Cosmetic Kitchen Remodeling | Maryland, DC & Virginia
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Cosmetic Kitchen Remodeling

Cosmetic Kitchen Remodeling

A so-called ‘cosmetic’ kitchen makeover is a more economical way to give your kitchen a new look and feel, while adding to the resale value of your home. And in a depressed economy, this can be the most sensible way to get a fresh, new kitchen without breaking the bank! While a traditional kitchen remodel may involve moving walls, purchasing new cabinetry, and ripping out flooring and other finishes, cosmetic kitchen remodeling will address any aesthetic and functional concerns, while attempting to leave much of the existing structure and footprint intact.

Cosmetic Kitchen Remodeling Considerations

When tackling a cosmetic kitchen remodeling project, there are several strategies that offer a lot of bang for your renovation buck:


  • If your cabinets are in good shape structurally, painting them will have a dramatic visual impact. Dated oak cabinetry, for example, can be made to look sleek and fresh with just a new coat of paint. And with the limitless paint options out there, your imagination can run wild!
  • Sometimes replacing just the faces of your cabinetry is the best option, particularly when you want a different door style. This option essentially leaves the frames of the cabinetry in place, while replacing just the front of the door and drawer. For framed or inset cabinets, the frames will also need to be resurfaced to coordinate with the new door color or stain.
  • If you really love the look of your existing cabinets, but want a change of some sort, consider replacing just the knobs or pulls, as well as the hinges. A large-scale stainless pull is an inexpensive way to transform a simple cabinet into something smoother and sleeker!


  • Flooring can make or break a kitchen, both aesthetically and functionally. More often than not, clients seek flooring options that are easy to clean and maintain. Porcelain tile is an economical choice that is available in a wide range of styles and sizes. Additionally, it is an extremely durable material (often used in commercial settings) that can handle a lot of ‘hazards’ (kids, pets, etc.). For people with any sort of back or joint problems, a softer option underfoot is often preferable. In this instance, cork or linoleum are excellent budget and design-friendly options.
  • If cleaning is a concern, remember that larger tiles, with less grout lines, are generally easier to clean.
  • To give an existing wood floor new life, refinish and re-stain the existing floor with a different color. Consider adding a decorative border for more visual interest.


  • Backsplashes add a lot of visual appeal in a kitchen, so it’s important to consider this decision carefully! From subway tiles and mosaics to solid stone and stainless steel, the options are virtually endless. Backsplashes are a great place for an unexpected pop of color, pattern, or detail!
  • If you fall in love with a pricier backsplash material, such as a high-end glass mosaic, consider using it as an accent behind your stove, or as an accent band in conjunction with a simpler, less expensive tile.


  • If you can only afford to replace one thing in your kitchen, countertops are likely to give you the biggest return on your investment. Natural stone has long been regarded as the material of choice for new kitchens, but more and more, we are seeing clients turn to quartz products, which can mimic the look of natural stone, without the pesky upkeep. Silestone, Cambria, and Caeserstone are three great resources for quartz tops.
  • For smaller kitchens, particularly those with smaller countertop areas, remnants may be an option. When only a portion of a slab is used for a project, the stone supplier will usually sell the remaining (remnant) piece at a steep discount, meaning you can get a quality material at a more affordable price. This is a great solution for cosmetic kitchen remodeling.


  • New appliances not only look great, but they can also make for a better functioning (if not more energy efficient) kitchen. If the footprint of your kitchen is staying the same, it is important to purchase appliances that will fit your existing space and cutouts. Regardless of your finish preference or budget, it’s always best to seek professional help when purchasing new appliances and seeking to work within an existing cabinetry framework.
  • If your budget doesn’t permit all new appliances, small changes like a new stainless dishwasher skin or appliance paint can make a kitchen feel more updated until your budget permits new appliances altogether.

Plumbing Fixtures

  • Faucets are like the jewelry of a kitchen, so when looking for these finishing touches, be sure to keep in mind the aesthetics. A new polished chrome faucet will add instant appeal to the sink area, while also making everything seem cleaner.


  • Replacing pendant lights and other surface-mounted lights are a quick and highly-impactful update in a kitchen. A trio of quirky, colorful pendants, or a large linen drumshade over a dining nook can add unexpected drama in your space.

From Dark and Dated to Light and Airy

Cosmetic Kitchen Makeover

For a recent Washington, DC client, where their kitchen had all the right bones, but the dated, stained cabinetry and dark granite made the space feel closed in, our team suggested a cosmetic kitchen remodel. By painting the existing cabinets in a subtle ivory color, the space was immediately brighter. The dark granite was replaced with a more traditional Italian Carrara marble, while dated appliances were replaced with stainless alternatives. New knobs, a new faucet, and a vintage-style pendant over the sink completed this upgraded look.

About Meg Tawes, Allied ASID, LEED AP

Meg joined the Wentworth team in 2011 and helps homeowners achieve the space they want, while ensuring they are spending wisely in the long-run and adding value to their homes.

Read more about Meg.

“ We are extremely pleased with the construction and the way the process went so well. And, we are pleased that the project came in on budget as well. We felt that communication throughout the process was extremely good. When problems arose, they were quickly attend to and explained to us. The care and consideration for our neighbors was commendable. ”

Rindy and Frank O.