Kitchen Update

The worst thing a homeowner can do for the home is never update a thing. Kitchen and bathrooms break down and look shabby or dated over time but a little attention will make them feel new again. It has become very clear in the last year that everyone wants to move to Florida and I think everyone is moving to Florida! So as homeowners, we can feel very confident that any updates that we do to our homes will be a good investment especially in the kitchen and the baths. These spaces are the essential spaces that get the most use and are perceived as the biggest expenses to improve. However, with a little research and several quotes from recommended contractors, I think you will find it a worthy investment. Let’s take a peek into the kitchen of a Stoney brook model to see what an updated kitchen can do for a home.

• Courtyard Villa kitchen After of Stoney Brook model Kitchen - Interior Design - in the Villages of Florida.
This is a kitchen update that packs a powerful visual punch with an affordable price tag. The villa kitchen has a small island and a dining room eating area beside sliders that exit to the lanai. This space is always crowded; the island is too small to be highly functional. Updated kitchens have a big island for seating and high function. Also, a big island becomes a feature in any kitchen. This kitchen received a brand new 109” island that will serve as the island and dining room table. This island seats six comfortably and eight with coziness.  The take away tip: Find a way to increase your island size if possible. Gardenia, Lantana, Iris, and models similar to those would be best served by taking the island down to counter height which adds square footage to the island without disturbing the foot print of the original kitchen.

• White cabinetry
You cannot go wrong with a white kitchen! If you are spending the money on a kitchen update then put in a kitchen that will stand the test of time. Nine out of ten of my customer base installs a white kitchen. As we age we seek out lighter and brighter spaces. I think it is great to see lime green kitchens on HGTV; however this is real life and real money. Most of my clients do not want to waste the money on a kitchen that will be out of style in five years.

• Drawers
Install as many drawers as your kitchen will allow. Drawers in a kitchen add so much luxury and convenience to the kitchen; I would have all drawers in my kitchen if I could.

• Increase the size of the cabinets
Anytime time you can make the cabinets taller; then do it. Taller cabinets look more customized and draw the eye up in the kitchen making the space look bigger. I know that you cannot reach the taller cabinets so I encourage people to use the high cabinets as long term storage.

• Budgets on cabinets
Whether you are buying new cabinets or re-facing the old cabinets the cost is in the door style that you choose. I always ask for pricing on a top of the line door and value door so that I know the difference. If you are only talking a few hundred dollars you may want to splurge on the cabinet doors and save on the countertops. The more information that you have the better decision you will make toward the final product.

• Counter tops 
The two most popular countertops are Granite and Quartz. Granite is natural stone and Quartz is man-made. Both products are great but Quartz does cost considerably more than granite. This homeowner had her heart set on quartz and it looks beautiful. She was able to save a bit of money by installing a value tile backsplash and it looks beautiful. The backsplash blends so well with the quartz the result is the high end look of a full quartz backsplash. Tip: If you don’t want a tile backsplash and quartz is too expensive, consider a level two granite with a full granite backsplash. Always price out everything that you want so you can compare.

• Pull out trash 
If your kitchen does not have a pull out trash, then install a pullout trash as an update. Every new kitchen has a pull out trash and if you are spending the money on the updates be sure to install the updates and don’t overlook them. I have had customers say, “We don’t need that.” However, the goal of the new kitchen is to update and a pull out trash is an update. Most new kitchens have the trash container hidden in the cabinetry.

• Convert open niches to cabinetry
This kitchen has a niche for display beside the refrigerator that is really underutilized space. We added molding and a door and created a pantry from the niche. The cabinet man installed small shelves to create functional space.

• Lighting
The homeowner chose to have three pendent lights installed over the island and it looks so good.

• Window seat 
A window seat bench was installed below the window for more storage and a bit of extra seating for the grandkids.

P.S. –Attention all club presidents! We give free decorating seminars. It is lots of fun and very informative. Call and schedule your club today. Also, we are on-line check out our web-site at and you can always e-mail us at or Call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056.

Before and After Pics Below