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Ten top tips to give your kitchen a makeover

Dear Heather,

My kitchen is looking a bit tired. I canít afford to replace it. What can I do to cheer it up?


Dear Homeowner,

You can go ahead and gut your kitchen to make it all fancy and new but if you want to upgrade the form and function without all the effort and expense, itís easier than you think. These ten tips can make a real difference in how much you enjoy your space:

1, Get a new silverware tray

Seriously, how long has it been since you changed that thing? With so many options today, you donít have to settle for that cheap, plastic tray thatís too small for all your silverware. I like expandable trays that can fit just about any drawer. While youíre at it, pick up one of those cool knife mats. Itís an easy way to keep your knives organised without having a huge block taking up your valuable counter space.

2, Organise your cabinets

If you have those big, open cabinets in your kitchen, you probably have an unkempt pile of pots and pans and lids and Tupperware and serving pieces. Adding some hardware, like a two-tier pull-out wire basket storage system will organise your cabinet while increasing your available storage space. Sort out all your other cabinets and clean them, replace the shelving paper if you have it. Be ruthless. Throw away anything you havenít used recently or anything you have two of, or any foodstuffs that are out of date. You might be surprised at the extra cabinet space that you discover.

3, Buy a gel mat

Boring purchase? Maybe. But a gel mat can help your back and legs from getting fatigued whilst standing at the sink. If you spend a good amount of time in the kitchen, an addition like this is probably way overdue.

4, Update cabinets, add knobs and pulls

Itís like jewellery for your kitchen but itís surprising how many homeowners fail to incorporate this bit of sparkle, despite how easy and inexpensive it can be. Sometimes cabinets can be spruced up with a couple of coats of paint or just the doors and drawer faces can be replaced ó a lot cheaper than replacing your whole kitchen.

5, Add glass panel inserts

If you are handy at DIY, you can transform any of your upper kitchen cabinets with glass panels for a modern look that also brings in light. If youíre going to give it a go, ask for 3/16Ē thick, double-strength glass. Order glass panels 1/8Ē smaller than the recess in the frame. You can use clear or smoked glass.

6, Add a tile runner

You donít have to tile your whole kitchen to get some impact. In this space, a strip of colourful tile above the stove as a back splash creates a focal point.

7, Add some lighting

Installing lighting on cabinets isnít just a practical improvement. It can make the whole room glow, especially if you take a multidirectional approach. Adding uplighting from energy-efficient LED tape on the top cabinets, and task lighting from LED under-cabinet fixtures on the bottom cabinet can give your kitchen a new glow, help set a mood, and also provide a practical alternative to having your overhead lights on.

8, Get a toaster oven

But not your momís toaster oven. Todayís versions can do so much more. Some models fit on your countertop but can hold two 12Ē pizzas, two 9Ē x 13Ē casseroles or two cake pans, have a revolving rotisserie and a convention oven mode. In other words, they do everything ó and maybe more ó that your oven can do, in less space and using less energy.

9, Clean your counter

Do you really need that cookie jar on your counter top? Can you use a collapsible wooden drying rack for your dishes instead of the plastic version that your mom bought you when you moved in? Declutter and find some practical alternatives to clear counter space.

10, New colour scheme

Buy yourself some new fabric, or curtains. You will be amazed at the impact of new colours, dishtowels, wall hangings, art work, plants, clock etc. Google the trendiest colours and themes which will help brighten your space. Be creative and have fun.

Whether you are thinking of selling or not, some new touches in your kitchen will help make coming home better than ever!

ē Heather Chilvers is among Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realtyís leading sales representatives. She has been working in real estate for 27 years. If you have a question for Heather, please contact her at hchilvers@brcl.bm or 332-1793. All questions will be treated in confidence. Read this article on Facebook: Ask Heather Real Estate