More than 10 million American households remodeled their kitchens in 2015, and almost half of those households spent at least $15,000. If you want to join the wave of kitchen renovations, enjoy a fresher, more modern, and more functional space AND not spend tens of thousands of dollars, there are a few additions you can make that have a BIG impact. Kitchen additions in Chicago can benefit from the following 3 renovation ideas that can improve how your kitchen, and your entire home, feel. And, you may even be able to take your kitchen remodel as a tax deductible!

Adding an Island

Gourmet kitchen features white shaker cabinets with marble countertops, stone subway tile backsplash, double door stainless steel refrigerator and gorgeous kitchen island.

An island is a beautiful way to add storage and functionality to your kitchen space. Plus, their flexibility makes them a workable renovation idea for spaces of all shapes, sizes, and styles.

Have a larger space to fill? Add an L-shaped island, and even add seating for extra entertaining space. Working with a small kitchen? Add a straight galley island in a size that supports the flow of traffic through your space. You may even be able to add a movable island for maximum flexibility and space.

You can even design islands to match your style. Modern? Rustic? Transitional modern? Minimalist? Eclectic? An island can work with them all. Simply work with your contractor or designer to choose design detail and materials that complement your color palette and style.

Islands also bring some distinct advantages to your kitchen and your home. Here is a look at some of the benefits you can enjoy when you add an island as part of your renovation.

  • Additional storage space through the use of cabinets and drawers
  • Additional prep space through the addition of counters, sinks, or even ovens
  • Additional eating area if you place chairs along your island
  • Additional space for appliances, including refrigerators, wine coolers, or dishwashers

A kitchen island can be an exciting upgrade to your kitchen AND pay for itself in the long run. This renovation choice is one of the most important for adding value to your kitchen, and can make a space feel bigger and more appealing to future buyers of your home.

Before creating this upgrade in your kitchen space, find a contractor you trust, and think through the following questions to guide your design decisions:

  • What style works best with our existing kitchen and home?
  • What size is best for our space?
  • What colors and materials fit our design and budget preferences?
  • What shape and position should the island be?
  • What functionality do we want the island to have?
  • What is our budget for the island?
  • Are there plumbing or electrical issues we have to take into consideration?

Updating Your Cabinets

Modern kitchen, opened wooden drawers with accessories inside, solution for kitchen storage, minimalist interior design, 3d illustration

If you want to transform the look of your kitchen with a single renovation decision, try updating your cabinets. This is one of the single most effective ways to change the look of your kitchen, and you can often accomplish this goal without replacing your cabinets altogether.

Here are some of the choices you have for upgrading the look of your cabinets and the value of your kitchen and home without investing huge amounts of money into a total redo of your space.

Replace the hardware. 

You can accomplish a quick, DIY refresh of your kitchen by simply replacing the hardware on your cabinets (e.g. Knobs). Simply choose the style and color you prefer and swap the old for the new. Just make sure your hardware also complements your appliances and other colors in your kitchen.


As one of the most cost-effective and DIY-friendly approaches to cabinet upgrades, paint is a popular choice. This approach also provides a more transformative look for your space. You can change the color of all the cabinets, or choose a more striking, two-toned look where the top and bottom cabinets are different colors.

You don’t even have to dramatically change the color – Sometimes, adjusting the shade is enough to give your kitchen a more modern look. Want a more complete look for your kitchen? Paint AND replace the hardware for a fresh look throughout your kitchen.

Replace cabinet doors. 

If your doors are damaged, or if you want to give your space a new look without committing to a total cabinet replacement, you can put in new cabinet doors. Match your current cabinets, consider changing doors to drawers, or even choose to leave the top cabinets open for a striking look.

Installing New Countertops

Kitchen counter top color samples made of natural granite, marble and quartz stone inside the countertop store on the white carrara marble slab

While dark countertops were in vogue a few years ago, lighter counters are now the preferred look. Swapping out one for the other can immediately make your kitchen feel fresher and larger. Other considerations to think through when changing the countertops in your space include the following:

  • The material – Granite has long been popular, and marble is gorgeous but expensive. You can also try materials such as quartz, soapstone, ceramic tile, and stainless steel.
  • The cost – Marble will be expensive, and you may not recoup your expenses in added value. Other materials, such as quartz, may give your kitchen an upgraded look for less money.
  • Warranty – Look for countertops that have a strong warranty to give you protection and peace of mind if something goes wrong.

Whether you choose to replace countertops or cabinets, add islands, or paint, make one change or incorporate all three of these upgrades, making changes to your kitchen can be a wise investment. If you are ready to experience the benefits of kitchen remodeling, contact Reliable Home Improvement today! We offer kitchen remodeling services all through the Naperville area, so you can create the home you desire!

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