Replacing Kitchen Cabinets
There comes a time when you stand in your cooking space and think to yourself, "I'm ready to replace these kitchen cabinets." Be warned, though: Replacing kitchen cabinets can be expensive and time-consuming.
Take a Closer Look
At first glance, Kristy Socarras Bigelow and Brian Bigelow’s Denver kitchen looks pretty classic—subway tiles, open shelves, oak floors. But a closer inspection reveals this room is far from ordinary. When the Bigelows started designing their kitchen, they contemplated a neutral palette. “I loved the idea of a clean and simple room, but I knew I wouldn’t be happy unless it had some spunk,” says Kristy.
There’s a breakfast nook with seat-to-ceiling tiles in graphic patterns, a nod to Kristy’s Cuban heritage. There’s an armoire painted aqua and bright yellow chairs. “What can I say? I’m from Miami—I can’t live without color!” says Kristy, who owns three trendy Cuban restaurants in Colorado.
Sleek Peninsula and Multipurpose Art
“On most Sundays, we invite friends over for a casual dinner,” says Kristy. Guests sit at the granite-top peninsula on metal stools—leftovers from one of Kristy’s restaurants—while she plates food. The wood panel on the wall is actually one of the dining table’s two extra leaves. Kristy painted it yellow, and when it’s not being used to expand the table, she hangs it displays the kids’ art.
When you've hit yourself in the face with that off-center cabinet door that refuses to close (for the last time, you swear!), or those metal cabinets that seemed like a good idea twenty years ago are now rusting through, or when the cabinets are simply falling apart because they weren't built well to begin with—replacing the kitchen cabinets is sometimes the best option for radically updating your kitchen to create an exciting new look that's both functional and structurally sound.
As opposed to painting or resurfacing, replacing your kitchen cabinets means a complete renovation that leaves your kitchen out of service for the better part of a week or two. So make sure you are fully committed to the cost and inconvenience. Once you're sure this is the route you want to take, get estimates from many home improvement sources. Independent contractors you know you can trust or who were referred to you by friends or family are a good resource. Big box home improvement centers are good too (assuming you consult with their full-time experts), and they can oftentimes be less expensive.
Personally, though, I prefer to work with a local small business, mainly because they're small enough to negotiate with you on the price while developing a plan that reflects your personal needs, but they're large enough to still be liable for anything that might go wrong. Unless you know without doubt you can trust your independent contractor completely, going that route is a risk I personally don't like to take. And the big box home improvement retailer lacks the personal touch I want from the people I hire to help make my house a home. These are just my own preferences though. You can get good, valuable service and results from all three of these options. It's really about knowing who you are and how you like to approach things.
Once you've consulted with and gotten estimates from many sources and have done your research with a solid idea about how you want your kitchen to look, the fun begins. When I say fun, I mean picking out the layout, design, color scheme, hardware and accessories. It's exciting and fun, but the choices can get overwhelming. Your home improvement experts will be an invaluable source in guiding you through this process. Whatever you do, though, don't let them talk you into something that doesn't feel right or that you don't like. Follow their advice, but absolutely trust your instincts. They'll lead you to a brand new kitchen that is a source of pride and joy in your home for many years.
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- Resurfacing Kitchen Cabinets