GIMME SHELTER- Kitchen switchin': Simply reconfigure to save $$$

Barry Easter, Cabinet Solutions


Q: I'm looking for a cost-effective way to create bigger space in my kitchen without knocking down any walls. Ideas? 

A: Simply remodeling and shifting your layout can create the appearance of more square footage without actually adding any. I have clients whose friends come into their newly designed kitchens thinking they've added square footage when really all they did was reconfigure some countertops and cabinets.  

Kitchen cabinets are the most noticeable aspect of a kitchen and can be easily reconfigured to update a space. A great way to remedy dated cabinets is to convert the drawer fronts and panels to a different style. In addition, changes can be made by staining and painting. Painting gives the appearance of brand new cabinetry without the cost. When it comes down to choosing between a stain and a paint, I'd recommend painting– when you paint, you can cover up, add to, and match your work much more easily than with a stain. In general, you can save yourself a lot of bucks by redoing what you have, reconfiguring old things, and modernizing with a few new appliances. 

If you're going for a more contemporary look, lately there's been a trend towards replacing cabinet windows and doors with glass panels. Many lofts and apartments in the area are opting for this look. Flat doors are another modern door style that's an alternative to replacing wooden cabinets with glass fronts. 

Around 3.8 million Americans will update their kitchens this year, spending an average of $48,000 to pay professionals to remodel for them. This is because houses are sold, new people come in, and they don't like the style of cabinetry, even though it's just recently been done. But these costs can be dramatically cut by doing some of the designing and actual work yourself.