Do you spend a lot of time in your kitchen and feel like its time to breathe some new life into it? In recent years, kitchens have become the heart and soul of the home. This is the place where families gather; cooking and eating meals, working and studying, socializing and entertaining friends. This means that your kitchen remodeling plan should blend functionality and efficiency with attractive design that speaks to your personal style.
Use our comprehensive Remodeling Costs Guide to find out the average remodeling cost per square foot for a kitchen as well as many other popular home renovation projects.
You can also use our comprehensive Kitchen Remodel Cost Calculator to budget for your project.
Whether you are looking to do a complete renovation, or a quick, budget-friendly makeover, consider these 7 Inspiring Kitchen Remodeling Ideas, to create your dream space.
Attractive Backsplash Designs
One of design elements that can give your kitchen a personal and distinct look is the backsplash. Lately, this area has been transformed from a place that collects all the spills and stains from your cooking endeavors into one of the most attractive focal points in the kitchen. Popular materials for backsplashes include statuary marble, mosaic glass tile, natural stone and ceramic or porcelain tiles. Among all materials, the preference for glass splashes has skyrocketed over the last few years, while the use of ceramic tile and natural stone is slowly declining. If you are looking for a more dramatic or artistic look, consider extending your backsplash all the way to the ceiling.
Glass Mosaic Tile (12×12): $4.95/sq.ft – $22.95/sq.ft depending on the quality of glass and design.
Ceramic Tile (12×12): $0.68 -14.99/sq ft. Also, available are mosaic ceramic tile, priced at $4.37-26.40.
Natural Stone Tile (12×12): include marble, slate, granite and onyx and cost $2.99/sq.ft -$14.99/sq/ft, depending on material, with onyx being the most expensive.
Porcelain Tile (12×12): $0.99 -11.99/sq.ft. Also, available are mosaic porcelain tile, priced at $7.98-$11.98
The lighting you choose will play a key role in creating the overall ambiance of your kitchen. Being a multi-functional space, your kitchen should be properly equipped with different types of lighting that are suited for different purposes, such as task lighting, cabinet lighting, and smart systems that can be programmed for cooking, entertaining, or doing homework. You can also use accent lighting, such as chandeliers to dress up your kitchen and to also draw the eye to interesting surfaces. LED lighting is an ideal option for kitchens, not only because of its exceptional energy efficiency and longevity, but also because it is available in a wide range of colors, and can even be specified as color-changing fixtures.
Island Lights: Depending on the number of lights and the design, budget island lighting fixtures cost $50-100, while more premium options are $200-300
Chandeliers: can cost as low as $37 and go up to about $300 depending on the number of lights, brand and design.
Pendant Lights: can cost as little as $17, but on average cost $50-100
Under Cabinet LED Lighting: costs $20-50
Recessed LED Lighting: costs $20-100
Stylish and Functional Countertops
Nothing makes a kitchen look more dated that laminate or tile countertops. You will love the new look and feel of your kitchen, once you replace them with sleek, solid surface countertops. There is a wide range of material and color choices to fit any budget. Granite countertops still remain the all-time favorite, but quartz is quickly catching up. Quartz countertops are a little more expensive than granite, but offer a warmer, lighter look. Also, they don’t need to be sealed like granite, and are easy to clean up with just soap and water. Quartz is an ideal material for kitchen countertops, especially if you do a lot of cooking, because it does not absorb spills and does not stain.
To add a personal design touch, you can mix materials and colors between an island and the rest of your kitchen countertops, alternating between more typical granite options, and more unique ones, such as wood, marble and concrete.
Cost: Slab granite starts at $60 per sq.ft installed, but exponentially rises from there. The cost of quartz is between $67-93 per sq.ft installed.
Modern Cabinet Design
New cabinets top the list in kitchen remodeling projects. Most popular now are clean, simple, contemporary kitchen cabinets that still leave plenty of room for a personal touch. Modern cabinets are distinguished by the following characteristics: hidden hinges, soft close doors and drawers, full-overlay doors and drawer fronts, and frameless cabinet construction.
If you prefer wood cabinets, there is a steadily growing trend for darker finishes, such as cherry, while the popularity of light finishes, such as maple is continuing to decline. If you like the look of painted kitchen cabinets, white has consistently been the top choice for the past three years. This year, light grey hues are also surging in popularity, as this color is neutral, yet fits beautifully with a wide range of other design and color elements.
Two-toned cabinets are also a great option to consider if you are looking to add more visual interest to your kitchen. Typically the lower cabinet and oversized island are a different and darker color than the upper level cabinets, which may also have glass or open shelving.
For an ultra-modern look, consider cabinets with innovative surfaces, such as aluminum, bamboo, high-gloss lacquer, or semi-translucent glass. Premium exotic words, such as tiger wood, ebony, African mahogany, and many others are also gaining in popularity, especially in kitchens designed with an Asian flare.
For budget kitchen remodeling projects, consider refacing or refinishing your original cabinets rather than replacing them, which will be a lot more cost-effective.
Touch activated faucets
One of the must-haves in a modern kitchen is a touch – activated faucet. In terms of faucet finishes, satin nickel is steadily continuing to grow in popularity, but both bronze and oil-rubbed bronze are two new finishes that are also in high demand. On the other hand, polished nickel and polished chrome are quickly fading out of style.
Cost: Touch – activated faucets range in price between $300-400+ from brands like Delta, Grohe and Pilar.
Replacing old, dated flooring in kitchens is a big trend, with hardwood flooring being the top material of choice. Lighter wood colors, wider planks and a hand scraped look and feel are in. To save time and money on installation, consider engineered wood flooring, which is made from a plywood base with a real hardwood veneer. Another great flooring option to consider is porcelain tile manufactured to look like wood. It requires less maintenance than wood and offers much better tolerance to water.
Bamboo flooring: can cost as little as $1-2 for fairly low quality, and $4-7 for premium quality, sustainably harvested bamboo flooring.
Classic hardwood flooring: can cost $3-7/sq.ft for different domestic species, such as oak, maple, cherry, ash, etc, and $5-9/sq.ft for exotic species, such as tigerwood, rosewood, mahogany, etc. Sustainably harvested FSC certified wood species cost roughly $2-3 more/sq.ft than their unsustainable counterparts.
Engineered hardwood flooring: can cost $1.49 – 7.78/sq.ft, depending on the wood species.
Installing a stylish sink can be an easy update that can transform the tired look of your kitchen. A trend that continues to grow in popularity is deep bowl sinks, which offer the additional benefit of accommodating large pots and pans. While some people opt for a double bowl sink, the one bowl option remains a favorite. The material of choice is stainless steel, as it is durable, long lasting, and works well with both contemporary and traditional kitchen design.
Cost: A white acrylic deep kitchen sink (33 x 19″) can cost as low as $119, but most of these sinks in stainless steel start at $350 and go up to $900.Published/updated on: March 4, 2014