I work for a home builder who operates within the production realm. This means that customization's are limited. I think people sometimes have a hard time understanding what that entails. Basically we like for a buyer to choose their floor plan and we have options set up for potential changes to a floor plan - this is where the process is what you would consider the most "strict." However, each buyer gets to select all of their finishes (interior & exterior), light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, hardware, etc.
Production building is limited but not as limited as some may think. Kitchens sell homes, right? Well this is the area of the home where I think we can have the most fun in the production building world. There are some very easy things you can do to spice up the heart of your home.
1. Have your cabinets installed all the way to the ceiling. This really gives your kitchen a grand look. It helps your ceilings look higher, gives you more storage space (even if you can't reach it), and gives you a finite place to display beautiful crown molding at the top. Another thing I love about cabinets being installed to the ceiling is that, depending on your space, it can give you more room to show off a beautiful back splash in between cabinets!
2. Add end panels to your cabinets. A "standard" cabinet has exposed ends meaning that you just see the side of a cabinet. It is a flush panel with a lip for cabinets to come together which will be the same color as your cabinet. Adding an end panel helps the kitchen to look complete and dresses it up. I think this is especially effective on the side of a refrigerator. The end panel will look like the cabinet doors, matching in color and style so it helps the kitchen appear to have more storage space, as well. The space looks "finished" and larger!
3. Upgrade your appliances. There are 2 appliances in particular that will make this space look much nicer! First is the refrigerator - going with a counter depth refrigerator is going to look sleek and uniform. A standard sized refrigerator sticks out roughly 9" past the cabinets! Depending on where you enter your kitchen, this sometimes causes your views of the kitchen to be obstructed.
The other appliance I would upgrade is the range/ cooktop. If you choose to have a range, it is best to choose a "slide in" model. This eliminates the raised back portion of the range and creates a more built in look. The other option is to upgrade the range to a cooktop and add a wall oven elsewhere. That transitions me into #4.
4. Add a wall oven cabinet. I love tall cabinets in kitchens. To me, it helps cap off the space and creates a nice ending point to your cabinet run. It also helps break up the monotony of a kitchen that has only base and upper cabinets all the way around. Anything tall or stacked really helps the kitchen to look high end.
5. Install a hood over the range/ cooktop instead of a microwave/hood. You can choose to have a cabinet hood installed or an appliance chimney hood, but either way, this is going to, again, break up monotony, give you a great space to display more of your backsplash around the hood, and simply have an overall nicer look than a microwave with a cabinet above it.
6. Add glass doors and/or open shelving. This appeals more to form than function as it creates a space that has to look neat as opposed to a closed off cabinet, but it also creates a space to show off some fun accessories. This includes china, decorative flatware, greenery, pottery, etc. I have seen people get really creative with their open shelving - such a great way to add interest.
7. Dress up the island. There are so many ways to do this. Many people are painting/ staining their islands a different color than their perimeter cabinets. You can wrap the island in different materials including ship lap, barn wood, bead board, or cabinet end panels to match the doors on the perimeter cabinets. You can also do some really fun shapes but I am going to save that for another post! Another fun thing to do is create open shelving on the sides of the island. All of these options make the island look at it was given some thought and makes for an interesting/ entertaining space.
8. Have fun with lighting! Whether you add pendants over the island or wall mount lights on the perimeter, splurge on the lights for this important space! I typically say "the bigger, the better." Chunky light fixtures are going to show very well and will give the space interest! Your lights should make a statement!
9. Select a full overlay door style. Most of my buyers do not know what this means and that's okay. Basically the door on the cabinet covers the entire face frame of the cabinet vs. the cabinet door only covering a portion of it. Full overlay door styles look more rich. It gives the cabinet a finished look and also hides any seams that may be hiding where two cabinets come together.
10. Let's be real. It's obviously not all about a look (although that definitely helps). Make choices that improve the function of your kitchen. Do you cook a lot? Add a spice rack where cabinet filler would be (this also uses your space wisely - even if it is just a matter of inches). Do you have many pots and pans? Add roll out shelves for easier access and organization. Don't like the look of a trash can in the kitchen? Add a pull out cabinet trash can for easy access and a cleaner look. Rev-a-shelf is a great company and resource for all things organized.
I believe that your home should have character before you ever place the first piece of furniture in a space! You can play on your finishes after moving in, but give your kitchen good bones by making this one of the areas where you splurge (and each of these items listed above will cost you some money, but this is a great place to spend it for a fabulous home). Say Yass! to kitchen upgrades!
Interior designer inspired by color, nature, and texture. I love sharing my projects with you. Please have a look around and keep in touch by subscribing.