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Simple Change Has a Big Impact

How About a Cabinet Makeover?

While the kitchen was once considered a workspace, hidden in the rear of a house, it’s now become a gathering place – a central area where friends and family congregate for cooking, eating, and often, craft time and family game night. With everyone now spending a lot more time in the kitchen, you may find yourself wanting to update the space.

The good news is there are ways to freshen up your kitchen without a full remodel. Countertops attract a lot of attention, but so do the cabinets. In fact, in most kitchens, there’s actually more square footage of cabinet on view. Cabinets are what people see when they first walk into the room. But you don’t need to replace the cabinets; just paint them. It’s not as hard as you might think, and the impact can
be significant. 

Obviously, color selection is critical. Don’t be afraid to think beyond basic white or ivory. Just as the uses for today’s kitchen have expanded, so has its design aesthetic. 

Homeowners are bringing color – bold color – into the kitchen, reflecting that the kitchen is much more than a workspace. Stephanie Snyder of Palette Paint and Home says more customers are looking for deep, saturated colors that immediately catch the eye – think jewel tones – as they aim to make a statement. 

Another trend is to paint lower cabinets a dark color – navy, red, green, even black – while painting upper cabinets a neutral white or ivory. The dual-tone look might seem counter-intuitive, but the approach helps the upper cabinets disappear, tricking the eye into thinking the room is larger than it is.

Here are some other reasons to embrace color in the kitchen:

1. Bold cabinets contrast well with a solid neutral countertop or backsplash. If you’ve invested in a granite or quartz countertop, let it shine even more by setting it apart from the cabinets. And who wants to replace a tile backsplash that’s in perfectly good condition? No one.

2. Distinctive cabinets will distract people from kitchen elements that are less than ideal. If the kitchen has mismatched large appliances (stove, dishwasher, refrigerator), their impact is minimized when the cabinets are attracting all the attention. Same with the flooring: An old surface vanishes when the cabinets grab the limelight. 

3. Color makes a room fun. If the kitchen is the new living room, it should be styled intentionally and reflect the personality of the homeowners. All-white kitchens, while bright and clean in appearance, can sometimes come off as sterile and formal. A fun space deserves the energy that color can bring.

For an even bigger statement, consider a high-gloss paint. Historically, kitchen cabinets were painted with a pearl finish so they wouldn’t attract too much attention. But now, attention is the goal. A gloss surface will shimmer with reflected light, and shine connotes energy. Another benefit of gloss paint is a practical one: The shiny surface is easy to wipe down, which is critical for high-traffic areas like the kitchen. For the highest gloss finish, a professional may need to be hired, as painting conditions have to be carefully controlled during the application.

Regardless of the finish, have some fun. Changing paint color is one of the most economical ways a room can be freshened. If you want to spend a little more, consider switching out the cabinet hardware, too. The possibilities are endless, and you can find many options to fit your budget, style, and space. 

Rick Holtz is the owner of H.J. Holtz & Son Painting, Wallpapering and Decorative Finishes in Richmond. They collaborate with local designers or work with homeowners and business owners directly to increase curb appeal and create stunning interiors. Learn more about the company and its services at H.J. Holtz & Son Painting.
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