Oct15

5 Simple Steps to Create the Classiest Kitchen in the Neighborhood

by Dan Jones on October 15, 2013 @ 10:09am

in Design & Planning,Design on a Budget,Posts by Guest Contributors

Who doesn’t want a classy kitchen? One that will wow the neighbors and everyone will love at holidays and dinner parties. Here are five features to update in your kitchen—without completely remodeling it—that will make it the classiest in the neighborhood.

Cabinets

Maple kitchen cabinets with glass doors

Glass doors in the cabinets surrounding the range add interest to the design.

At eye level, the cabinets are usually the first aspect people notice, and in order to make a great first impression, the cabinets need to be great. Add some decorative accents to your cabinets, such as crown molding on the top, valances, or even finish molding on the bottom. You can also get decorative countertop or shelf supports to add a bit more glamour and can add a cabinet or two with glass doors to store your decorative dishes while showing them off. New knobs for the fronts can provide a last bit of flair.

Appliances

White kitchen with stainless steel appliances

A consistency in appliance finish brings class to this two-tone kitchen.

The appliances should all be the same color and need to go well with the cabinet color. Usually stainless steel, black, or white are good choices—while the market today may have more colorful options, sticking to the neutral tones will keep closer to the classy and sophisticated, rather than “fun” look. When you do not want to spend money on brand new appliances, check with the manufacturer: they may sell replacement doors or front panels. If that is not an option, laminate paper can also be used.

Countertops

Colorful granite in green kitchen

Granite counters with rich color and texture pop in this already colorful kitchen.

Bad countertops will detract from the rest of the kitchen, no matter how lovely your cabinets or appliances are. If you have white or black cabinets, a colored countertop can add a bit of color to the kitchen. If you want a tile countertop, install 10″ to 12″ tile rather than a smaller tile to keep to the “classy” rather than a “country” look, and keep away from small patterns for the same reason. Many stores have clearance tile or laminate, and some have overstock sales. Just do a quick search, like “countertops Edmonton”, and see what you can find in your area.

Flooring

White kitchen with interesting wood flooring

Unique wood flooring perfectly complements the simplicity of the white cabinetry.

Choose a flooring that is not only durable and easy to clean but also complements the rest of the kitchen. A dark floor with light cabinets or a light floor with dark cabinets can add a touch of class, as does a matching floor and cabinets with a contrasting countertop. Tile, linoleum, or wood are popular choices, because they can be just as classy as granite or marble but for a lower price. Just be sure that whatever you choose has the durability you need and will not be a slipping hazard when wet.

Lighting

White kitchen with island and good lighting

Many windows in addition to overhead, under cabinet, and pendant lighting create the perfect lighting plan.

Insufficient lighting can make even the classiest kitchen dark and dingy. The general guideline is to have 100 watts for every 50 square feet with optional dimmers installed. Another trick is to layer your lighting by applying a combination of ceiling lighting, wall lighting, and even floor lighting. This can include your ceiling lights, under the cabinet lights, and maybe a lamp or two. Lamps are to not only provide more light layers but also a splash of color.

Make the most of your natural lighting, too. Sheer blinds or curtains let more light in to brighten the room. If your walls and window treatments are close to the same color it creates a seamless look to the room, making it seem larger and more sophisticated.

Updating your kitchen does not have to be long, arduous, expensive work. Modernizing just a few things at a time can keep the stress levels—as well as the bills—low and manageable. Before you know it, you will have the classiest kitchen on the block.

Author: Nina Hiatt researches and writes articles to help people find balance and beauty in their personal space through landscape and interior design. In her free time, Nina blogs about many of her interests, which include gardening, technology news, and baking.

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