and tell us which one is your next project!
1. Faucet One of the most inexpensive ways to make a big change to the look and function of your kitchen is changing out your old faucet. Upgrading to a pull-down or an articulated spout makes every chore easier — from filling pots or vases to doing the dishes to even just cleaning the sink itself. And so many faucets have a graceful, appealing form, adding a bit of sculptural interest to a kitchen. Changing the finish can also make a big difference, especially with countless options like matte black, brushed nickel, and so many other choices.
2. Sink Experts agree that one of the most cost-effective kitchen upgrades is to replace a sink. From a function perspective, changing from a single bowl to a double or vice-versa can make a huge difference, depending on your preferences. Under-mount or self-trimming sinks also make clean-up infinitely easier. Apron-front sinks are incredibly appealing — not just for farmhouses anymore! — and many models don't require any custom cabinetry, just removing the false drawer front you find in from of most traditional sinks. With new models like the Whitehaven sink coming in 16 different colors, some chosen by Jonathan Adler, your sink could go from your kitchen's workhorse to its show pony!
3. Cabinet Refresh It can be costly to replace cabinets entirely, but refreshing cabinets with a fresh paint color or new varnish is a quick and inexpensive DIY project. You can also opt to remove some upper cabinet doors completely in favor of open storage, which can completely change the look of a kitchen, making it feel airy and fresh, while showing off your favorite kitchenware. Updating cabinet hardware is another way to give your kitchen a fast and easy 'face-lift,' and can be a satisfying quick fix on its own.
4. Backsplash Installing a new backsplash is a simple way to introduce a new design element without spending a bundle. Depending on the size of your backsplash area, your level of DIY expertise and your patience, you could even undertake a tile project yourself. Otherwise, working with a professional will run up the costs, but will make for a fast and reliable result. Reflective surfaces like mirror, glass or glossy ceramic tile can also help reflect light, keeping your under-cabinet area brighter and more usable.
5. Countertop Replacing or refreshing countertops arguably has the biggest impact on a kitchen. Cosmetically, of course, a new, smooth countertop can make any old kitchen look fresh, and can alter the whole mood, making it more sophisticated or rustic or comfortable. In terms of the function of a kitchen, this change might be the most dramatic — having smooth, regular countertops can make all the difference in the world for a home cook. New technologies make replacing laminate easier than ever, while specialized granite cleaners can go a long way toward restoring the lustrous beauty of old, stained granite.