Quick kitchen fixes For swift home sales


Kitchens sell houses, as any real estate expert will tell you. Theyre also the heart of the home, where we spend most of our time, studies show. So improving this important living space is a sound financial investment, and an investment in your familys happiness.

You dont need to spend a lot to create a dramatic difference in your kitchen. A mini-makeover may be all that you need to turn that blah kitchen into the showpiece of your home.

When people think of kitchen renovation, they usually think of the expensive ventures, like replacing cabinets, countertops and appliances, says Dan Auer of Faucet.com, an online retailer of decorative home products. But starting small – with easy yet dramatic changes that can be done in a weekend – can make a big difference in the appearance and value of your kitchen.

He offers a few tips for getting started on your kitchens mini-makeover:

* First, pick up some home magazines or visit some model homes in your area to get ideas. Pay close attention to the projects that will make the most impact but will be easy to accomplish, like wall color, sinks and faucets, lighting fixtures, cabinet knobs and accessories.

* A new faucet can vastly improve the look and usability of your kitchen. Installing a new one is a basic improvement within the abilities of the average homeowner. When choosing your new faucet, keep in mind both the look you want to achieve and how you will be using the faucet.

For example, if youre often trying to regulate water temperature with one hand (while the other handles ten other tasks), a single-hand faucet offers easy control. If youre creating a traditional or period-style look, consider a two-handle faucet. Serious cooks may consider adding a pot-filler faucet, which mounts on the wall near the range to allow you to fill a pot thats already on the stove.

* Stainless steel, cast iron, single bowl, double bowl or even triple bowl kitchen sinks now come in styles, sizes, colors and features to fit virtually every dcor and work space.

The number of bowls youll choose will depend on your personal preferences and how you use your sink. Heavy food prep use may call for two or even three bowls, while use as a rinsing station may require only one bowl. The material you choose should complement the overall look of your kitchen.

* Next, look up at your lighting. While kitchens in some high-end new homes may already be decked out with the latest in lighting, chances are if youre in an older home you have some very basic overhead lighting. While this lighting might be functional, its not always visually attractive. Fortunately, its an easy job for a do-it-yourselfer to replace a basic overhead fluorescent fixture with something equally bright but more visually appealing. Under-the-counter task lighting is also a must for a well-lit modern kitchen. And a few artfully placed pendant lights over a breakfast bar or kitchen island can impart elegance and practicality.