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Remodeling solutions for common kitchen complaints

Feeling cramped in your tiny kitchen? Embarrassed to host a dinner party at your house? Frustrated with outdated appliances? It’s time to make a change.

Start by finding a design that inspires you before you renovate—there’s no need to sacrifice style for function. You can mix and match what you need with what appeals to you most to build the kitchen of your dreams.

If you need some inspiration, here are a few kitchen renovation ideas to solve common kitchen complaints.

Open Up Your Space

Dark wood cabinets everywhere you look and large upper-level cabinets close off your kitchen and make it feel smaller and cramped. Luckily, you can remedy this situation with a few tools and some easy-to-use techniques.

  • Knock Out Any Cabinet Overhangs: Unlike your typical cabinets, cabinet overhangs do not connect to supporting walls. Rather, they connect to pony (pass through) walls that cut through your kitchen to create a barrier. To open up your space, ask a contractor to knock out these cabinets with a sledgehammer.
  • Convert Your Cabinets: Make the switch from cabinets to open shelving by removing the exterior doors of your cabinets as well as some of the interior shelving. To hide any damage during construction, spackle any cracks and cover it with paint. If you have a specific style in mind, work closely with your contractor to create a more polished open-shelving look.
  • Keep the Cabinets, but Remove the Clutter: If potted plants and decorative bowls take up precious counter space, use some of your cabinets to display these items. Consider having your contractor add some shelving brackets and boards for things like spices, plants, and recipe books. Make sure your brackets are securely anchored to the wall, especially if you are using stone boards as shelves or placing heavy objects on display.
  • Remove Low Hanging Lights: Sometimes a space feels cramped simply because it’s dark. If you have low hanging chandeliers, swap to recessed cans. If this option is too pricey, change the light to a higher hanging light or several small hanging lights. Opt for lamps that give off soft-white light for best results.
  • Change the Paint: Lighter colours, like yellows and white, gives the illusion of extra space. On the other hand, a lot of dark paint, wallpaper, or wood adds density to a room, and makes it appear smaller. If you are using any wallpaper in your design, choose one with small patterns and prints that won’t add to the visual weight of your kitchen.
  • Remove a Wall: When you have no other options and you must have extra room, have your contractor remove a dividing wall. Combining two rooms will definitely open up your kitchen and add plenty of space. Be careful though—you don’t want to remove any supporting walls that may compromise the structure of your home.

Now that you can breathe again, let’s add a dash of style to your fresh new space.

Add a Dash of Style to Your Space

It might be difficult to envision your outdated becoming stylish, but don’t be discouraged. Your kitchen has the potential to look as trendy as you want it to be. Just imagine it piece by piece, and you’ll soon know what needs to change.

Let’s work from the ground up

  • Refinish the Flooring: Linoleum has come a long way since the ’70s. If you can’t afford wood flooring, you can achieve the same look with linoleum. Old linoleum dates your kitchen and is inexpensive to replace. Have your contractor remove peeling, high gloss linoleum and replace it with a finish that looks more natural.
  • Change the Countertops: Tile and Formica countertops are not outdated, but gold and green tile from the ’70s reveals your home’s age. Instead, install solid, more timeless countertop materials, like granite. Small stone backsplashes are a better option than large white tile or tile with paint and prints.
  • Pick New Paint: If you have striped, flowered, or patterned walls from the past, just add a little paint. Not only will it brighten your kitchen, the paint will make your kitchen look 10 years newer.
  • Upgrade the Hardware: Even older cabinets and sinks look newer with modern hardware. If you don’t want the major expense of replacing everything at once, pick one appliance and upgrade its hardware. You can save your pennies for the next renovation.
  • Finish with Furniture: This is the fun part. It’s time to shop. Explore your options and measure your space beforehand. Select a style that suits you. Once you have an idea of what you want, you can narrow your options to just a few select kitchen sets. If you’re not sure which set is a good choice for your kitchen, ask your contractor for advice.

Once you are finished remodelling—go out for dinner to celebrate. You’ve earned it.