Renovate Your Dream Kitchen

Sweeten DMD 19
Open shelving, instead of upper cabinets, is an inexpensive option for storage, and continues to be a huge trend in kitchen renovations.


The kitchen is often called the hub of the house. Perhaps it’s why it is the most often renovated room. To find out, we talked to Jean Brownhill, founder and CEO of Sweeten, a free service that matches renovating homeowners with vetted general contractors, providing support until project completion.

Sweeten DMD 19
Blue is big in 2019. Sweeten contractors are seeing homeowners choose blues of every shade in the kitchen.


Tell us about a favorite recent kitchen project. Nilda and Brian almost didn’t buy their “forever home,” a 4,400-square-foot 1912 Tudor colonial, because the kitchen was a hazard. With the exception of peeling laminate, it hadn’t been updated in 60 years; the floor was three inches off-level and the basement was visible through the floorboards! Nilda saw the potential and hired a Sweeten contractor to transform the space. Now a showcase wall has graphic tile and a beautiful range, and a second sink is tucked just outside the kitchen. A dining nook and relocated patio door open the flow. We love the joy this project brings to their family; their son says “Ta-da!” when he shows guests.


What are your favorite kitchen design trends for 2019? Minimalist kitchen hardware seen in drawer pulls and knobs are on trend this year. Opting for simple drawer pulls allows other elements, such as statement light fixtures (a great trend!), to shine.

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Keep colors relegated to the lower cabinets and make uppers white to open up the space, advises Jean Brownhill, founder and CEO of Sweeten.


How should homeowners determine where to splurge and save on a renovation?
Splurge on things that fulfill your emotional motivation (a huge kitchen island, for example), and items you’ll touch every day (faucets or hardware). Spend on licensed professionals—quality workmanship holds up over time—and upgrading electrical and plumbing while the walls are open. Save with open shelving instead of upper cabinets (another trend we love!).

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