The saying goes that the kitchen is the heart of the family. But what does it say about your heart if the kitchen is outdated? Having a functioning, up-to-date kitchen is a must in any modern home. Not only will it increase the resale value of your house, it will help make your house feel like a home.

The kitchen has always been a focal point in a home. Historically, it was the place where most people gathered, as it had the wood-burning oven, or stove, which provided heat in the winter. Today, it is still thought of as the center of the house, the meeting space, the location everybody seems to gravitate towards at a party (no matter how much other space your home may have). The kitchen should be a comfortable, yet functional place. But what if it isn’t?

There are many ways to improve the quality of your kitchen. Whether you are looking to completely overhaul the design, or just do a cosmetic facelift, there are plenty of economically-friendly methods to restructure your kitchen.

Structural Changes

One of the most important parts of a kitchen is the flow. The way you can move between the three main aspects of the kitchen (the refrigerator, the sink, and the oven) is imperative in adding to the value of your house. Most kitchens today are designed with the traditional triangle shape between those three stations. If your kitchen doesn’t have that, however, then you might want to consider changing the way it is set up. Creating the appliance triangle will help make your kitchen more attractive to many home-buyers.

Another important aspect of a kitchen is counter space. How many kitchens have you been in that didn’t have enough of that elusive surface? With all of the appliances found in a modern kitchen, counter space is a necessity. Having a lot of counter space also helps out if you like entertaining. Whether you are cooking a large Thanksgiving Day meal, or you are having a buffet-style Super Bowl party, a lot of counter space is an integral part of a great kitchen.

Additionally, one of the best structural changes you can make to your kitchen would be to add a free-standing island to the center of the room. An island creates a focal point in an otherwise dead space. It also allows an increase in the amount of cabinets and counter space you can have. You could even add another sink, such as a vegetable sink, in the island, ensuring the segregation of your meats and vegetables as you are cooking.

Cosmetic Changes

If your kitchen already has the perfect layout, but was built years ago, there are many surface changes you could make to modernize it. Just like in fashion, interior design goes through phases of what is preferable to the average home-buyer.

There are a few main aspects of a kitchen that will immediately draw the attention of anybody who sees it, that date it the most. These are the lighting fixtures and the appliances.

Updating lighting fixtures is one of the simplest, yet most effective ways, to refresh your kitchen. The type of lighting fixtures a kitchen has easily indicates when it was built. Changing these fixtures is a great way to quickly increase your kitchen’s value.

Most of today’s home-buyers prefer a modern, sleek kitchen design. Nothing is as modern as stainless steel appliances. Replacing existing appliances with stainless steel instantly adds a better quality to your kitchen.

Redoing the kitchen counters is another cosmetic change you can make that would help add value to your kitchen. You could also add a backsplash, like a tile mosaic, or change the kitchen flooring, to improve your kitchen’s worth.

You could make some other simple changes as well. Replacing the faucets, or changing the cabinet fronts, would help make your kitchen more desirable. Switching the cabinet door handles and knobs is one final small change you can make to increase your kitchen’s marketability.

Framing the Kitchen Properly

Sometimes, your kitchen is set up exactly the way you want it, with the design elements perfectly aligning with your vision. But there is still something that seems missing. This could mean the windows and/or doors leading into the room need to be updated.

Most kitchens have at least one window to let in natural light. Replacing your windows would improve the aesthetic of the room and, depending on what window you choose, open up more visual space. Large, open rooms immediately give a better impression.

You can also replace the doors to your kitchen, removing traditional single doors, and making them either pocket doors or folding doors. These innovative doors let you close off your kitchen without sacrificing the overall modern design.
About the author

Christine Augustus is an assistant for San Diego Kitchen Pros and she enjoys home design and remodel.