Kitchen Remodel Ideas That Pay Off

White brick kitchen

KatarzynaBialasiewicz / Getty Images

Kitchens are places of sustenance and sociability. Food, family, and friends mingle to create a winning combination that makes a house feel like a home.

So it makes perfect sense that remodels are so often geared toward the kitchen. What about thinking of your kitchen in the long-term sense, in terms of investment and return? Will your kitchen remodel projects be a positive contribution to your home's value or will they erode that value?


A big return on investment is proper kitchen planning during the design phase. Hiring a professional designer can make all the difference.

  • 01 of 05

    Design Your Kitchen Around Inspired Colors

    Kitchen Tiles
    Stefano petreni / EyeEm/Getty Images

    Color is the spice of kitchen life. Picking the perfect color not only makes for a lively, pleasant space, but it's one idea that can inexpensively return great value. For little more than the cost of paint and a few tools, you can majorly dial up the wow factor in your kitchen.

    Keep it timeless and traditional with an all-white kitchen color scheme. Or take the opposite tack and go chic with a black kitchen. Feng shui-inspired kitchen colors keep things cool, relaxed, and neutral. No holds barred here: The color of your kitchen is dictated only by your imagination.

  • 02 of 05

    Upgrade Your Kitchen Cabinets

    Painting Kitchen Cabinets

    Johner Images / Getty Images

    One word you never want to hear about your kitchen cabinets: dated. So, to attract maximum value in your kitchen remodel, put cabinets at the top of your list.

    Updating your kitchen cabinets doesn't always have to mean tearing out and replacing your current cabinets, though in some real estate markets, a full replacement may be necessary. Updating your kitchen can be as simple and inexpensive as painting your cabinets. Or exercise your creative chops with fun, low-cost kitchen DIY projects like handcrafted wood cabinet pulls.

    A step up, both in terms of cost and buyer appeal, is ​cabinet refacing. Refacing means replacing cabinets' most visually prominent area, the cabinet doors and drawer fronts. A cabinet refacing technician applies real wood veneer to the side of the cabinet boxes. The finishing touch that pulls the project together: new cabinet fixtures.


    High-cost kitchen remodels don't automatically translate to high returns. Even though buyers may hold your remodels in high regard, your initial investment might prove to be so much that it can be difficult to pay it off.

  • 03 of 05

    Add an Eye-Catching Backsplash

    Backsplash Behind or Around Stove

    Jumping Rocks/UIG/Getty Images

    A kitchen backsplash is the ideal element to add or upgrade in terms of investment since the initial cost is low while the visual impact is high. The low price of adding a backsplash is owing to the fact that most backsplashes are do-it-yourself.

    Shimmering glass or metal tiles are sure to attract attention, and most can be self-installed with only a little tiling know-how. Or keep the price even lower with easy-to-do, creative do-it-yourself backsplash hacks that can be completed in a day or two: wallpaper, tile decals, laminate flooring planks, or veneer stone.

    Installing an eye-catching backsplash underscores the importance of the well-made kitchen as a selling device for the entire home. Kitchens are often the first major room that buyers see after they enter the house. Real estate agents tend to set up their bases of operation in the kitchen, as well, so buyers spend more time in that room than in other rooms.

  • 04 of 05

    Install Gorgeous Quartz Countertops

    White Countertop in Kitchen

    Alessandro De Carli / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Among kitchen countertops, laminate, concrete, stainless steel, solid surface, and a number of others vie for best countertop status. But one countertop material always leads the pack: quartz countertops.

    A hybrid of minerals and resins, quartz is a nearly perfect material for countertops. It looks like natural stone but is harder than natural stone. It is as impermeable as solid surface countertops but it won't scratch like solid surface.

    This chameleon of surfaces can take on different personalities, too, adopting everything from a traditional stone-like appearance to the trendy and industrial look of concrete. Quartz countertops are expensive, so make sure your home's anticipated sale price can support this upgrade.


    To maximize the financial return on your kitchen remodels, keep the basics in mind and avoid trends. Trends are fun, but buyers are more informed than ever and place greater importance on solid elements like counters, cabinets, and good lighting.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Install Great Kitchen Lighting

    Kitchen Island Prep Table

    Hero Images / Getty Images

    Kitchen lighting, often ignored, deserves the spotlight. Not only does a well-designed lighting package illuminate your beautiful kitchen, but the lighting itself can also become an object of attention. Unlike that other kitchen standby, recessed lighting, pendant lighting announces itself front and center.

    Kitchen pendant lights have had their trend ups and downs, but they continue to be an effective light for areas such as islands and counters. Be sure to scale the size of the pendants to your kitchen, and avoid overwhelming the space.