By Tom Kraeutler
(ARA) - If you're anxious to fix up your home, you're not alone -- the $214
billion remodeling industry is projected to grow to $224 billion or more in
2004, according to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. While
you may not be able to give your home an extreme makeover, adding simple upgrades
can make a dramatic difference. The kitchen is at the top of the home improvement
list for many homeowners. Here are some quick and affordable kitchen fix-ups:
The single biggest visual in your kitchen is the counter surface, so removing
your existing countertops and replacing them with new materials will make an
immediate impact. If popular granite and stone countertops are out of your price
range, consider some of the new laminates and solid surfacing materials.
If you can't replace all of your kitchen cabinets, jazz them up with attractive
new hardware. You can find a variety of door handles and drawer pulls at do-it-yourself
home stores to match every d?cor, from ultra contemporary to antique looks.
Instead of replacing all of the lighting, use dimmers to instantly change
the look and functionality of the room. One to try is the Diva dimmer in Satin
Colors from Lutron Electronics, which installs in 20 minutes and makes a dramatic
difference in a room's decor. It features a large paddle switch to turn lights
on and off, and a sliding dimmer alongside to adjust the brightness up or down.
You don't have to have an unsightly dimmer control on your wall, either. Its
accompanying screw- less wallplate, also from Lutron's Satin Colors collection,
comes in 15 decorator colors to blend with paint, flooring and wall coverings.
Tear up that old yellowed linoleum floor. Today's high-pressure laminates
can give the look of a much more expensive natural wood flooring. Patterns range
from time-honored favorites like maple, oak and cherry to sophisticated looks
like burled mahogany and exotic woods. Another easy kitchen flooring option
is Edge flooring -- real ceramic tile that's glued to an interlocking fiberboard
backing - requiring no underlayment or gluing.
Nothing beats a fresh coat of paint for improving the look of your kitchen.
This is especially useful if you have dark cabinets, which were once popular
but are now costly to replace. By keeping the current cabinets and brightening
everything else with a fresh coat of paint that complements your countertop,
hardware, lighting and flooring, you'll cook up a brand new look at a bargain
Courtesy of ARA Content