Recently, Patty and I were showing a lovely couple from Maryland a few homes here on Sanibel to give them an idea of what’s on the market in their price range. While walking through the homes, we talked about the pros and cons of each property, as well as some of the similarities and differences between them.
When we brought them back in the office at the end of the day, the wife, who had been fairly quite throughout much of the showings, asked with a puzzled expression, “Is it me, or are all of the kitchens very… old-fashioned.” I smiled and explained that, yes, a number of homes for sale on this island are owned by the original owner’s or passed down through family members who haven’t updated much in the home since it was purchased!
Image courtesy of HGTV.com
One of my favorite parts of helping you in your island home search is to help you visualize the “Sea of possibilities” within some of Sanibel’s older, outdated homes. With that said, kitchens are usually one of the first rooms to need renovations in your newly purchase home. So, to get you started, I gathered 9 tips on how you can update the kitchen in your Sanibel home, without having to redo the entire kitchen.
#1. Fresh Paint – I know, it’s cliche. Almost every “tips and suggestions” article starts with a fresh coat of paint, but for good reason! A new layer of paint goes a long way to brighten up an outdated kitchen. I suggest choosing a color scheme and running with it. Maybe start with a nice blue or teal, which are popular for coastal properties.
Image courtesy of houzz.com
#2. Open Shelving – Show off those cute coffee mugs or fancy china without needing an old-fashioned china cabinet. Open shelving is a trendy way to showcase your dishes and cookware that adds character to your kitchen… Not to mention it forces you to keep things a bit more tidy – which I know we can all benefit from!
#3. Creative Lighting – Some of my favorite kitchen’s have unique lighting fixtures hanging from the ceiling. These creative fixtures draw your eyes up and give an “airy” and spacious feel to the room. Decorative ceiling beams and artistic paneling have the same effect. For instance, below is an image of the hand-carved wood paneling one of our clients placed in his bayside condo to add depth and design to the home.
Image courtesy of Jeff Barnes
#4. Deep Sinks – In the same condo, our client installed an Italian porcelain farm sink. If you haven’t seen these on the HGTV home makeover shows, they are deep, wide sinks that not only make washing large pots and pans a breeze, but also add character to your kitchen. While not a necessity, if your space allows, installing a deep sink can pay-off for you as an attractive item for renters or future buyers.
#5. Good Appliances – Since we’re on the topic of “resale” value… I’d be remiss not to suggest updating the appliances with new, durable equipment. While stainless steal is definitely the most “trendy” of the new home appliances, if it doesn’t suite your tastes, then I encourage you to go with a more traditional white set of appliances. Not only will it instantly update your kitchen’s look, but these new appliance can also save you big-time on energy bills!
Image courtesy of HGTV.com
#6. Tile Backsplash – Another way to freshen up your kitchen’s appearance is to add an iridescent backsplash. Use your color scheme to decide the color and pattern of the perfect backsplash to accent your new appliances. If the kitchen allows, you should think about running the backsplash all the way up to the ceiling. Remember how I mentioned the ceiling panels and lighting fixtures help draw your attention upwards? This will have the same effect.
#7. Natural Material – If you’re going for the “coastal vibe” as many do, I recommend adding touches of natural fabrics and material to the space. Jim and I love these big, bold, burlap lighting fixtures in the kitchen below. Using natural-fiber textiles like wicker and burlap brings an earthy, casual vibe – perfect for a beach-style space.
Image courtesy of pinterest.com
#8. Hidden Storage – Why did I never think of this one?! Use the backside of your kitchen cabinets to hang smaller items such as measuring cups and or utensils that can crowd your kitchen drawers. This is especially helpful if you have a smaller kitchen and could really use the extra storage space!
#9. Exterior Doors – Outdoor access from your kitchen is common with a number of homes. If your home doesn’t already have sliding glass doors, or doesn’t allow room for one, you can still let in the light by replacing that dark, heavy exterior door with a light and bright french door! The natural sunlight and nature views liven up the space and help connect your home with the beautiful island environment outside.
Image courtesy of homedoit.com