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Updating your kitchen is an investment that can add real value to your home.

Whether you have the finances to remove walls to increase the size of the room, or if you can only stretch to changing the cosmetics, when it comes to selling, you will get a healthy return on the initial outlay.

Here’s how to update your kitchen to make an impact, no matter what your budget.

Flooring

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The flooring of a kitchen needs to be durable and hard wearing. It suffers from the most traffic in comparison with the other rooms in your home, and so the flooring you choose must be able to withstand heavy use.

If you have a wooden floor in your kitchen, you can easily give it a new lease of life by sanding it and down and treating it with a wax, varnish or oil.

Be mindful that wooden floors need to be regularly maintained to ensure their durability and promote their longevity.

If you do not think that you will be able to commit to its upkeep, wooden flooring will not be the best option. Instead, consider ceramic tile or linoleum options that can look great and are easy to clean.

Fresh paint

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Painting your kitchen walls is an easy way to update your kitchen.

Do remember that the more matte the paint, the harder it is to clean, so this may influence the type of paint finish you choose.

You need a paint that will be hardy against the condensation and cooking, and can be wiped clean. If possible, use paints that are specifically designed for kitchens and bathrooms as they are formulated to create a barrier on the paint that will keep it looking good for longer.

Lighting

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The lighting that your kitchen needs will depend on its size, and whether you use the room for other functions.

As a minimum, you will need task lighting, and you can update your kitchen lighting with recessed lighting to give it an uncomplicated but stylish look.

Most recessed lighting comes with circular trim pieces, but for a contemporary finish, a square recessed lighting trim is a subtle detail that impresses and turns an ordinary room into one that is unique and beautiful.

If the size of the room allows, additional lighting options can add to the ambiance. Wall sconces provide a softer, more intimate lighting solution for dining areas, or you may prefer a statement light to illuminate the area.

Cabinets

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Update your cabinets by painting them colors that complement your design scheme. Do not be afraid of using contrasting colors, especially between the kitchen island and the surrounding cabinets.

Again, you will need to pay attention to the paint that you use (a latex satin finish is recommended), and understand that this is not a quick job: you need to prepare for this task if you are doing it yourself.

Think about how you use your kitchen, and how you can use the lighting and the colors you choose to define the different areas.

Kitchens are no longer just a room to prepare meals in; they are the heart of every home, and as such, you will enjoy your updated kitchen for many years to come.