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September 19, 2012

Whole family benefits from kitchen face-lifts

By Linda Shepard
C & G Staff Writer

A kitchen is a workshop, says Bill Cords, the owner of Eastside Kitchens and Bath in Eastpointe.

“The first thing you do in the morning is get up and make breakfast and make lunches for the kids,” he said. “The kitchen light is the last light that goes off at night.”

Even small kitchen updates make for “better mornings, happier holidays and nicer meals,” Cords said. “There are lots of little things that can be done, like re-facing the cabinets if they are of good, sound structure, getting new doors, adding a nice coat of paint and updating the lighting.”

The current economy has many homeowners looking for less expensive treatments in countertops, appliances and fixtures. “In the past few years, people want to get as much look as they can without starting over,” Cords said. “When home values were rising like crazy, it was a no-brainer to get the best. Now there is a little different approach, but the needs are still the same.”

Thrifty homeowners have foregone expensive cherry or exotic wood kitchen cabinets for easy-on-the-pocket maple or oak. “And people are always looking to do some of the work themselves,” Cords said. “We are doing a lot more partial jobs.”

Cords also said many new floorings can be installed over existing ones. “You can get something nice that is easy to care for,” he said.

Randall Rice, a certified kitchen designer with Kendall and Co. in Rochester Hills, said many of his clients are looking for a kitchen “face-lift” in contrast to a complete renovation. He often recommends installing economical manufactured quartz countertops and painting existing kitchen cabinets.

“Quartz is a man-made product where they fabricate the surface to look like granite,” he said. “Granite is a sold stone that is quarried.” Rice said fabricated quartz is also virtually maintenance free. “You don’t have to seal it; it is nonporous,” he said.

Painting existing kitchen cabinets will cost usually less than half the price of cabinet replacement, he said. “The other big difference is the time it takes to order cabinetry, which is from four to five weeks,” he said.

“Clients might want to dress up a kitchen island with bead board,” he said. “You can add a few pieces and change the look.”

Rice said kitchens are often transformed with updated lighting and a new backsplash. “There are so many beautiful mosaic blends of glass backsplashes, and they are relatively inexpensive,” he said. “They give a high-impact visual that could be a focal point.”

Cords said the most important room in the house deserves some extra effort when choosing renovation items. “Get something that suits your needs, wants and dreams,” he said.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Linda Shepard at lshepard@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1065.