Whether you give your kitchen a new look with a few tasteful upgrades or rip it out and start over, being creative where you cook is the key.
We asked kitchen remodeling and design pros for examples of what can be done, and at what cost. Here are six projects that fall in the $37,000 to $100,000 range. For each kitchen, we show a before and after view, with details of the work done and the materials and appliances used.
The good news: Kitchen remodels are among the most cost-effective home projects, recouping 80 to 85 percent of their cost when a home is sold, according to Remodeling magazine.
1) From Snug …
BEFORE: This outdated kitchen in Sacramento, Calif., needed more than a face lift. The counter height and lack of space made it nearly impossible for the resident, who uses a wheelchair, to prepare a meal.
… to Spacious
Designer: Darius Baker, an award-winning California contractor.
AFTER: The widened doorways, lower counters and open floor plan make this kitchen highly accessible. There are roll-out shelves, Lazy Susans and a sink that is wheelchair-accessible. The finishing touches: stainless-steel appliances and granite countertops.
2) From Bleak …
BEFORE: As part of an addition onto the back of the house, the homeowner wanted a bigger kitchen with a breakfast area. This Houston home was built as a 1930s-style English cottage, and the homeowner thought the kitchen wasn’t reflective of the home’s original design.
… to Sleek
Designer: William L. Shaw Jr., winner of five Texas 2007 Star Awards for kitchen design.
AFTER: By adding space, the kitchen area was truly transformed. New cabinetry, granite countertops and layout make the kitchen feel more organized and functional.
This was an expensive renovation, but some of the stainless-steel appliances were reused, and the original oak floor planking was restored.
3) From Cheap …
BEFORE: The homeowners of this kitchen in Tallahassee, Fla., wanted a complete overhaul. The washer and dryer were in the kitchen, while the 1960s feel and layout left much to be desired.
… to Chic
Designer: Rachel and Michael Stiles, owners of Kitchen Solvers.
AFTER: By arranging the kitchen against the far wall, thereby flipping the layout, this renovation gained a lot of space. New cabinets and Corian countertops complete the picture, making for an attractive, economical overhaul.
The tile floors, backsplash and new appliances added a more modern element.
4) From Outdated …
BEFORE: This kitchen in Houston needed some help. The layout and size were fine, but the owners wanted a face lift.
… to Out of This World
Designer: Amber Paulk, a well-known Fort Worth kitchen designer.
AFTER: By removing the fluorescent light box, wallpaper and appliances and replacing them with recessed lighting, a fresh coat of paint and new GE appliances, this kitchen was transformed.
As a simple rehab, the kitchen kept its original floors but went from outdated to updated seamlessly.
5) From Drab …
BEFORE: This homeowner in Dallas wanted to dress up the boring, sterile cabinetry and change the wallpaper. Just as important: creating more countertop space for buffet service as well as a brick niche for the cooktop area.
… to Fab
Designer: Corinne Danicki, well-known Dallas area kitchen designer.
AFTER: By reorganizing the layout of the kitchen, the designer added a large buffet island. New quartz countertops, cherry cabinets and KitchenAid appliances add to the new feel and decor of the kitchen.
The new focal point is the custom copper hood and the brick curved niche over the stove.
6) From ’80s …
BEFORE: This kitchen must have looked great in the 1980s, but the homeowners wanted an update as well as a second oven and new sink.
… to Elegant
Designer: Jessica Cannon of Fairfax Va., a kitchen designer from Expo Design Center.
AFTER: After a complete gutting of the kitchen, there was room to accommodate all of the homeowners’ requests. New tile floors, new cabinetry, new appliances, recessed lighting and breakfast bar are among the new additions. A second oven, as well as a warming drawer, a cast-iron undermount sink and granite countertops were also added.
For $70,000, these homeowners got a lot of value for their investment.
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