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Is a kitchen a worthwhile home improvement?

‘You’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties’. The days of a small functional space are long gone. The kitchen has become the most influential room for potential buyers and now serves multiple purposes. It truly is the heart of the home; where we conjure up delectable feasts…or a cheese toastie, share precious moments with family and friends or deliberate for hours over our kids homework. It acts as the focal point for a home.

The size, style and feel of a kitchen can often be the deciding factor when choosing a property. The ‘living kitchen’, in some cases, can spread across a whole floor, as more and more families adopt open plan living. According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), a new kitchen tips the scale as the most worthwhile home improvement, adding up to 4% to your home's value.

However, we have previously mentioned in our blog ‘Does your house have the winning formula’, that when designing and installing your new kitchen, you need to make sure that it matches both the style of your property and the price bracket. There is no point creating a bespoke £30,000 kitchen in a £250,000 home because it is unlikely that you will see a return on your investment. Likewise, if you install a mediocre kitchen within an expensive property, it could negatively impact the value of the house.

If you intend on selling your home within the next few years, it is important to consider your potential buyer and the age of your property before updating and remodelling your kitchen. If you plan on installing a new kitchen within a Victorian home, make sure you keep some of the period features and enhance the space to reflect the style and character of the property. Likewise, if your house is a new build or a modern home, a cosy country kitchen might not suit the contemporary surroundings, or the taste of your future buyer.

When it comes to improving the value of your property, big budgets aren’t necessarily the answer. If you only have time and money to update one room, we suggest the kitchen. Here are a few top tips if you’re looking to refresh your kitchen:

• Simply painting the cabinets or updating the handles will make a big difference to feel of the property.

• Kitchen worktops can date your property and become stained and damaged over time. You can dramatically improve your kitchen by replacing your existing worktops with granite or solid wood.

• Pick the right lights and install them in the right places. Lights will not only highlight areas of the kitchen, for example, the breakfast bar or island, but they will also set the mood and provide a practical element when cooking.

• Make sure that the design of the kitchen is efficient, creating easy access to the main focal points of the room, for example, the sink, fridge and cooker.

When it comes to selling your home, every little helps. Updating your kitchen where possible will not only improve the living environment but in most cases, the right renovations will positively impact the value of your home and attract potential buyers.

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