Updating a small kitchen

C., who is certified by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

“Designers talk about patina, but you have to remember that’s just a fancy term for scratches and stains,” he says.

If you can fall in love with a Danby marble from Vermont instead of one of the more expensive Italian imports, you’re going to save at least 20 percent.

There are even bigger savings out there with granite, especially if you choose from remnants at the stone yard. Laminate, the most affordable countertop option by far, has come a long way.

If, like many homeowners, you want things to stay looking new, consider quartz, a highly durable engineered stone that can resemble natural stone.

Stainless steel has dominated appliances for decades, but some experts say its reign may be coming to an end.The result is a fully integrated look that’s in keeping with the current taste for clean, minimalist design.The good news is that this style is inherently less expensive—and easier to clean—than the once-fashionable country kitchen, which called for cabinetry with elaborate moldings and applied detail. A pro-style, 36-inch range with high-Btu burners; a built-in refrigerator with panels that match the surrounding cabinetry; and whisper-quiet dishwashers are expected in today’s luxury homes.“If buyers walk into a high-end home and see apartment-grade or even midrange appliances, they’re going to wonder what else is missing from their wish list,” says Jim Hamilton, regional vice president of the National Association of Realtors.

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