TIP OF THE WEEK

Whether you’re undergoing a full-scale kitchen renovation or a simple refresh, design decisions can oftentimes feel overwhelming.

Here are 4 tips for making design decisions that last:

Forever finishes. When it comes to finishes, keep things classic. The best options are always the ones that have been around for decades — if they’ve been popular since the 1920s, there’s a good chance they’ll remain a staple for years to come. Think white subway tile, marble countertops, brass pulls and classic painted cabinetry.

Maximize counter and island space. Your countertops are used for much more than preparing food — homework, art projects, family gatherings, late night get togethers — it all happens in your kitchen. You want to maximize counter space, and make sure your island is hardworking. Store your small appliances, like toasters and blenders, in your cabinets to free up counter space for all the other things you need it for.

Brighten your space. Lighting is crucial in the kitchen and most people underestimate how many they need. You want a mix of overhead lighting, pendant lights and counter-top lighting. Shop your local antiques mall for options.

Show your personality in the details. Shop your own home for accessories for your kitchen. It can be as simple as a framed black and white photograph of your family or unique ceramic bowls and plates you picked up during your travels. Every room in your home should tell your story and feel important - especially the kitchen, where we do so much of our living.

— Brandpoint/LG Studio

HOME-SELLING TIP

Display the year-round beauty of your home in winter

The curb appeal of your home is still an important part of selling your home during the winter months. Although your grass might be brown, the branches of your trees are leaf-less and your shrubbery is shriveled, you can still give potential buyers a sense of your home’s beauty with pictures. Using pictures of your home during the spring, summer and fall months, you can show off what your home will look like the rest of the year. You can either display your photos using frames or place them in a photo album, along with other marketing materials for your home. Sellers can also take advantage of the winter holidays by putting up Christmas lights or wreaths hung on the front door.

— More Content Now

DECORATING TIP

Coloring cabinets

Not only can new cabinets provide the benefit of more storage space, they also present an opportunity to incorporate some colorful style into the kitchen. Make your splash with vibrant color on the cabinets themselves, or pair softer hues with muted contrasts to create an eye-pleasing backdrop for bold color appliances and vibrant accents and accessories. If you opt for a more traditional finish such as cherry, black, walnut, white or maple, you can still add visual interest to your kitchen design by contrasting the upper and lower cabinetry or creating a standout island in a different tone. Updating the hardware with a colorful twist can be an inexpensive alternative for adding color as well.

— Family Features/Elkay

ENERGY TIP

Save energy, money with the right appliances

Investing in energy efficient appliances is an effective way to live green and add value to your home. Homeowners with an old central air system can consider having a new, more energy efficient HVAC system installed. While these may come with an expensive up-front cost, the savings on energy bills over the long-term will prove to be a wise investment. Additionally, the inclusion of other energy efficient appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines and dryers will contribute to lower energy bills.

— Brandpoint/Icynene