compact kitchen units

Compact Kitchen Units: Complete Guidelines Before You Start Remodeling

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Your kitchen doesn’t look the way it used before? Have your cabinets become worn out? It can be expensive to change all of them - but what if we told you there’s another way to deal with this situation? Your kitchen can look as good as new without any major expenses.

Yes, remodeling your kitchen units can be a pretty daunting task - you need to know where to start, what to do, and even thinking about picking a design can give one a migraine. To make it easier for you, in this article, we’ve collected all the necessary information about compact kitchen units remodeling. And if you don’t know where to start with the design - check out these kitchen trends. This won’t take the burden off your shoulders, but surely will ease it.

Change the Surroundings

If you think that your kitchen units are in a pretty good state, but the kitchen itself needs a fresh look, you don’t always have to change the units. Sometimes, you may want to paint the walls using another color or replace some kitchen appliances with newer ones.

Installing under-cabinet lighting will be not only stylish but cost-effective as well, saving the energy and money. Also, looking into some new farmhouse sinks can be beneficial - especially if you have to repair your older one every few months. Not only will it be useful, it will also add a modern vibe to your kitchen.

Updating other kitchen features can be more practical than changing perfectly fine units - and you’ll get a more contemporary look without even needing to touch the cabinets.

Check If The Units Need Replacing

You don’t always have to replace the units, and most often, remodeling can be enough. However, if there’s some extensive damage, you might need to change them completely. Otherwise, you may spend time and money remodeling or repairing cabinets, and, after a short time, you’ll have to spend even more time and money to replace them.

To check the damage, carefully assess the condition. If the doors are damaged due to moisture, heat, or age - that’s okay, it’s pretty easy to replace them. However, if the boxes are in bad shape, you need to replace the cabinetry completely. And of course, if everything is in good condition, and you want to change only the way your kitchen units look, most often, remodeling will be easier and cheaper.

Replace Handles

If you don’t have the time, money, or energy to completely remodel the units, replacing the hardware will add a newer look. Handles don’t cost much - up to $10, depending on style and finish. It’s inexpensive, fast, and chic - look for the trendy handles, for example, black pulls or brushed gold knobs.

You can also switch from pulls to knobs and the other way round. It can be tricky, but don’t worry - it’s not as hard as you may imagine. You’ll simply need to cover the old holes with a faceplate and drill a new one (or ones).  

Refinish or Reface the Units

You may want to change only the design of the units if they’re in good condition. The solution is easy - paint or stain them. You don’t even have to clear the cabinets and store all the stuff in the boxes for weeks - just make sure to remove the items to the back of the cabinets, away from the area that you’ll paint. Neutral colors, such as sage greens, or black-and-white combination, will definitely give you units a more contemporary look. You can do it yourself or hire a local painter if you’re not sure of your skills.

And if you don’t want to change the way your units look completely but want to refresh them, refacing can be an excellent solution. For this, you’ll need to apply a veneer, which is a thin self-adhering layer of wood, over the existing body of the cabinets. You can buy the unstained veneer and decide which style to choose on your own.

Replace the Doors

When the condition of your units’ doors is unsatisfactory, it will be cheaper to replace only them, and not the entire unit. You can save even up to 50% of the units’ replacement cost, and the transformation will definitely amaze you. Also, you can choose any style you want, and even if it doesn’t match the unit’s boxes, you can always reface them.

For a more modern and stylish look, think about getting several glass doors - it will brighten the kitchen and display your beautiful dinnerware.

Not Only Is It Practical, It’s Fun!

Remodeling kitchen units can be an excellent solution if you want to add a fresher vibe in your organized home. Instead of worrying about the price of replacing the whole cabinets, check if you can replace only separate features, like handles or doors - it will cost less, and the kitchen will look differently. If you want to change the kitchen style, think about refinishing the units or replacing their surroundings, like sinks or kitchen appliances.

If you’re not sure of your skills, you can always hire a professional to refinish or paint your cabinetry. However, if you do it yourself, think of it not as of a job. Remodeling your cabinets can be fun - especially if you do it in the right company, to the right music, implementing the design you like.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.