By Jim Tibbs
One of my personal goals in life is to help people create homes that are comfortable, convenient, healthy and inspiring living spaces. This is one of the many reasons that I love my â€śencoreâ€ť career as the owner of a home design and remodeling business after working for 30 years in the apparel industry at Macyâ€™s and Levi Strauss.
My name is Jim Tibbs and I own HDR Remodeling with my life partner of 33 years, Philip Anderson. We are fortunate to work with clients throughout the East Bay doing home improvement projects such as remodeling kitchens and bathrooms, converting garages and basements into living spaces, creating outdoor entertaining and garden spaces, doing interior decoration, and providing home repair and maintenance services.
I am very excited by the prospect of sharing my home improvement knowledge with the readers of the Bay Times. Together we will explore topics as varied as decorating trends, home repair and maintenance tips, and remodeling advice with the goal of helping the readers of this column improve their homes and the lives they lead in them.
To that end, let me kick off this column with a topic that has broad appeal in these tough economic timesâ€“updating your kitchen on a budget. I have coined the phrase â€śKitchen Refreshâ€ť to describe the process of giving your kitchen a new look without going to the expense of a full remodel.
The determining factor for doing a refresh versus a remodel is whether the cabinet layout is satisfactory and the cabinet boxes are in good enough condition to be re-used. If the answer to these two questions is â€śyes,â€ť then your kitchen may be an excellent candidate for the ideas described below.
1. If the cabinet doors and drawer fronts are in reasonably good shape, clean them with Method Wood Cleaner from Target and apply Liquid Gold to hide the scratches.
2 If the doors are structurally sound but the finish is shot, paint them with high quality, satin finish paint.
3. If the cabinet doors are beyond repair then consider installing new doors on the existing cabinet boxes.
4. Install pullout shelves and drawer accessories to increase the storage capacity of your cabinets.
5. Replace the drawer pulls and knobs with a new profile and finish.
6. Install new counter tops and replace or add a tile backsplash.
7. Replace an oversized countertop microwave with a GE Spacemaker under-cabinet model.
8. Add crown molding to your existing cabinets.
9. Update the light fixtures or add new task and accent lighting where you need it. Dimmer switches help change the mood in the room with the touch of dial.
10. Paint the walls and ceiling in a new color and replace those tired window shades.
Any combination of these improvements will â€śrefreshâ€ť your kitchen at a fraction of the cost of a total remodel. You will be amazed at the difference.