Whether you’ve been in your house for thirty years, moving into a new-to-you place, or building a starter home, the kitchen is arguably the most important room. And as the most important room, upgrading the kitchen in any way, shape, or form breathes life into your entire house while raising the spirits of all who live there. Regardless your stage in the homeowners’ journey, the option exists to update and upgrade aspects of your kitchen, and though it sometimes seems overwhelming, it is always worthwhile.
We at About Halifax realize that it isn’t always feasible to completely turn-over a kitchen and start anew because sometime’s budgets are thin, sometimes time is tight, or sometimes projects just don’t start. We did something to combat this. We pulled together four different aspects that you can upgrade separately or all together, to help spice up your kitchen under budget and without a serious time commitment.
One of the first decisions that need making when building or redoing a kitchen is the countertops. And what a decision it is! The bevy of options available means you no longer just pick a colour, but the material and style as well. With the kitchen being the focal point of most houses, style is the first consideration when looking at countertops, followed by durability and budget.
For the longest time, granite was the epitome of kitchen countertops, though this has changed in recent years. Known for being high-maintenance, homeowners are shying away from granite and opting for quartz or premium laminate. Quartz is considerably more stain-resistant and as colourful as granite while costing roughly the same. If you’re on a budget, however, opt for a premium laminate, as it costs 80% less than both granite and quartz while being more durable.
If you want to stray from the standard fare, other premium options are available like concrete and marble. Like the granite, quartz, and laminate above, they are premium options that come with pros and cons. Depending on the style and design scheme of your kitchen, incorporating a butcher block is an easy way to bring a practical, character piece into your kitchen.
If countertops are the icing, cabinets are the cake. Nothing draws the eye of a kitchen visitor than your cabinet, which is why it’s crucial to pick the proper colour and style. Contrary to what most think, base cabinets are the of the eye focus rather than wall cabinets. This suggests focusing on both a blend of both style and functionality when picking the bottom units. What is important to note is many base cabinets are switching to drawers rather than cupboards, because of the simple access they provide and their economic design with storage capacity.
For cabinet materials, you have lots of options. Both melamine (particle) board and plywood are relatively cheap and are available in a high-quality finish. Plywood is ideal for wall cabinets because of its overall lightweight. However, if you plan on only installing base cabinets, opt for the heavier particle board to save a couple bucks.
As your budget increases, so do your options. The most popular material tends is cherry which offers a dark, classic and professional look. However, depending on the overall kitchen colour scheme, a lighter, exotic colour like bamboo may be better. Regardless of the material, you can paint, glaze, or texture cabinets easily. This is a great option when moving into a new home and don’t want to replace an entire kitchen worth of cabinets.
If cabinets are the cake, and countertops are the icing, backsplashes are the candles. They are the perfect opportunity for you to add flair and personality to your kitchen. Regardless if it’s a new build, a total reno, or a standalone project, installing backsplash is a relatively easy and unintrusive project that anyone can do.
When choosing a colour or style, you’ll want to focus on the high-impact zones of your kitchen. These are areas that draw the eye, like bare walls around the stove or above the sink. Depending on the size of these areas, you’ll want a backsplash style that can stand alone, whether that means a distinctive colour or a pattern that pops. You’ll want to let the countertop act as the primary colour and backsplash as the secondary colour. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can mix and match styles of backsplashes and countertops. For example, a marble countertop and brushed metal backsplash offer enough contrast in material and colour to highlight both components.
When you’re looking to buck the norm, consider an eco-friendly backsplash option. Cork tile, for example, provides a neutral colour that works in any kitchen while providing an alternative that’s easy on the environment. A bamboo backsplash is another earth-friendly option. It will provide a light contrast to darker cabinets like cherry or mahogany, or act as a highlight white fixtures. And you’re looking for a budget backsplash, subway tile is available and easy to install.
Pendant lighting is great for kitchens, as their height is adjustable and they are available as single units. This allows you to mix-and-match depending on different styles you like or if you’re trying to compliment certain kitchen fixtures. We covered pendant lighting here, where we explained how they work style-wise and the best options available in Halifax.
Depending on the natural lighting available, you may opt for drum lighting. Drum lights hang similarly to pendant lights, though they are much larger and hold multiple light bulbs. Rather than providing a small and limited light source, drum lights throw tonnes of light throughout a kitchen. Some local Halifax options include Grand View Drum Light from Wayfair and the Penshaw Chandelier from Style52.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention chandeliers on a list of kitchen lighting. Because a chandelier is a light fixture with ‘branched lights’, many iterations and styles fit into this definition. Rather than classic ornate chandeliers which we all know for memory, try one of these ultra-modern mobile-styled fixtures. Because technically they are still chandeliers you can brag to your friends that you have a fancy light fixture while they do not. It’s the important things in life that matter, right?