4 Essential Upgrades to Include in a Kitchen Remodeling for Big Families

A big family needs a big kitchen. While cozy kitchens and diminutive dining rooms are increasingly common to make room for master suites and walk-in closets, having many people under the same roof is easier when you maximize common spaces. Whether you have several young children or you’re living in a multi-generational home, these four essential upgrades for a big family should be part of your kitchen remodel.

Counter Seating

A formal dining room can be a pain to clean and set for just minor meals and snacks, so include a roomy bar or island with seating in your kitchen remodel. Counter seating provides a comfortable space for weeknight meals, busy breakfasts or lunches with friends and makes post-meal cleaning a breeze. Seating young children near your kitchen workspace also lets you keep an eye on them while you’re cooking.

Extra Floor Space

Avoid a cramped kitchen by incorporating lots of floor space into your kitchen remodeling plans. Plenty of room to move is not only important for comfort but also for safety. Tight corners and narrow traffic areas can result in injuries, especially with small children or elderly family members. Are you working with a small footprint? Keep cabinets and appliances narrow to maximize floor space.

Lots of Storage

A big family means big grocery hauls, and you need lots of storage solutions to keep all that food organized and accessible. Take your cabinets all the way to the ceiling so that no inch of space is wasted. Build in a pantry with lots of shelves and drawers. Make use of the area above your stovetop or kitchen island with hanging storage for pots and pans to free up more cabinet space for food storage.

Homework Space

Are you tired of the kitchen table being covered in textbooks, papers and pencils? Carve out a dedicated homework space in your kitchen. A kid-sized table tucked into a breakfast nook works perfectly, or use long floating desks if you’re short on extra space. The homework area also makes a great spot for crafting or working from home and can even double as a kid’s table for parties and holidays.

Remember, you don’t need a large house to have a roomy kitchen. Smart design can make even the tiniest of kitchens seem spacious. You can also move walls or rearrange rooms to make your kitchen larger. Expand a small galley kitchen into the dining room or combine the kitchen and living room for a contemporary open floor plan.

5 Inexpensive Upgrades to Make to Your Home This Fall

Whether you’re thinking about putting your house on the market soon or being home for months on end has you thinking about making upgrades to your space, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a full renovation project. In fact, you can give your home a facelift for less than a few hundred dollars with some of these easy projects that can be completed in a weekend.

Outdoor Cleanup

Is your home lacking in curb appeal? Are your plants looking tired and faded? If you’re planning to sell your place, a well-maintained landscape signals potential buyers that the home has been cared for, but even if you’re staying put, giving your home’s exterior a boost can increase its value and show the neighbors you care. Spend a weekend cleaning and sprucing up outside; just trimming hedges, cutting back tree branches, weeding, and clearing away any brush or debris can make a big difference. Put down a fresh doormat, and make sure your exterior lights work.

Fall is also the perfect time to get your yard ready for spring. If you aerate, fertilize, and overseed your lawn now, you’ll have lush green grass when the weather warms up. Plant bulbs, or divide your perennials to create more flowering plants in the spring.


For a cheap home upgrade, it’s hard to beat painting. A fresh coat of color can completely change a room’s appearance and cover-up imperfections like stains and dings. If you’re planning to sell, re-painting rooms in neutral colors will appeal to the majority of buyers. If you aren’t selling, don’t be afraid to be a bit bold and experiment. The worst that can happen is you’ll need to repaint.

Your interior walls aren’t the only places that can benefit from paint, either. Painting your front door can add to curb appeal while repainting your kitchen cabinets can take the room from drab to sunny for a fraction of the cost of new cabinets.

Lighting Upgrades

Old, outdated lighting fixtures can easily make your home look dated and neglected, even when everything else is in good shape. From the dining room chandelier to the bathroom sconces, take a critical look at the lighting in your home and change out old, ugly fixtures for newer ones. If the lights themselves are still in good shape, upgrade the lightswitches or switch plates for a small change with a big impact. Installing a dimmer switch or a Wi-fi enabled bulb that can be controlled using your phone is another simple project that creates a big impact.

A ceiling fan is also a big upgrade for little cost. A fan not only adds interest to the space, but it can help keep energy costs in check by cooling in the summer and circulating heat in the winter. If there’s already a ceiling light, you can use the existing wiring to install a fan with light without too much trouble.

Clean Floors

Even when you have a no-shoes indoors policy, your floors and carpets can get dirty thanks to pets, cooking, and dust. A thorough cleaning can make a huge difference in your home, eliminating odors, allergens, and stains, leaving the place feeling fresh and new.

If you have carpeting, schedule a professional steam cleaning before the winter to remove allergens like mold or pollen that have come in during the fall. If you have wood floors, consider renting a floor buffer for a weekend. A deep clean followed by buffing can leave your floors looking shiny and new. If the floors are in rough shape, refinishing may be an option, but it’s a more involved and expensive project.


Decluttering your home is a must if you’re planning to move, but it’s also a good idea to schedule the occasional cleanout so you stay organized — and your house stays clean. Sellers should focus on clearing out storage areas like closets and the garage, basement, or attic since buyers are often looking for extra storage space. Well-organized closets that aren’t overstuffed creates the appearance of plenty of space. Even if you’re not selling, clearing out items that are out of season, or you just don’t want anymore, helps you find everything more easily and helps you stay organized.

A new season is also a great time to clean out and organize your pantry. Get rid of any food that’s expired and take inventory of what you have on hand. Transfer items in bulky packages into sealed containers that keep them organized and fresh. It’s a simple change that can take your kitchen from cluttered to functional in no time.

Upgrading your home doesn’t have to mean spending thousands of dollars on projects. It’s possible to make big changes with just some time and a few hundred dollars, leaving you with a fresh, healthy, and organized home.