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When it comes to kitchens, they’re often the centerpiece in every home. Whether for large family dinner parties or coffee for two, kitchens mean comfort and everyone seems to gravitate towards them. So, if you’re remodeling yours, here are 6 things you’ll want to include.

Center Island

A kitchen island is a focal point and if you have space and room, you’ll want to put extra effort into making this feature stand out. Islands are multifunctional. They serve as extra space for food prep, seating, and storage so making yours functional is key.

One functional bonus to a kitchen island is that it can accommodate a farmhouse kitchen sink or a smaller one for rinsing foods as you prep. Or, you can have a stove or flat-top griddle in this space. Hanging pots and pans above is another great use of space for kitchen islands.

Specialized Storage

Having storage specifically designed for your small appliances or microwave is a must-have in the kitchen these days. One form of such space is an appliance garage. An appliance garage is a fancy term for the space that hides your kitchen appliances. Ideally, this space will be equipped with outlets, shelves, and a cabinet door. You can use it to store your blender, toaster, crockpot, and more! And since you’ve installed electrical outlets, you can set the space up so that all you have to do is plug the appliance in.

Another functional use of an appliance garage, other than saving space on your countertops, is to set it up as your coffee bar. Mugs can be stored on a rack or shelves and coffee making supplies can occupy the counter space next to your coffee maker. When you’re done, you simply shut the door. Out of sight, out of mind, and out of the way!

Upgraded Cabinetry

Cabinetry is one of the most expensive factors in a kitchen remodel but there are ways to upgrade without replacing your existing pieces. Unless your cabinetry is falling apart or broken, consider painting it and adding new hardware. Modern kitchens often have multi-tone cabinetry too, so consider painting your bottom cabinets a different complementary color than your top.

Some other things to keep in mind when it comes to cabinetry is functionality. If you can, make space to house your trash and recycling. Remove some doors to create open space for ease of access and to showcase your fine china. Take out that pesky lazy Susan in the corner cabinet and install shelves instead.

Appealing Light Fixtures

One of the first things that draws attention in a kitchen is the lighting and it shouldn’t be overlooked in a kitchen remodel. Light fixtures should match or compliment your hardware and provide adequate brightness to the space.

Placement of lighting is key as well. If you have an island, there should be a light directly overhead. Lighting should also be installed in darker areas over countertops, too, and a strategic placement under your top cabinetry is ideal for food prep. Your stove area should also be well lit. Lighting styles vary widely, so take your time when choosing kitchen fixtures.

Durable Countertops

Countertops are another high ticket item when it comes to replacement but you’ll want to make an effort to fit it in your budget. While marble or granite are the most durable, they’re also pricey and quartz is a great alternative.

The important thing is durability. Softer countertops are harder to maintain and sustain damage more easily than those made out of stone. So, keep in mind how often certain surfaces get used and mix and match if needed! Modern kitchens utilize different mediums for counter surfaces so if you can’t afford stone tops all around, consider it for your island at the very least.

Fresh Paint

If you don’t have much room in your budget, or the bulk of it is tied up in other costly remodeling projects, nothing brightens up a kitchen like a coat of fresh paint. Choose your paint wisely, though, because kitchens are high traffic areas.

Experts recommend using semi-gloss paint for kitchens as it’s easier to wipe off grime and grease. You should also consider mixing and matching colors for this space. If your cabinets are painted, choose white or light tones to compliment them. If your cabinets are wood or white, you can throw some color up on those walls to make the cabinets pop. Just be sure your colors compliment each other.

Kitchen remodels are expensive, but they can be fun and rewarding to plan and complete. It’s exciting to see it all come together!