All of our experts agree that a kitchen renovation should be at the top of your list, since it’s the heart of a home and the room where families spend most of their time. But where to start? A couple of givens include upgrading to stainless steel appliances and installing countertops made from engineered stone or granite, because these fairly easy changes will improve the aesthetic appeal of the space. Details can also make a difference, like putting shiny knobs on cabinets and purchasing a sparkling new faucet for the sink.
Another wise kitchen upgrade? Knocking down a full or half wall, so you can connect the kitchen to the den or living room. “It makes the kitchen feel more spacious,” says Phyllis Rockower, the owner of the Real Estate Investors Club of Los Angeles. “If you’re cooking, you can still hear what people are saying during a party, or keep an eye on your kids while they’re playing.”