Do you need a kitchen suitable for preparing fabulous gourmet dinner parties or do you simply want to prepare healthful meals for your family? Whether you’re entertaining the jet set or making a snack for your children, you’ll want a kitchen that is convenient to work in, and enjoyable to spend time in.

Aside from your major appliances, your cabinets are probably the most important asset to a great kitchen. So if you’re starting from scratch, plan the layout carefully and have accurate measurements, or have a professional help with this. You can also get great ideas for kitchen floor plans online. If you just want to give your old cabinets a facelift, there are several ways to do this. If they’re made from solid wood and you don’t like the finish, consider stripping and restraining or repainting them. If that sounds too overwhelming just refinishing or replacing all or some of the doors is another option. For example, replacing one or two upper doors with glass, punched tin, fabric or even chicken wire might be the answer. Or simply remove a door or two to make an open shelf area to display dishes or collectibles. How about just replacing hardware – there are lots of styles available to give your kitchen a whole new look.


A new countertop is another option. The choices range from granite in a multitude of colors, to butcher block, to the new laminates which can look like stone, wood, or whatever appeals to you, to ceramic tile, concrete or even glass. Don’t be afraid to mix a couple of these in different areas, for example butcher block or ceramic tile in the food prep area and a coordinating laminate elsewhere.

If your dream kitchen includes an island, you may want it to match your cabinets, or make it a focal point by using different material on the top, or paint it a contrasting color. If you don’t use your kitchen for dining, you still might enjoy a spot such as an island or small table where you can have your morning coffee or a late-night snack.

Unless your kitchen is just a room you walk through to get to the next room, you’ll want the floor to be durable as well as attractive. Some popular choices are vinyl, laminate, wood, stone, or ceramic tile. There is also carpeting made especially for kitchens. These also can be used in combination. Just be sure that hard surfaces are the same level for safety.

The walls are a great place to give your kitchen a quick change, and reflect your personal taste. Whether you choose to paint, wallpaper, or install wood, tile or paneling, be sure it is washable. The use of wood as a wainscot, with painted walls or wallpaper above it gives a nice country look, if that is your style. Or, the use of ceramic, or stone, or metal tiles as a backsplash could create a focal point. The colors and styles of wall treatments available today will astound you when you start looking around.

Giving your windows the treatment they deserve is important too. You probably won’t want heavy drapes, unless you have a formal dining area in your kitchen, but there are many other coverings available. If privacy is not an issue, you might want to try something different, such as surrounding the window with small kitchen utensils, or baskets etc. A few small well- placed hooks will help to accomplish this and you can change the look on a whim.

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