The Heart of the Home Deserves TLC

22 Jun The Heart of the Home Deserves TLC

There’s no doubt that the kitchen is the heart of the home. Of any room, the most time and effort is expended here – in the humble kitchen. So the question follows, why does it have to be humble? Can’t it shine like the wonderful place it is — the gathering place where loved ones linger?

Sure, the family room, living room, or recreation room are great places for kicking back and relaxing, but honestly, the majority of conversation seems to happen in the kitchen. Crying, laughing, storytelling, venting, and plain old “shooting the breeze” happens here. It’s a place where memories are made and grandma’s recipes are recreated for the next generation. For all the TLC the kitchen “gives,” it deserves some in return.

It seems the country realizes this. According to the National Association of Homebuilders 2017 Report, the most common home renovation after bathroom remodeling (81%) is kitchen remodeling (78%).

Think about the last time you had guests over for dinner. Where does everyone congregate before and after eating? You guessed it — the kitchen.

To make room for more people to gather, and to ensure the cook doesn’t get left out of the fun, knocking down walls and upper cabinets to make a more “open concept” space is still a commonly performed renovation.

What are some other recent trends in kitchen remodeling?

According to, there are ten recent trends:

  • Clean with overall contemporary feeling – A fusion of styles and multiple colors in one kitchen.
  • European-styled cabinets.
  • Multiples of appliances in one kitchen.
  • The rise of steam ovens.
  • Furniture-looking pieces.
  • Outdoor kitchens.
  • Fewer standard kitchen tables, replaced by counters or tall gathering tables.
  • TVs and docking stations.
  • Wine refrigerators.
  • Focus on the user experience from easy maintenance to accessible design – Considering the needs of all users in the space, including pets.


Regarding overall styles for kitchens, there’s a definite rise in certain styles in our area of Texas. Trending now are contemporary, transitional, and modern or industrial farmhouse styles, while there’s a marked decline in country, rustic, Tuscan, and Provincial. As trends have changed, you may find yourself wanting to refresh your kitchen. How do you do so without breaking the bank? After all, an average kitchen renovation costs $18,000.

Don’t fret. There are ways to achieve a new look without a full-scale remodel. Here are some ideas:

  • Alter your cabinets. This can be in the form of painting cabinets, refacing them (replacing existing cabinet doors and drawer fronts with new ones), or removing cabinet doors altogether to create an open-shelving look. To paint cabinets, you’ll need to remove the cabinets, drawers, and hardware. Clean and sand all surfaces and then paint with two to three coats of a premium-quality self-priming paint. What color? White is still the most popular choice, but grey and blue are on the rise. One technique is to paint lower cabinets a darker color (grey, blue, or black) and paint upper cabinets white. Keep in mind, there are many shades of white, some have cool undertones, and some have warm undertones, so choose carefully.
  • Change your cabinet hardware by removing and spray painting the existing ones or replace the hardware altogether. To be really on-trend, consider finishes such as gold, copper, rose gold, or bronze. It’s okay to mix metals within a kitchen (for instance, gold hardware, stainless appliances, and an oil rubbed bronze faucet and light fixture). Just ensure the metal finish repeats more than once within the area.
  • Retrofit lower cabinets with pullout shelves or replace all lower cabinets with drawers. No more bending down to retrieve a pan way in the back of the cabinet! Creating a pullout trash and recycling drawer is a good upgrade to consider.
  • Painting the kitchen walls can give it a fresh feel.
  • Update fluorescent lighting by installing recessed lights, on a dimmer. Install or replace pendant lighting over the sink and/or island counter.
  • Replacing backsplash may be less expensive than you think. For an updated look, consider taking the backsplash all the way up to the ceiling so it shows at the top of your cabinets, too.
  • Replacing counters may be less expensive than you think, as well. Quartz is the most popular option. People love it because it’s a “work horse.” It’s not as porous as granite and therefore doesn’t require sealing and resealing. Granite is hanging in there as a close second choice, and certainly a more affordable one. By the way, they now offer a 15-year granite sealer which will save you from having to reseal your granite every year.
  • Have an ugly floor but don’t want to splurge on new flooring? Add a decorative indoor/outdoor rug that can be power washed if it gets dirty.
  • Replace the kitchen faucet with a larger, more “statement-like” piece.
  • If there’s room, create an inviting sitting area. Perhaps you don’t use your breakfast nook area and you can replace the table and chairs with a few comfy arm chairs and a small side table or coffee table. Don’t forget the rug and a lamp to dial-up the cozy factor!


Now, for some super-inexpensive ideas:

  • Create a coffee bar on one section of your counter. Set a tray next to the coffee pot, with all the accoutrements: mugs, sugars, flavor syrups, stir sticks, etc.
  • Place a small lamp on the counter to light up a dark corner and cast ambient light.
  • Herbs, plants (even faux plants) and a bowl of fruit go a long way to add life to the kitchen.

Since the kitchen is such a popular spot, I encourage you to make yours a place that inspires you, bringing both comfort and joy. The TLC you give your kitchen will benefit you in the end. Gosh, it may even make cooking more fun!

Mikaela Rios, local Comal County resident and owner of Imagine Gurus, is passionate about all things “Home.” From redesigning to remodeling to staging, she loves to inspire clients to Imagine the Possibilities in their home as she helps them make the dreams a reality. For more inspiration, check out her work at 210-774-7373.