Ask anyone and they will tell you that the kitchen is the heart of the home. But it wasn’t always that way. Having recently visited picturesque Charleston, SC, I was reminded of the fact that at one time kitchens were detached from the main house in case of an inopportune fire.
In the past 200 years or so, the kitchen has migrated from the back of the house to front and center, taking its newfound position as the heart of the home. Whereas they were once seen as messy places to hide, the kitchen has evolved into a family hub of sorts. Everyone gathers in this utilitarian space to grab a bite before heading out the door, children do their homework there, mail is sorted on the kitchen counter, and meals are prepared for the evening.
Part of the reason for this paradigm shift is due to significant changes in societal roles. As women joined the work force, they subsequently left behind the role of preparing meals for the entire family. With teens packing their own lunches and fathers now making dinner for the entire family, the kitchen has seen the need to expand in order to accommodate several family members at once.
With this shift in the importance of the kitchen, potential homebuyers are on the hunt for open concept luxury kitchens, with larger than life islands, breakfast bars and wine fridges to boot. In fact, realtors will attest that remodeled or gourmet kitchens are highly coveted by potential homebuyers. In other words, buyers are willing to pay big bucks for a well-designed kitchen.
If you are looking to sell your home in the near future or are just feeling the need to upgrade your kitchen, below are some considerations to get the best bang for your buck.
Stainless Steel Appliances
In today’s market, homebuyers expect stainless steel appliances and when they do not see them, they are already calculating how much it will cost them to make this upgrade. Changing out white, bisque or black appliances for sleek stainless steel ones will almost instantly give your kitchen a much-needed boost. Commercial grade appliances, like Wolf ranges, are even more sought after, depending on the neighborhood of course.
Not everyone wants to invest in granite, quartz, soapstone, or marble countertops, but today’s buyer is highly educated in design matters. Even if you go for Corian, concrete or butcher block (this works best as an island or in rustic kitchens), it is best to stay away from outdated Formica countertops. Disclaimer: If you are looking to sell, be sure to stay competitive by researching which types of countertops are in the comps in your neighborhood.
Custom or Upgraded Cabinets
Cabinets make up a significant amount of the kitchen and as such, the better the quality, the better the overall design. Choosing cabinets can be complex, but try to opt for wood cabinets versus a composite type of cabinet. Because cabinets are used on a daily basis, they can suffer a lot of wear and tear, especially if the quality is poor. But just because you have wood cabinets doesn’t mean you shouldn’t paint them. White, navy, gray, and greige cabinets are really trending right now.
If replacing cabinets is not an option, refacing them or painting them works too. This is especially true if the quality is good, but the stain just looks outdated. I would recommend getting a professional to re-paint your cabinets.
Maybe it’s because we love Turkey Day or because we all secretly want to be Wolfgang Puck, but people are in love with kitchen islands. As a person who went from not having an island to having a pretty large island, I can confirm that this is probably my favorite feature of my kitchen. I have plenty of room to spread out my ingredients and to even set up my computer to download my favorite recipes while I am prepping. Research also shows that homebuyers love islands.
Even though restaurants are more popular than ever in our society, kitchens still hold high regard in the hearts of homeowners. And according to realtors and designers that is one fact you can take all the way to the bank.