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Spaces That Cook – Attractive Kitchen Remodeling Ideas

By Expert Author: Keron Ingram

The idea of a remodeled kitchen may be attractive, but the price tag may not be. There are quick and relatively painless ways to give a kitchen a new look, while remaining well below the national average cost for a minor kitchen remodel of $18,500, or the cost of major overhaul— around $54,000.

Since cabinets make up one-third of the average total kitchen remodeling budget, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, they are a good place to start. New cabinets don't have to be custom-made, and in fact, they don't even have to be new.

Updating existing cabinets can be done by replacing cabinet doors and drawer fronts and using wood veneer on the existing "box" structure. The styles of the door replacements are endless and can be created inexpensively.

A custom-cabinet look can be achieved using wallpaper or fabric to cover unattractive or outdated cabinet doors. To use wallpaper, the cabinets must first be painted with semi-gloss interior latex paint. Once the paint is dry, pieces of wallpaper can be cut to fit the recessed panel and affixed to the cabinet with spray adhesive. A thin coat of decoupage medium can be applied over the paper and the kitchen has a completely new look.

If the look and texture of fabric is desired, the look can be achieved using a jigsaw to cut out the door center, and a router to create a small ledge to hold the fabric. The fabric panel can be wrapped around a 1/4-inch-thick frame of wood which is nailed to the back of the door pieces of wood.

Tile works as a backsplash, and it can work on a cabinet door as well. Glass tile can be applied using tile adhesive. The tile doesn't need to be grouted, but if grout is applied, cabinet hinges need to be strong enough to hold the extra weight added by the grout.

Simply removing some doors from upper cabinets can change the look, especially when the interior surfaces of the cabinet are painted with a rich color to provide depth and interest.

Appliances are another costly item to replace. If an appliance comes with a frame for a face panel, old, nicked-up panels can be replaced with new ones in a stainless steel sheet or a wood finish. If appliances come without frames, panel kits can be custom-ordered to fit, still at a cost far less than replacing the appliance.

What about metal appliances that have lost their shine? Metal surfaces can be re-painted by an appliance refinisher or an auto body shop for about $100 (oven or dishwasher door) to $300 (whole fridge). The do-it-yourselfer can make use of stainless steel paint to give white appliances the stainless look.

To keep costs down, a tired laminate countertop can be painted in a brighter, more updated color to make the kitchen pop. The costs are minimal and most homeowners can complete the process in one day. To replace Laminate countertops, prices start at under $10 per square foot for the least expensive material, and average about $20 - $50 per square foot.

One of the least expensive (and most forgotten) fixes is washing windows and window coverings for a brighter look. Even a tired kitchen can look cheerier with sunlight flooding in through clean windows.

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