Is your kitchen tired, dysfunctional or begging for help? If so, read on and discover cost effective ways to modernize and upgrade without breaking the bank.
From changing color schemes to replacing cabinet doors, pulls and sink faucets, you can dramatically transform a kitchen without gutting the entire space. Petaluma based interior designer Rochelle Mella and Galen Butts, manager of Garrett Ace Hardware in Healdsburg, tell us how.
“Do your homework first,” says Mella. “Start your journey by diligently researching DIY websites such as HGTV, Pinterest and Houzz for general design ideas.”
She also recommends YouTube as the place for hands-on tutorials covering every aspect of kitchen remodeling.
Then start with the little things. Moving small appliances to an adjacent pantry is an easy way to reduce countertop clutter. Improve the function of corner cupboards or narrow cabinets by installing a spindle-mounted Lazy Susan with rotating shelves.
Add roll-out shelves to provide easier access to items tucked in the far reaches.
Modifying your color scheme can dramatically change the mood. “If your kitchen is dark, with small windows, select light and bright colors and your kitchen will feel more airy,” says Mella.
“Alternately, if your kitchen is bathed in natural light, this is a great opportunity to use darker colors that can establish a sophisticated motif.”
Add a new faucet
Installing a new kitchen faucet can add a quick and inexpensive contemporary touch. Butts recommends selections by Moen, Delta and Pfister ($45 to $250).
“These manufacturers offer a complete line of replacement parts stocked by most plumbing departments, and the installation process is relatively simple,” he said.
“You might find an amazingly elegant fixture at an upscale kitchen shop, but be aware that replacement parts for exotic brands are sometimes hard to find.
“You do not want to pay your plumber a $100 or more just searching for a part.”
Replacing dated ceiling light fixtures can dramatically step up your kitchen’s appeal while improving the illumination. A multi-head track light can add a new level of sophistication, and each track head can be directed to illuminate a different task area.
Another way to improve ambiance lighting is to replace old fluorescent lights with recessed mini-cans.
You can install them without having to tear out drywall. Just cut a circular hole using the supplied template and attach the wires that connected the old fluorescent (black to black, white to white and ground to ground).
The new recessed unit slips through the hole in the ceiling, held firmly in place by the prongs projecting from the side of the can.
The wiring can easily be extended to additional can lights (recessed can and trim $50).
Replace doors & drawer fronts
Installing new cabinets in a standard kitchen will cost between $10,000 and $15,000, not including demolition labor and prep. But if your existing cabinets are in relatively good repair, consider replacing outdated door pulls with something jazzier. If the doors are dated too, you can replace the door and drawer panels for a fraction of the cost of a complete redo.
Local cabinet suppliers are plentiful, or you can visit online sources such as barkerdoor.com, which offers raw products from $10 to $75 per panel. Mella suggests ordering a sample during the planning stages to alleviate any pre-order jitters.
Winemakers From Down Under
There are fewer than 20 Australians and New Zealanders working now in the California wine industry, the majority as winemakers. Some others migrated to Washington, Oregon and British Columbia from their home country.
Most of those interviewed for this article agree that Grant Taylor, a Kiwi winemaker, was the first to come to California in 1979, to work at Pine Ridge in the Napa Valley. Taylor returned to New Zealand in 1993 and is the owner of Valli Vineyards in Central Otago.
The following is a partial list of Aussies and Kiwis, in chronological order by the date they first came to California and their present position in the California wine industry.
Rex Smith (Australia): 1984, winemaker William Knuttel Winery, Sonoma.
Daryl Groom (Australia): 1989, co-owner Colby Red Wine and Groom Wines
Nick Goldschmidt (New Zealand): 1989, Goldschmidt Vineyards and Nick Goldschmidt Consulting
Chris Loxton (Australia): 1991, owner/winemaker Loxton Cellars
Michael Scholz (Australia): 1991, vice president, Winemaking & Vineyards, St. Supery Estate Vineyards & Winery
Mick Schroeter (Australia): 1992, director of winemaking, Sonoma Cutrer
Toni Stockhausen (Australia): 1999, Winemaker, Bennett Valley Cellars
Wayne Donaldson (Australia): 2000, vp production, Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits
Sean McKenzie (New Zealand): 2001, senior winemaker, The Dreaming Tree
Susan Doyle (Australia), 2003: chief winemaker, Spring Mountain Vineyard
Matt Parish (New Zealand), 2003: managing dir., Matt Parish Wines, sold through Nakedwines and International consulting winemaker.
Matt Johnson (Australia), 2008: chief winemaker Americas, Treasury Wine Estates
Andrew Bilenkiji (Australia), 2012: winemaker, Ledson Winery
Sam Glaetzer (Australia), 2016: senior vice president wine & spirits production, Constellation Brands
- Gerald D. Boyd