Kitchen Remodeling: Tips From Local Experts

Lori Graf of Malvern's Century Kitchens and Trez Pomilo of Sugarbridge Kitchen & Bath in Exton and Paoli share their remodeling secrets.

When it comes to resale value, the kitchen is prime territory. Remodeling recently noted that it’s not unusual for kitchen upgrades—minor or major—to garner a 72-percent return on investment. “Right now, 80 percent of our business is remodeling,” says Lori Graf, a designer and sales manager at Century Kitchens in Malvern. “People want their idea of their dream kitchen.” Here are some of the most popular wish-list items these days.

White and bright.  “Clients want a much cleaner look than it was even five years ago,” says Trez Pomilo of Sugarbridge Kitchen & Bath in Exton and Paoli. Installing glass-front cabinetry or adding color with an espresso-stained island are a few things Pomilo suggests for keeping the space from looking too stark.

Honed granite.  “It’s a more natural-looking surface,” says Graf. Marble may look appealing, but it’s not as durable as granite.

Islands.  They’re a must. Even in smaller kitchens, a well-planned design ought to be able to include one. “Guests love to gather around an island,” says Pomilo. “It also provides a separation between you and your guests when you’re busy preparing a meal.”

Stainless steel appliances.  And make sure they’re exposed. “People aren’t as crazy anymore about wood fronting,” says Graf. “We advise clients not to do it.”

» More Tips From Interior Designers

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