If you're updating a kitchen in a home that may not be your "forever home," it's key to consider the resale value of any changes you make. To recoup your remodeling investment, avoid these six choices that can quickly render your space dated.
Niches. Built-in nooks for things like phones, small appliances, or even a coffee station might seem like a fun idea, but they quickly fall out of fashion. A niche takes up valuable kitchen real estate and is often too narrow in its focus. Keep things flexible and neutral when designing your layout.
Short Backsplashes. A good backsplash can provide a pop of color in a neutral kitchen as well as a simple focal point. But when designing a backsplash, try to install it all the way up to the bottom of the upper cabinets. Ceramic, porcelain, or glass tiles all make somewhat timeless backsplashes.
Countertop Appliances. Try to avoid planning to place appliances on the counters, as this can clutter clean surfaces and make things appear smaller. In a small kitchen, particularly, it's vital to be able to make use of as much counter space as possible. Build under-cabinet shelving or use hanging microwaves. Add storage space for smaller appliances, including coffee makers, food processors, and blenders.
Colors. Colorful appliances come and go, but stainless steel remains a timeless finish. It's considered a neutral color for appliances. It matches with just about any décor that buyers want to put in and tends not to look dated very easily.
Single Sinks. A single bowl sink—often called a "farmhouse" or "apron" sink—is a trend that many home owners find beautiful and chic. But it's also fairly impractical in a busy household. Stick with a more traditional double bowl sink or opt for a fancier triple-bowl version.
Inconvenient Triangle Setup. The kitchen work triangle—stove, sink, and refrigerator—is key to a good kitchen layout. No matter what shape or size your kitchen will be, be certain to pay attention to the functionality of this grouping of work stations. Is it easy to traverse? Is it out of the traffic pattern? Is it comfortable? A good work triangle will help keep your kitchen relevant and useful.
When you know the biggest risks to your resale value, you and your remodeling contractor can design a new kitchen that will appeal to future buyers as well as protect your investment for years to come.