Kitchen design tips from HGTV’s Designed to Sell

FalamakibeforeandafterKitchen makeovers will be the focus for a solid week — from April 7 to 11 — on HGTV's "Designed to Sell," which the network says is one of its top 10 most-popular series. It airs weeknights at 8 p.m. ET/PT

As a warm-up for kitchen design week, the show has sent tips to us from two of the designers, tips that could come in handy even if you're not planning on selling.

Kitchen makeover tips from Monica Pedersen, designer on the show's Chicago team:

• Change out old cabinet hardware for a new, updated look.
• Replace cabinet inserts with fabric or tin.
• Paint dated wood cabinets a fresh white or cream.
• Butcher-block countertops are affordable and easy, and look better than old laminate.
• If you can't afford granite or marble, try less-expensive granite or marble tiles and use a matching grout to make countertops look seamless.
• Islands and peninsulas add counter space and are multifunctional (i.e. dining, homework, entertaining).

Kitchen makeover tips from John Gidding, designer on the show's Atlanta team:

• Drop a few dollars on the right light fixture. Because the kitchen is the room most people spend a lot of time in, make sure it's well-lit and that the fixture matches the style of your kitchen.
• Change the faucet. This is one of the first things people look at when they walk into a kitchen for the open house. You can find beautiful faucets in a variety of styles for under $75 that'll make your kitchen look sleek and new.
• Focus on your backsplash. Find prefabricated backsplashes that look high-end and expensive and combine them to make it fit your kitchen. Don't worry about the seams — that's a cool modern look that you did on purpose.

(Photo: Jay Falamaki's West Los Angeles condo kitchen redo)

• You don’t need to hide all those utensils in drawers. The modern kitchen has everything right at hand. Put a utility board up above your backsplash and hang your knives and other cooking utensils. Not only will you have more room in your drawers, but your kitchen will look like a chef’s kitchen.
• Don’t replace the hinges; spray-paint them. Replacing old-looking hinges can be a real hassle, and the cost can go up fast. Unscrew the hinges and place them all on a piece of cardboard, including the screws. Get some metal spray paint and a few quick coats will give you a "brand new" set of hinges.
• Eat-in kitchens are still hot. If your kitchen is way too small to make it eat-in, all you need is a small bar, a tiny window seat or a small fold-down table to enjoy your breakfast in the warmth of your kitchen in the morning.