ideas to suit any budget. Most of all, have fun and enjoy the pick-me-up.
Old Kitchen Cabinets Makeover Options
Kitchen cabinets are one of the most prominent features in your kitchen. If your cabinets are looking worn or drab, it affects the whole look and feel of your kitchen.
The good news is there are several options available to you that can easily update your kitchen with a modern look. Some options are expensive and others are more economical.
If you like the cabinet layout and the cabinets are in good condition, refacing or resurfacing your kitchen cabinets may be a good choice for you.
Refacing or resurfacing consists of replacing the cabinet doors and drawer fronts with new ones and then treating the cabinet frame with a matching veneer. There are many types of woods and plastics available for this, so your options are virtually unlimited.
To get the best results, it’s always best to hire a professional to do this work. It can be quite expensive, though, ranging anywhere from $3500 to over $10,000. The work usually takes 2-4 days, depending on how many cabinets and drawers are involved.
If your cabinets are weak or damaged or you just want to change their design, replacing them entirely is another option. Replacing the cabinets may not cost much more than refacing/resurfacing them, either.
Brand new cabinets can add more usefulness to your kitchen and increase the value of your home, as well.
If resurfacing or replacement of your kitchen cabinets doesn’t fit your budget, there are much less expensive alternatives.
My first choice for renewing the look of kitchen cabinets is paint. What a difference a coat or paint can make!
For a retro look, you can use splashy colours such as pink, turquoise or orange. Be brave and paint designs on the cabinets or use stencils or a faux finish. Add some matching hardware and you’ve got new cabinets for less than $300.
Another idea is to permanently remove all the cabinet doors. This wouldn’t be appropriate or even functional for every style of kitchen.
It might work well for a cottage kitchen design or even an antique Victorian design. You could line the shelves with lace or doilies that flap over the edge to add to the look.
An alternative to completely removing the cabinet doors is to replace them with old windows that are the right size. You could also create new doors from different types of materials such as bamboo or fabric.
Another idea for resurfacing kitchen cabinets is to wallpaper them or apply contact paper. A plain pattern is best and, of course, make sure it is washable.
You don’t necessarily need to cover the whole surface. You could cut out different shapes or patterns and apply them to the cabinet surface. This would be a good short-term solution to freshening up your kitchen.
So there you have it. There are many ways to make your kitchen cabinets look great without breaking the bank.
Designing Your Kitchen Cabinets
Your kitchen is probably your most used room in the house. It’s a central place at meal time. Guests tend to gather there when parties are thrown. If walls could talk, your kitchen walls would probably have a lot to say. That’s why the way your kitchen looks, and the kitchen cabinet design is so important.
Although cabinets can be made from many materials, they usually are made from wood. The stain that is used on them is applied in such a way as to best show off the grain of that particular wood.
Some cabinets are very light golden yellow while others are dark Just about all of the woods that cabinets can be made out of can be stained light or dark, but each will take the stain colour a little differently.
A dark Jacobean brown stain will look much different on an oak cabinet than it will on a maple cabinet.
Many people today are choosing kitchen cabinet design that has lots of colour. Many people like a brightly coloured kitchen and choose the cabinets to match.
You can get cabinets in candy apple red or silver gray to match your desire. Even older cabinets are getting an update these days with a splash of colour. A new paint job can totally transform even the worst of cabinets.
When thinking about your cabinets, don’t forget about the hardware. Not only will you be looking at them when you are in the kitchen, you will be using them to open your cabinets.
You can get knobs and pulls in many styles. Handles and pulls might require you to put two screws into the cabinets. Long pulls and large cabinets work well. Smaller cabinets might go great with smaller pulls or knobs.
Pulls and handles are typically installed in the center of the drawer and the lower side of the door on the opening edge. Knobs are sometimes used instead of pulls. Knobs are attached to the cabinet with only 1 screw.
They are small and usually mounted in the center of drawers and the upper opening side of cabinets on the ground, and lower opening side of cabinets above the countertops.
Cabinet hardware comes in all different styles and colours. When you think of cabinet hardware, you might think of black, pewter or bright gold coloured knobs. Newer options are also available.
With today’s modern kitchens, stainless steel is a popular choice. For those with particular tastes in say, roosters, there are even manufacturers that will make hardware in the shapes of popular items to complement the decorating that you have done in your kitchen.
Having a good feeling in your kitchen is key. Your kitchen should be comfortable and appealing. And your kitchen cabinet design will add to that comfort when you’ve put your own finishing touches on them.
Small Kitchen Remodel Ideas and Tips
Kitchen remodelling can be done for function or just because the house needs a new look or a combination of the two.
The focus of home remodelling for most people is usually the kitchen makeover or the bathrooms because those are the rooms that add the most value to a home and can become outdated more quickly.
Just as in fashion, home décor goes through fads, and typically if bathrooms and kitchens have not been remodeled for ten years or more, it’s obvious!
How many times have we heard the jokes about the ambitious do-it-yourself homeowner who starts project after project, only to stop in the middle and not finish any one of them?
Usually, the weekend warrior runs out of time, or perhaps money, or maybe he or she realizes that much more has been bitten off than can possibly be chewed.
The results are evident: Half-finished paint jobs that leave some walls in one colour while others sport another; flooring has been exposed but never finished; kitchen cabinets are leaning against the wall yet will not be anchored in for weeks or perhaps months.
Sadly, many people neglected to receive some sound remodelling tips prior to embarking on their tasks. To this end, here are some tips and tricks that will help you to get off to a good start before you actually pick up your checkbook or your tools!
One of the first makeover tips that are usually neglected is the fact that it should have a general appeal. Granted, this may be common sense, yet it is astounding how many homeowners add or take away from their homes in such a way that a future sale is compromised.
While you may think that a purple bathroom with yellow handprints is just darling, the potential buyer who tours the house two years down the line will probably wrinkle his nose at this décor faux pas.
In the same way, if you decide to add on to your home, do it with an eye on the investment potential. In other words, do not do a half-fast job yourself, but instead, pull the proper permits and hire licensed contractors to at least take a look before the building inspector stops by.
Experts have a tool box full of different small bathroom remodelling ideas, but most can be grouped into two categories: creating light and creating visual space. The illusions of space and light complement each other and expand a small space.
Anyone who has tried to apply makeup in a small dark room knows how important light is, and it’s created in a variety of ways, both natural and artificial. Natural light comes from windows, skylights, and any other opening that allows sun into the space.
Whenever possible, windows should be left uncovered or only lightly covered by a filmy white or light-coloured window covering.
Paint colours from the cool end of the colour spectrum reflect and enhance natural light, as do mirrors and light-coloured flooring. Even a light-coloured, inexpensive rug used to cover a dark floor can brighten up a space.
Artificial light, originating from ceiling lights, wall sconces or lamps, can also brighten a space when employed artfully. Recessed lighting, which creates the illusion of space as well as light, could also be a viable option for you.
Just be sure to use artificial light that is bright without being oppressive. Look in your home and garden store for special bulbs that can be used to effectively diffuse the light.
Other remodelling tips include the popularity versus functionality of the desired item, as well as value for the items. For example, just because recessed lighting is the latest fad, it may not be the lighting of choice for the bathroom where it may create dark spots and shade in undesirable areas.
In addition to the foregoing, the value of the items purchased should remain intact, thus adding value to the home rather than simply costing money. Thereafter it is a smart idea to do a bit of research to see where home decorating trends are headed.
Some old time favorites, such as ceiling tiles or even marble counter tops, are becoming a thing of the past, and if you are wondering about adding value to your home it is best to decorate with the market in mind.
Naturally, not everybody will look to sell their properties within the next few years or until after the next remodel, yet the above mentioned rule of thumb is certain to add value to the biggest investment you will ever make rather than just drain the bank account.
Hopefully these kitchen remodel ideas and tips have added a little bit of common sense to the mix of weekend projects and large undertakings, and the next time you contemplate a project, please be sure to think it through from beginning to end before you jump into the car to head to the local store for supplies.
Kitchen Countertop Materials
The kitchen countertop has to be able to take a lot of abuse including the heat of pots, cutting and knives and abrasive cleansers. The ideal countertop should be able to stand up to heat and the sharp edge of a knife.
Let us take a look at some of the most popular kitchen countertop materials being used today:
A natural stone, granite is a popular choice for its classic beauty and durability. Granite is the hardest and densest of the natural stones. It can create a kitchen countertop that is extremely scratch resistant and can keep its luster longer than most materials.
Granite slabs are the most expensive of all kitchen countertop surfaces, although it is still considered a very practical material in that it is virtually indestructible.
Another natural stone, marble is considered to be the height of elegance and will last longer than most kitchens. It is however, is very expensive and requires some care: acidic foods such as orange juice will etch the finished surface of a marble kitchen countertop.
Because of it’s richness and beauty slate is usually used in interior applications such as kitchen countertops, bathroom sinks or fireplace surrounds. It can be used in either modern or traditional kitchens as well as in combination with marble. Slate is durable, strong, and can withstand hard use. It is less expensive than marble.
This is one of the biggest trends in kitchen countertops today. It is a good look for clean, industrial and contemporary kitchen designs. Available in preformed sections or poured and formed on-site.
Concrete is a good material for unusually shaped counters. Concrete kitchen countertops are expensive, require a sealant and must be treated with care. The countertop can crack if the concrete should contract. Concrete can be stained any colour. The most popular colour is a natural gray tone. The top layer can be finished as desired.
A solid surface material that first became popular in the 1990’s It is highly recommended by kitchen countertop experts. It is a totally manmade product and is not porous. As a solid surface, it can easily be repaired if scratched or burned.
Advantages include very hygienic, easy to clean, has the ability to stand up to extreme wear and heat. Stainless steel can provide a great look for an ultra modern kitchen. Some disadvantages with stainless steel is that it can be noisy and that scratches can develop.
Tile surfaces can be tough, hard-wearing, takes hot pans, heat and stain resistant as well as beautiful. There are many types of tiles including ceramic, porcelain, quarry, glass, natural stone and mosaic.
Available in many colours, sizes and textures. It has good design flexibility. Tile can often be used for trim or backsplashes. The downside of tile is that the grouts can be easily stained. Also the tiles can become chipped or cracked.
Wood countertops are becoming popular again in modern kitchens. We now know that wooden countertops, when properly cared for, are both long lasting and sanitary.
The modern adhesives are strong enough to keep the wood staves bonded together even the butcher block is submerged into the water. The finishing oils (mineral oils) are safe in contact with food products and preserve the wood surfaces.
The solid wood, as a material of choice for countertops, exhibits incontestable advantages such as:
Aesthetics: Imparting a warm, relaxing feeling, the wooden top is the natural complement of any solid wood or veneered cabinetry. The wooden tops will wonderfully go together with hardwood floorings, moldings, cornices and mantels, conferring a genuine sense of balance to your kitchen space.
Functionality: A hardwood top is very easy to cut to templates and even easier to install. Unlike the solid surface or laminate, wood tops have a minimum of chemical components, which make them extremely safe in contact with foods.
Unlike the other countertop materials, any occurring scratch can be easily removed by sanding the area; the wood tops actually constitute the only known surface that can be renewed without employing special tools or requiring special skills.
Hardwood surfaces can be used as kitchen island tops, inserted sink covers, sections of countertop, or as butcher block hidden under the countertop that can be pulled as drawer or cart. Your imagination will surely find plenty of other interesting, visually attractive applications.
Durability: If properly sealed and installed, a wooden top can literally last a lifetime. Unlike marble, granite or tile, the wooden tops have a great shock absorbing capacity that further assures considerable life span.
Hygiene: For a quite few decades, the plastic and laminate surfaces, due to their non-porous structure were considered much safer than wood for applications such as chopping meat or slicing vegetables.
The wood, because of its porosity was thought an ideal surface for harmful bacteria like Salmonella, Staphylococcus or Escherichia coli to thrive.
However, a study undertaken in 1993 by the microbiologists of Wisconsin Food Research Institute and another one carried out in 1998 at University of Florida discovered the strong antibacterial properties that wood surfaces exhibit, properties that no other cutting surface appears to possess.
According to these studies and to others that followed them, on wood surfaces, bacterial populations disappear quite fast, without external intervention, while on plastic surfaces they persist and actually multiply.
Although these properties vary among wood species, the wooden cutting surfaces are increasingly accepted as the first choice of health-conscious individuals.
Price: Hardwood is usually priced higher than laminate but is far less expensive than stone, granite, solid surface, tile or steel.
Home Timber & Hardware
Queensland Government Homes and housing
Home Improvement Scheme – NT Department of Trade
Home improvement – Wikipedia