Five signs you're in need of a kitchen reno / by Mark Schmidt

Some say the kitchen is the heart of the home. Even if you own an older home, it's important to keep this space warm and welcoming. So take a look below to see if your kitchen is in need of a renovation. When you take a closer look, you'll find that shabby isn't always chic.

Forage for storage. Maybe you don't mind the look of your kitchen, but you find yourself feeling a little cluttered. Not having enough storage is one of the most common complaints we hear when it comes to home renovation. Switching out your cabinets, rearranging the layout of your space, and adding a few hidden storage areas can make a huge difference in the appearance and functionality of your cooking space. 

What's up with wallflowers? Do you have floral patterns all over your walls? Wallpaper is one of the easiest ways to date your home. Unless you just installed wallpaper in the past year or two, chances are your wallpaper sends you and your guests back in time. So why not visit your local Sherwin Williams and send this old house back to the future! 

Break on through. If your house is more than ten years old, you probably dream of what your kitchen could look like if you broke through a wall or two. Open concept is the way to go if you're looking to open up your space and make everything appear bigger and brighter. But even in the grandest of kitchens, you may not have the best layout. If you have a heavy pot of stew on the stove or a turkey fit for a feast in the oven, how convenient is it to put it down in the proper place when you're ready to serve up that home-cooked meal? Consider your work triangle or the space between your sink, stove and refrigerator. These are the most commonly used facilities in your cooking space and the most important to consider during the layout process. If you find yourself getting a workout while you're preparing meals, you may want to renovate to save yourself spilled milk.

Spic and span. The best way to add value to your house is to update your bathrooms and your kitchen. If you're looking to sell or just looking to make your kitchen look spic and span for the chef in your family, judge your space from the outside. It's all about the what meets the eye. Replace that formica countertop with granite. Get rid of those ancient appliances and purchase new stainless. Remove that linoleum flooring and add a final touch with tile or hardwood. 

Be efficient. If the appliances in your kitchen used to be white and now appear to be a dingy yellow, it might be time for an update. Even though this could be a big upfront expense, you'll end up saving money in the long run. Look for the Energy Star sticker when you're selecting new appliances. Energy Star is the EPA's program that helps consumers choose products to best save money while protecting the environment.  

Does your kitchen sound like it's in need of an upgrade? If you're thinking of a kitchen renovation in the New Hanover County and surrounding areas, fill out our Custom Renovations form and we'll be glad to take a look.