The kitchen can often be the space that people remember the most when searching for their dream home. Unfortunately, that may not always be a good thing.

We were asked to assist with getting a home ready to put on the market, including renovations and staging. The house was an old-timer, with some recent work done both inside and out. The kitchen wasn’t old, but it was certainly outdated. The cabinets were a dark cherry-brown colour, with a dark pink counter-top. The floor had tiles with an orange-beige mixture and a number of tiles were cracked due to inconsistencies in the floor. The room stuck out like a sore-thumb.

We wanted a renovation solution that would make potential buyers say “ooooohhh”, instead of “eeewwww”. We also wanted to go easy on the owners’ bank account, as there were a number of other renovations we were pushing to increase the market value and decrease the time on the market. For the flooring, we already had the owners sold on changing out the old laminate with new quality laminate in the adjacent living/family room flooring, so we suggested extending this flooring into the kitchen. This would give a more open feeling and would also work much better with the floor inconsistencies.

The cabinets were next. The new flooring was espresso, and the kitchen already felt a bit small, so we needed to make this space bright and roomy. We chose a cream colour (coconut espresso) for refinishing the cabinets. It is important to do your homework on the type of paint for refinishing your cabinets, as well the application process. The refinishing paint we purchased stated no sanding required; however, because of the existing dark colour and shine, we removed all the doors and sanded everything. This was messy and time consuming, but was definitely worth it. If you’re dealing with a minor colour change or a matte finish, you may not need to do the same prep work. You can always test the paint on the back of a cabinet door and see what you may need to do. Even with the sanding, this took three coats and took a substantial amount of time, due to the thickness of the paint. The result was well worth the time and effort. The finish looked amazing and was very cost efficient, since the cabinets were solid wood and still in good shape.

The last big item was the counter-top. We decided on laminate, as it is cost-efficient, easy to work with, and looks great. For the colour, we selected a solid concrete gray, which gives a modern look and complements the light-coloured cabinets, without being busy.

The final step was the staging. We didn’t want to add much to this room, as it already stood out. We added a bold red kitchen rug, with a few red and white accent pieces on the counter. This gave the kitchen a cozy farmhouse feel and really added to the rest of the house.

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