Guest Picks: Elements of a Kitchen Makeover
Get ideas for everything you need for a kitchen renovation — including the sink
A kitchen makeover, whether a complete redesign or a mere swap of appliances, will inevitably be met with its fair share of troubles. A great way to decrease the stress brought on by this type of overhaul is to source all essential products that fit within your desired scheme prior to breaking ground — or counters. With the amount of necessities a kitchen requires, along with any wish-list pieces (separate wine cooler fridge, warming drawer, heated tile, etc.), it's easy to see how some of your dreams for the space may fall through the cracks if you're unprepared. Use this list of essentials (plus a few jazzy extras) as a guide for completing operation Prettify Kitchen. — Annemarie from Brunch at Saks
A new kitchen faucet should be one of the first things on a kitchen makeover list. It's simple to replace and doesn't cost much for the dramatic change it makes in the space. This double-handle faucet from American Standard's Hampton Collection is a beautiful, versatile piece that would look great in a modern, traditional or country-style kitchen.
A backsplash can add a lot of punch to your kitchen without the extra stress normally involved in makeovers. I love this all-white subway tile because it fits in easily with most design styles and won't break the bank.
The debate between granite versus quartz countertops is always a hot one. From personal experience with both, my vote goes toward quartz. It's generally more affordable and once installed is virtually maintenance-free. I like this Silestone (quartz) countertop in Lyra because of its elegant pattern and durability.
Pendant lighting might be more along the lines of a wish list item as they are not essential, but for spaces that have islands or bar seating, these lights will add a great deal to your space. I like this pendant lamp because it adds an iconic feel while remaining neutral enough to fit into any space.
Cabinets can be a daunting decision during a kitchen redesign, but they will make all the difference. I like these recessed panel cabinets because they can be painted any color and the detail adds nice texture to the space.
For serious cooks, having an exhaust hood will make a huge difference in clearing out lingering cooking smells. I like this stainless steel hood from Ikea because it is functional, aesthetically pleasing and the price won't break the bank.
I love this farmhouse sink by Rohl. Made of durable fireclay, it will resist scratches and food stains.
A kitchen island is something to consider if you have even the slightest room for one, as extra counter space and storage is always appreciated. This traditional-style island has plenty of room for extra pots and pans and provides a nice place for family to gather around while cooking meals together.
A warming drawer is truly a great addition to any kitchen. Whether you host parties or are more concerned about getting everyone fed at a reasonable hour every night (hello, soccer practice, ballet, etc.), a warming drawer will keep everything at perfect temperature no matter the time you finally sit down to eat.
Hardware can be as simple or as intricate as you like, but it's smart to avoid trendy design schemes that might only look fresh for a few years. More classic pieces, such as these brushed chrome pull pieces by Amerock, will stand the test of time.
If you're in the mood for a new look but don't want to spend a lot of time or energy, then painting is your best bet. I like Cool Breeze from Benjamin Moore for a kitchen because it's calm and quiet, allowing for the food and company to be the stars.
A cookware wall rack, like this one by Cuisinart, will help free up essential storage space in cabinets.
A great way to complete the look in the dining area of your kitchen is with fun lighting. I like this West Elm chandelier because it's informal yet feels classic with its glowing capiz shells.
Window coverings are an important addition to your kitchen, especially if it faces directly east or west and is hit hard by the sun.
A built-in wine cooler is not necessary (or practical, for that matter), but if your space and budget have room for such a bonus, I'd say go for it! I like the sleek design of this dual-temperature zoned fridge by Whytner Company.
Look for stools that will actually be comfortable enough to use daily for all your meals. These cushioned chair stools from Ballard Designs are a great option.
Protect your floors with a sturdy rug, such as this one from Ballard Designs. For years I went without a rug in my kitchen, and now I don't know what I would do without one. They make time spent in the kitchen far more comfortable!
A self-cleaning gas range is worth the few extra dollars compared to those units that you have to clean on your own. I like this stainless steel range by GE because it has so many options at an affordable price.
Another wish list item, but one that would certainly be helpful, is this wall-mounted pot filler kitchen faucet. I love the idea of filling up all of the pots right at the stove.
Ideabook published on May 22, 2012.
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