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Easy Makeovers

GE Profile Microwave

One of the most versatile appliances on the market: The GE Advantium microwaves, cooks and keeps food warm all in the space of a standard over the range space.

Your kitchen is the sum of many parts, and when those parts need fixing, it's tempting to gut the entire thing with a remodel. Makeovers need not be overwhelming projects with endless investment of time and money. In this edition of Sensible Style, we explore some of the most common reasons for big kitchen remodels and their simpler, more sensible makeover solutions.


Appliance updates

Many a kitchen remodel has started with a dishwasher failure. That doesn't mean you have to go into debt to redo your entire kitchen. Here are some Sensible Style tips for appliance replacement:


  • If you don't want to replace your cabinets too, opt for appliances of the same size but with improved features. For example, an over-the-range microwave can be replaced with a convection/microwave/warmer combination. Both use the same space but the combo gives you a second oven and warming "drawer" capability too.


  • Replace a 30- or 36-inch electric cooktop with an induction model.


Cabinet issues

Are the cabinets really falling apart, or is it just that the doors and drawer fronts have gotten dinged and dingy over the years?


  • If the issue is merely cosmetic and you don't need to improve the layout of your kitchen, then refacing may be a better option than replacing. Refacing companies will put new drawer fronts, doors and matching skins on your existing cabinets.


  • If the cabinet doors are okay but decorative hardware has broken or gone missing over the years, then now is a great time to update your knobs and pulls.


  • If your cabinets are literally falling apart, you're going to have to replace them. Your simplest option is to keep the same layout to avoid flooring or appliance issues, but that doesn't mean you have to keep the same cabinet style or types. For example, two 15-inch drawer-over-door cabinets can become one 30-inch pan drawer cabinet. One blind corner cabinet can become a blind corner with swing-outs or, if there's space around the corner, a lazy susan cabinet.


Atlas Homewares Canterbury

Dress up your cabinets with hardware, like these Top Drawer knobs and pulls from Atlas Homewares



Counter intuitiveSo your laminate countertops have finally surrendered. There's no disguising the water damage around the sink any longer and they've got to go. You have numerous options available to you, depending on your needs and budget.


  • The easiest, most affordable fix is new laminate tops, especially if your kitchen is a galley, L- or U-shaped configuration with no bar top or island. In this instance, you can use some of the good-looking models sold in stock at Home Depot or Lowes. If you do have an island or bar, you can have those two pieces special-ordered and buy the others in stock.


Limestone countertops from Silestone

Quartz countertops, like this Capri Limestone by Silestone, are a sensible and stylish makeover.



Storage forage

So your cabinets are bursting at the seams and you just inherited your grandmother's cookware. Where the heck are you going to put these treasured gifts?


  • You've got a skinny base cabinet that holds almost nothing. Pick up a set of tray dividers and make it a very useful storage spot for your pizza stone, cutting boards and cookie sheets.


  • You've also got tremendously under-used space between your countertops and wall cabinets that can handle multiple backsplash organizers. These can hold counter-robbing paper towel holders, knives, utensils or spice jars. You probably have enough room for all of these great space savers!


revashelf cabinet divider

Make your existing cabinet space more efficient with organizers like this roll-out from Rev-a-Shelf.


For more Sensible Style easy kitchen makeover tips, visit my blog.


Kitchen and bath designer Jamie Goldberg

© 2011, Jamie Goldberg, AKBD, CAPS. Excerpted from Gold Notes: Nuggets from the World of Residential Design. Jamie is an NKBA-certified designer of kitchens and baths in San Diego, CA, and offers Sensible Style for Home Seller consultations around the country. She can be reached at (619) 796-2217 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.








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