It’s kind of a no-brainer that when it comes to home updates, the kitchen is where it’s at. Giving your kitchen a new look not only makes being in there all the time more enjoyable, it’s one of the best ways to make a return on your investment – if you happen to be in the market for selling your home soon. Even if you aren’t looking to sell, upgrading certain features to you kitchen will still add value if you focus on furnishings that are durable as well as stylish. We’re not talking about scrapping everything and starting from scratch, but a minor remodel can do you a world of good. Here are the top 5 projects to focus on for a fresh new feel to your frequently used room.

1. Countertops

So much work happens right here on this space. Replacing your countertops instantly changes the feel of your kitchen and as a feature that gets most of the action, it’s beyond deserving of an upgrade that can withstand all the wear and tear while still enhancing your decorative appeal. The first thing you want to consider is fitting the look you’re aiming for into your budget. Sure, at the root of it, it just needs to function, but you don’t want to sacrifice endurance for economy. Quartz is an engineered material that combines nature with technology to produce a countertop that doesn’t stain, will not scratch, and can handle any temperature you throw at it. It’s also available in a variety of styles that’s sure to match whatever aesthetic you’re aiming for.

2. Cabinet Refacing

To clarify, the difference between a remodel and renovation is mostly cosmetic. You’re not making drastic structural changes and you’re only upgrading a few things. So when it comes to cabinets, you could spring for something custom built, or you could work with what you’ve got and put your efforts into refacing. Refacing the cabinets includes a new veneer for the shell, new hinges/hardware for drawers and doors, new drawers and doors, and new handles. Space/storage issues can be eliminated with the smart use of shelves or hooks for pantry items and dishes alike, but give the exterior a facelift. You can even upgrade the safety of your cabinets by adding hinges that catch at a certain point, and slowly close. No more smashed fingers for you or your kids!

3. Flooring

Again, you’ve got options. There are natural to synthetic materials, and like with countertops, you want to choose something that fits your budget and flair that’s going to last a long time. There will be spills and foot traffic unlike in any other room. Tile is a classic standard, but it’s subject to cracking with foundational shifts or the accidental dropping of heavy things (like a small, but hefty appliance) on it. Just remember to also consider the subflooring. Wear and tear and the potential for water damage makes this factor of your flooring just as important as the finished product. 

4. Backsplash

This may not be news to you, but installing a decorative backsplash is still very in style and adds that last finishing touch to really pull a kitchen together. Whether you go for a sleek glass tile pattern, ceramics, or something more rustic like cork or vinyl wood, adding a backsplash not only adds decorative detail, but it protects your walls from messes – y’know, backsplash from cooking. These surfaces are easier to clean as they aren’t prone to chipping like paint.

5. Paint

Honestly, it’s standard for any home makeover. Paint is perhaps the simplest of ways to breathe new life into a tired, old room. With more options than you probably care to have, the world is your oyster in terms of color. The job can be handed off to professionals or done by you. Just take all the proper precautions for minimizing messes and accidents. Planning to paint your kitchen along with any or all of these upgrades gives you the freedom to reimagine your kitchen the way you want to, and not be limited by having to pick a floor that matches the paint. Much easier to go the other way around. 

Final Thoughts

The other key difference between a renovation and a remodel is often price. But just because you aren’t making structural changes, doesn’t mean you won’t creep close to the price range of a renovation with this remodel. Undertaking each of these projects definitely still qualifies as a remodel, but it will drive up the price. But you know what? It’s your kitchen. The only thing holding you back is the purse strings. Work as you’re able, and even if you only attend two of these five parties, you’ll still wind up with a beautiful new kitchen you can’t stay away from.