The kitchen is the heart of your home and the room where most families spend the bulk of their time – from catching up on the day’s news to doing homework or sorting mail. No wonder it’s the room that gets the most attention from homebuyers. While buyers may not think twice about repainting a bedroom or living room, many will walk away if the kitchen requires a significant remodel.
If you’re considering a kitchen remodel, and you’re keeping an eye on the real estate market for a move a year or two down the road, there are a number of dos and don’ts you’ll want to think about as you plan your kitchen renovation. Below is a list of seven updates that we’ve found are the most important.

1. Energy efficient appliances: Whether you’re going for the look of commercial-style cooktops and appliances or you want something a little homier, there’s no reason to waste energy. For example, many ENERGY STAR refrigerators built today use the same or less energy in one year as a 60-watt light bulb. And dishwashers, on average, deliver water and energy savings of 50 to 75 percent compared to older models.

2. Bright and efficient lighting: A dark kitchen is both a difficult place in which to work and a difficult place to sell. But that doesn’t mean you have to install can lighting or overhead fluorescent lights to brighten the kitchen. Consider a variety of lighting fixtures – from pendants to sconces, under cabinet lights to even toe kick lights – all of which can be found in energy efficient LED options. And don’t forget about the natural light you can bring into your kitchen with strategically-placed windows, transoms and skylights.

3. Pull-out drawers: Want to make your life easier and make potential buyers fall in love with your kitchen? Add pull-out drawers and organizers to your cabinets that make all your pots, pans and pantry items organized and easily accessible.

4. Charging stations: Our homes today proliferate with electronic gadgets, all of which need charging. To keep your countertops from collecting phones, tablets, laptops and toys, consider putting in place a charging station with multiple outlets. Even better, and if you have the room, create charging drawers that will keep gadgets out of the way and spaghetti to a minimum.

5. Updated countertops: From granite to quartz, engineered stone to recycled glass, there are wide variety of styles, finishes, colors and textures to create the perfect look for your kitchen. New countertops can make a huge difference in your kitchen’s look and operation, and they are a great way to grab a potential buyer’s attention online and get them to your home for a showing.

6. New cabinets: If you’re remodeling your kitchen, new cabinets, new cabinet fronts or sometimes a new coat of paint can transform your kitchen, making what was once outdated and difficult to use a functional and attractive space. While you can always go with custom cabinetry, you can save on costs by sticking with standard sizes. Refacing your cabinets by replacing doors and drawer fronts and placing a new veneer on the cabinet boxes is another way to save, especially if you like your current cabinet layout and functionality. If you’re just looking for a refresh, painting your cabinets can make a big difference too.

7. Island living: If you have the room, consider adding an island to your kitchen for additional workspace. You can put one in that incorporates a cooktop or sink, or you can consider something smaller, like a butcher block island on wheels. Whatever you do, make sure that you have enough clearance on all sides of the island to make it workable. A good rule of thumb is to plan for a walk space around the island that is at least 36 inches wide.

If you’re considering a kitchen renovation, Firenza Stone is your one-stop kitchen remodeling company. The designers at our Firenza Stone showroom can help you plan your kitchen remodel and help you navigate available material options and design choices. And when you’re ready to get your project started, Transitions by Firenza can take on and manage the process for you, from start to finish.

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