Kitchens are the heart of the home. It’s where you prepare meals, help your kids with homework and entertain guests. It’s the room in the house where everyone gathers, where memories are made, and, with solid investment, can single-handedly increase the value of your home and help you build more of a nest egg. Even if you’re considering selling your home, all eyes of prospective buyers will inevitably be on the kitchen.
“When making investments in your home, the kitchen is unanimously the best place to start,” says Nate Berkus, renowned decorator, designer and artistic advisor for LG Studio appliances. “For me, a great kitchen is one that feels timeless. To accomplish that, reach for what feels classic for the space like subway tiles and stainless steel, and allow the elements that tell your story to come through in the non-permanent fixtures like the furniture, fabrics and details.”
Here are Berkus’ five tips for designing a forever kitchen that will sustain its value, whether you’re looking to put your house on the market or simply updating it for your family’s enjoyment:
1. A timeless look: When it comes to making big design decisions in your kitchen, put aside trends and go with timeless and elegant. Reach for what feels classic like white subway tiles, brass and stainless steel appliances - things that will look as good 10 years from now as they do today. The entire LG Studio line of premium, built-in appliances, for example, was designed with a signature look, feel and style that will easily transition with you through the years.
2. Paint: I don’t know why people always grimace when I say to paint wood. It isn’t a cardinal sin, especially in the kitchen. Tearing out cabinets isn’t always an option, but painting, while a bit of work, is one of my favorite things to do. Reach for black. It sets off all the appliances and makes for a dramatic change.
3. Brighten with lights: I tell my clients this all the time - lighting is one of the most important decisions you can make in any room, including the kitchen. I love vintage pendant lights over an island or table. Since lighting can often add to a dated vibe of the space, swapping it out for something more timeless immediately makes the space appear more modernized - perfect for illuminating any potential buyers.
4. The long haul: Making over a kitchen is no small feat. It’s expensive and time consuming. Trust me when I say I get it. So, your best asset is information. Start building that Pinterest board to identify what you like. Once you have that, you can start to attach costs. Mine always starts with what’s permanent like the cabinets, appliances and tiles. These, along with the appropriate team to help you make and install all of it, are your best investments. From there, consider ways that you can have what you want at a price you can live with. I’ve seen the most amazing islands fashioned from unique things like a farm table, or hutches that are free standing on a wall as opposed to extending your cabinets. These can all be ways to get a big look without the big price tag.
5. Consider technology: The home of the future is actually here today. It’s one that is wired for sound, TV and Wi-Fi. Simply put, our kitchen island is command central for more than meal prep. For many of us it’s also the office. So, to add value to this space, don’t undervalue what will make life easier, like outlets that have USB ports in the wall and island, charging docks and TVs. We do so much more in this space than cook. So, to add value, add ways for you be connected ... just not at the dinner table.