Thanksgiving has come and gone, and so have the last of the relatives. After dropping them off at the train or airport, or simply waving goodbye to guests last Thursday, there’s thoughts that many of us share. “How do I stay awake after eating so much..?” “I wonder who’s gonna win the game (usually football)?” “How do I fit all these leftovers in the fridge..? Maybe I need a bigger refrigerator..” And just like that, some of us are already thinking about how to do Thanksgiving differently, or better, next time.
Some of us want longer tables; some of us want comfier chairs for our guests or a refurbished powder room. There’s lots of ways to make your house more inviting and not all of them cost a fortune. Most people who are serious about cooking, though, tend to think of one room above all others: the kitchen.
Your table linens can be crisply folded and your Thanksgiving centerpiece can be flawless. But Thanksgiving is almost as much about the food served as it is about connecting with your loved ones. You want the meal to be delicious. Having the space you need to create the traditional holiday feast can be challenging, given the constraints of space and budget. You might be surprised at how big an impact even a small update to your kitchen can have.
We asked Sooz Wilson, Kingston’s Senior Designer, what kitchen improvements gave homeowners the most value, or that they appreciated the most over time. “You mean, the most bang for your buck, right?” Sooz said. Well, since you put it that way, Sooz, what are they?
Here’s a few tips from Sooz’s many years of design experience:
1 – If you only have the time or budget for a smaller update of your kitchen, there’s a few things you can do. Flooring can make a huge impact on your perception of the space, its attractiveness and comfort levels. You might not be able to tell when you’re standing on flooring that’s been recently replaced, but you’ll always notice if the floor you’re standing on shows visible wear or has missing tiles or worn-out spots.
2 – Can’t redo your whole kitchen? Maybe just focus on a backsplash or two. The areas behind stoves, sinks and countertops get a lot of wear and year. Jazzing them up with some trendy glass tiles or traditional enamel can make those old areas look new again. There’s so many options for materials and arrangements that for a relatively modest investment, your whole kitchen environment can be spruced up.
3. You’re itching to replace your old cabinets, but then your youngest kid needs braces. Or your dog needs to go to the vet, or the car needs to be fixed. The point is, life happens! Sometimes the bigger project has to be postponed, but your desire for some kind of change can’t wait. Why not replace your kitchen hardware? A shiny new faucet, cabinet handles and drawer pulls might not fix everything, but you’d be surprised how much you’ll notice your new hardware. Others will, too.
4. Something about your counters bug you. They seem kind of..not old, exactly, but not shiny and new. They’re solid, though, and you don’t see the point of replacing them yet. How to brighten up the countertop area and bring some new life to it? How about some under-cabinet lighting? Putting light directly above where you’re doing your food prep and wiping up spills makes everything brighter and easier on the eyes.
5. Let’s say you’re a serious cook and your countertops have seen some action, and the extra light from under-cabinet lights wouldn’t do them any favors. It might be worth it to you to replace them. Short of redoing your entire kitchen, smooth new counter surface is one of the fixes that can have the biggest effect on your perception of, and use of, your kitchen. Because countertops comprise so much of the surface area in the room, new tops will make the whole room sparkle a little more.
If your budget allows for a little more of an update than these items, but not for redesigning the entire space, consider a pull and replace with updated cabinets.
Some of us at Kingston are serious cooks, and some of us don’t mind Thanksgiving at the diner or with Chinese food takeout. Everyone’s traditions are different. We all agree, though, that a kitchen that is bright and accessible, that looks clean and organized is more inviting. Give your kitchen a thorough once-over and make yourself a punchlist of projects that will help make your next Thanksgiving your best one ever.
Feel free to give Kingston a call* for some ideas if you need help getting started. We’re here for you. Our clients, and your kind recommendations to friends, are one of the things we are always grateful for..!
We hope your Thanksgiving was excellent. Have a great week..!
— Team Kingston
* = (703) 323-6527