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5 Easy-to-Tackle Remodels to Update a Tired Kitchen

By Shelley Little 

Renovating the kitchen can return huge dividends in your enjoyment of a home, and much of the project can pay for itself when you decide to sell (Remodeling Magazine estimates a 66% return on major kitchen remodels).

But a smaller investment in your kitchen could return even more. If the average home in your neighborhood sells for $250K, it may not make sense to drop $50K on a kitchen overhaul, but there’s a better chance of recouping a $10K facelift.

Here a few minor kitchen remodeling projects that focus on upgrading what is already there, providing a new look and (hopefully) a return on investment. Best of all, you don’t have to eat take-out for months while these remodels are underway:

Cabinet refacing

Do you like the current layout of your kitchen? Is the overall shape and internal quality of your cabinets appealing, but they look tired and outdated? If you answered yes, then cabinet refacing is a great option for you.

With cabinet refacing, the cabinet doors and drawer fronts are replaced, while the existing cabinet boxes may be veneered. In mere days, cabinet refacing gives your kitchen a whole new look without gutting it or buying pricey new cabinets. The cost of cabinet refacing, depending on surface material (laminate, wood veneer, etc.) ranges from $1,000 to $9,000 for a 120 square foot kitchen, as opposed to $4,000 up to $20,000 for entirely new cabinets in the same space.

1 Cabinet Refacing

New Lighting

A brightly lit kitchen makes for a more welcoming and functional space. Consider replacing recessed lights with impactful pendant lighting. There are conversion kits that allow you to quickly and easily convert recessed lights to pendants or chandeliers in mere minutes. These offer stylish solutions for the space over kitchen islands or sink areas. If you already have pendant lighting installed, mimic some design professionals by upgrading to a large drum shade.

2 Lighting

Paint cabinets

Painted cabinets are very on-trend at the moment, with most homeowners opting for a different color island, or lower cabinets painted in a different color than the upper ones. If your budget is very tight, painting is a great temporary kitchen remodel idea until you decide to reface or replace your cabinets.

3 Paint Cabinets

Upgrade appliances

According to CBS Money Watch, 65% of remodelers are currently incorporating stainless steel appliances into their projects. But here’s the thing with appliance upgrades—you often can’t take them with you when you move, because the new buyers want them. You have to regard these upgrades as a perk you can enjoy while living in the residence, but not one you get to keep. You do get to keep the return on investment, however, and those shiny appliances will certainly appeal to buyers.

4 Appliances

New Countertops

Granite and quartz are all the rage in modern kitchens, but even a stylish new laminate design can transform a room. There is also a more recent trend to mix and match kitchen counter materials, with the island featuring more unique materials such as reclaimed wood or steel. Choose a style that you love, but always consider how long a trend will last. You don’t want to get caught in a case of stylistic depreciation and eventually detract potential homebuyers.

5 Countertops

If you’re considering a minor kitchen remodel, be sure to do your homework first. You want to avoid spending far more money than you can recoup. Cabinet refacing is a particularly great investment because it results in what looks like a complete aesthetic makeover, without the hassle of gutting your kitchen. Along with refacing, consider other small upgrades such as replacing knobs and handles, and painting walls a welcoming, light color.


Shelley Little writes on home design and décor for Home Depot. When Shelley isn’t busy writing, you can find her designing and decorating her own home in Iowa. To see Home Depot’s selection of cabinet refinishing in-home options, visit the company’s website.

Millennials Turn to Video When Making Purchases

gadget-useGeneration Y is a demographic coveted by retailers and marketers for their purchasing power. Millennials, the generation born between 1980-2000, will spend more than $200 billion annually starting in 2017, and $10 trillion in their lifetimes. According to Animoto, an online video creation application, new data from the 2015 Animoto Online and Social Video Marketing Study reveals video is no longer optional for brands and businesses looking to market to millennials. The study revealed seven in 10 are likely to watch a video when shopping online and 80 percent find video helpful when researching a purchase decision online.

In an era defined by instant access, powerful consumer voices and expectations of brand transparency, millennials’ standards are higher for businesses than ever before. Brands must use new mediums and know not only how to reach them where they are online, but also according to their preferences in order to tap into that spending power. Animoto surveyed 1,051 U.S. consumers and published an infographic in conjunction with the study.

Millennials Use Video to Make Purchase Decisions

Increasing exposure to video has impacted Gen Y’s view on video in the purchasing process. Compared to baby boomers, millennials are 150 percent more likely to comparison shop with video while shopping for a home, and 146 percent more likely to watch a video if it’s available on a company’s site while shopping online, and four in every five find video helpful during initial research for a purchase decision. Brands must strategically incorporate video into their online presence to assist this generation throughout the purchase cycle.

  • 85 percent find video home tours helpful.
  • Nearly three-quarters find video helpful when comparison shopping.
  • Seven in 10 are likely to watch a company video when shopping online.
  • 69 percent find video helpful post-purchase to research additional items from the same company.
  • Nearly one-third find it helpful to watch video to learn more about a company before making a purchase.
  • Millennials are 264 percent more likely to share videos about a product, service or company while shopping online than baby boomers.

Video Improves Traditional Marketing to Millennials

Nearly two-thirds of millennials (62 percent) prefer to watch a video from a company instead of reading text, and more than half are likely to watch a video from a brand if they receive it in an email. With this directive, businesses can incorporate video into traditional components of the marketing mix to effectively reach Gen Y-ers.

  • Six out of 10 prefer to watch a company video over reading a company newsletter.
  • 53 percent are more likely to read a newsletter from a company if video is included.

Millennials Connect With Brands on Social Media and Mobile

Businesses must ensure video content is optimized across the devices and channels millennials frequent most. Nearly half (48 percent) only watch videos on their mobile device. Millennial engagement with brands on social media is high; on Facebook, 84 percent follow brands.

  • 76 percent follow companies on YouTube.
  • Nearly half of millennials (47 percent) follow companies or brands on Twitter.
  • 45 percent prefer to watch video on their mobile device rather than on a laptop or desktop.
  • Four in 10 millennials (42 percent) follow companies or brands on Instagram.

Source: animoto.com

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

Is Email Marketing Part of Your Business Plan?

By Courtney Soinski

shutterstock_167545355The great big world of marketing has come a long way over the past few decades, especially since the emergence of social media, search engine marketing, and yes…even email. If email marketing is not part of your business plan, then it’s time to make a change.

Here are 5 reasons why email is the way to go.

Email gives you relevant insights.

Many email marketing services offer detailed analytics reports for each of your mailings. Study them so you can use those insights to benefit your next campaign’s success. Take note of your opens and click-through rates (CTR) in order to identify what’s making the numbers go up or down. Be sure to pay attention to the number of unsubscribes – if opt-outs are high, you may want to try something different in your next email.

Email is personal and targeted.

Email-MarketingBy implementing email marketing in your business plan, you are able to completely personalize, target and greet each person with ease. You can even segment your contact lists into demographics such as location or gender, then send custom emails to people in those smaller lists. This has been proven to improve the overall results of your email campaign, so why not give it a try?

Email is shareable.

A great email contains content that people actually want to share, and gives readers an easy way to do it. In addition to having a “forward to a friend” link, it helps tremendously to include buttons to share on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and any other social media platform. Include a public link at the top that directs readers to the web version of your email. This makes it super simple for people to spread the word!

Email has a global reach.

Regardless of where you are sending from or who you are sending to, you can reach your target audience everywhere in a very short time. Email marketing helps keep customers around for a repeat purchase or even get brand new customers. Also, I highly recommend setting up automated email campaigns. They are simple, automatic, and completely customizable. Keep in mind, however, the spam laws in different countries like Canada. To avoid any trouble, familiarize yourself with the CAN-SPAM Act.

Email provides a higher return on investment.

Email marketing has the power to increase sales as long as you know how to use it. You’ll show your customers how valuable your brand is by simply sharing information about your business and content related to your product or service through emails. I have found that the best approach is by sending your readers a variety of different types of emails, such as promotional or an email that introduces a new product or service to the brand.

Try sending different types of emails to different segments of your audience for the best possible results. Track your analytics to gain an understanding of what works and what doesn’t work.

Good Luck and Happy Emailing!



“How Email Marketing Helps Your Small Business”, Vertical Response;

“15 Email Marketing Tips”, Forbes