According to the old real estate adage, people buy homes for the bathrooms and the kitchens. Even if cooking isn't at the top of a home buyer's list, the quality of the kitchen matters. But whether you plan on selling your home or just want to create a more functional, appealing kitchen, there are a wide range of upgrades that will update the space, boost your home's value and increase your overall satisfaction.

The best part of upgrading your kitchen is that you don't have to do it all at once. Especially in cases where the total renovations can be pricey, it might be your preference to spread out the upgrades over time, as your finances allow. But whenever you get to these upgrades, here are some great changes worth your consideration.

Modernize your appliances

A kitchen's appliances are one of the easiest ways to update a home. Old, dingy, inefficient models may not just look bad, they could be needlessly consuming energy and performing below par. Take time to upgrade your home's appliances to newer, energy-efficient models. Maytag appliances and other modern kitchen appliances can give an old kitchen a modernized look, whether you go with popular stainless steel models or different finishes. You'll also enjoy a better performance from these appliances And don't forget about the attraction that a nice, double-door refrigerator can instill in a prospective home buyer, either.

Update your cabinets and cabinet hardware

Your cabinetry needs to fit the rest of your kitchen's design, and depending on your personal preferences, you may choose the rest of your kitchen's features based on the type of cabinets you go with. Options abound from solid-wood cabinets in rich tones to more modernized designs with fashionable, semi-transparent inset panels. Replacing your cabinet hardware can be an even quicker fix than messing with your cabinet’s finishes. Decorative knobs make a bold statement as they repeat across your kitchen and there are many more styles of cabinet knobs and pulls on the market than actual cabinets.

Add a backsplash

Backsplashes between countertops and cabinets are a great way to add some color contrast to your kitchen. In addition to choosing the color, you also need to decide on the materials that will comprise your backsplash. There's a big difference between ceramic, stone and glass tiling, so be careful when choosing this oft-overlooked feature.

Countertops

If you're undertaking a kitchen remodel, you probably don't want to see Formica laminate installed. Since kitchen countertops tend to take a good deal of abuse, quartz, granite and marble countertops tend to be popular. But short of that, you can also find faux-stone and other countertops that look expensive but don't carry the lavish costs of stone. Countertops can be a big selling-point in a kitchen because they're the most commonly interacted with element in the home, so choose wisely and install with the buyer in mind.

Flooring

Kitchen flooring is all too often boring and simple. Consider updating your flooring by replacing standard linoleum with more attractive materials. Options can include stone tiling, hardwood flooring — or even faux hardwood flooring — or more decorative elements such as Spanish tiling, if they match your kitchen's theme. Get creative and consider how the flooring type will affect your home's salability.

As you transform your kitchen into a more appealing incarnation, your home's value will increase according — and often well in excess of the cost of these upgrades. That's why kitchen renovations are often viewed more as an investment than a cost. When it comes time to sell the home, you will be able to command a higher price tag and should have more competition among prospective buyers thanks to a kitchen that wins over prospects.

 

Holly is a weekend warrior. But even with DIY projects on the to-do list, only baked goods are on her mind. From royal icing to cakes pops fit for a king; Holly’s cookie jar is the sweetest piece of real estate in the city. However, she still finds time in between batches to roll out blogs for Sears and a few other blue ribbon brands. Holly also runs 5ks, ya know, to make sure it’s only her j-ello that’s jiggling.