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Give your kitchen a facelift, even on a tight budget

The kitchen is often referred to as the most important room of the house.  It’s also the room that’s likely to yield the most return on investment when selling a home and as such, can be one of the most expensive renovation projects.  Yes, renovating the kitchen can be a costly undertaking, but with a few tricks, even those on a tight budget can transform their kitchen from yuck to wow. 

eieihome spoke with Anthony Kelly and Chris Volpe, co-owners of Affordable, a Toronto-based company for their tips on how to remodel the kitchen without throwing heaps of dough down the drain.

Make it white 

“A white kitchen can easily cost half the price of a colour kitchen,” says Volpe.  Affordable Kitchen’s cabinets are made with MDF wrapped in thermofoil, a thin layer of vinyl.  Although thermofoil comes in many different colours, white is the least expensive (about two-and-a-half times cheaper than colour cabinetry), making white the colour of choice for homeowners on a budget.

Dress up the countertop

Granite countertops certainly add a luxurious touch to your kitchen, but you don’t need to spend a fortune to get the look and feel of granite.  Volpe says laminate countertops can cost a third of the price of granite, while mimicking the look.  “Today’s laminate isn’t your mother’s old plain white countertop.  There’s laminate out there that has texture and colour that can look exactly like granite and can be edged like granite,” says Volpe.

Go basic

The sky’s the limit in terms of the frills you can get in your kitchen design, but Volpe says reducing the design to the basics can help you get a great looking kitchen with the things you really need at a fraction of the price.  Soft and self-closing door systems, crown moulding and light valances can quickly raise your reno budget.  Volpe says a more inexpensive way to dress up the kitchen is to add glass-paneled doors and decorative handles.  Decorative handles can add interest to the kitchen for a small increase in price and at Affordable, glass paneled doors cost approximately $20 more than a regular door, making it an affordable upgrade.

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