Erica Kalkofen: Consider a partial kitchen or bath remodel |

Erica Kalkofen: Consider a partial kitchen or bath remodel

Remodeling Today
Erica Kalkofen
Winter Park, CO Colorado

So, you have decided to update your kitchen, but don’t want to do a full remodeling project right now? Here are three ways to improve your kitchen or bath and make it feel like new.

These three recommendations assume that the cabinets are still OK. If the finish is not peeling, the hinges are secure, and the slides and drawer boxes are tight, then you can choose one or all of the following.

By updating appliances, paint and counters in your kitchen or bath you will get a fresh, new look. If, however, the cabinets are falling apart, then consider waiting to do a complete remodel.

Appliances are the first area. It is key to measure the existing spaces for each appliance before shopping. Knowing the height, width and depth of each appliance, as well as whether it is gas or electric will help your selections go more smoothly.

Choose your new color. While stainless is popular, it does come at a premium. Consider all black appliances instead to save money. Some companies are making a “stainless-look” that is considerably lower in price.

Most new appliances are more energy efficient and Energy Star rated, which could qualify you for rebates. Check with your appliance sales person or the Government Energy Office for rebate details. Replacing appliances comes with a nice benefit: They can be installed in a relatively short timeframe.

The second major way to freshen up your kitchen or bath is with paint. Walls, cabinets, floors, and even counters are candidates for paint. Most people opt to do walls only, which is by far the easiest project and will have the most impact.

Color palettes are far and wide and your personal tastes shine here. Design professionals and paint stores can advise on color choices and color placement. All major paint companies will have pre-selected paint palettes each year, making it easy to select a fresh look for your home.

The nice thing about paint is that it can be updated and changed quickly. Most companies offer a trial size of the color you are considering, to see if it works in your kitchen. Use it on the wall directly, or paint a piece of drywall and prop it against the wall you are considering painting. Either way, you will get a preview of your new color.

Finally, counters can be replaced relatively easily, depending on the material and the installation. Laminate is usually recommended for a counter replacement and comes in a wide variety of colors, some of which mimic stone, for a fraction of the price of stone. Depending on the counters that are coming out, you may want to hire a professional. Tile and stone are particularly difficult to handle. Consult a professional if concerned.

All three options can be completed within a short period of time, at a modest fee, and results in a new look for an existing kitchen or bath, giving your home fresh appeal.

– Erica Kalkofen is an Independent Kitchen Designer based in Winter Park. Email her at

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