Kelly S. King has helped clients modernize kitchens across the Omaha metro (and around the world) for more than 32 years.

His Omaha-based company, Kitchens ReDefined, specializes in strategic, cost-saving renovations.

Here are King’s Top 12 upgrades for a brand-new look without gutting the kitchen.

1. Repainting/refinishing

Refinishing or repainting existing cabinets offers an easy kitchen update — but don’t cut corners. Thorough cleaning, sanding and primer application are essential before painting/staining. For the primer, King uses a “state-of-the-art and environmentally friendly” chemical bond coat that his company produces. “A good refinish or paint job done right can last years; a poor job may yellow and chip after a few months,” he says.

2. Cabinet doors

Replacing doors with outdated style can transform a kitchen. Remember to repaint/refinish the cabinet boxes to match upgraded doors and drawers.

3. Refacing

“Refacing” means to replace the exterior layer of cabinetry. It gives the appearance of totally new cabinets. “For example, you can skin over oak with a walnut veneer and then do new walnut doors,” King says, adding that there are many fun refacing options with specialty and exotic woods.

4. Crown molding

Adding new crown molding (or replacing existing crown molding with a larger style) can transform any room.

5. Oven hood

Remove a microwave over a stove and put it in the pantry. Add a range hood and chimney above the stove for a dramatic statement in the kitchen (possibly with new tiling, reclaimed wood or different paint finishes around the hood).

6. Floating shelves

Consider replacing upper cabinet boxes with new floating shelves for an open feel. Local hardware stores sell basic floating shelving options. Custom-built floating shelves can carry more weight with more design options available.

7. Hinges

Add soft-close hinges to hide exposed hinges and prevent doors from slamming shut.


Replace or retrofit drawers with soft-close glides for greater functionality (while removing rickety, noisy, sticking drawers).

9. Backsplash

Add a tile backsplash (or replace an outdated backsplash). Try a simple, traditional subway tile. Or consider a bold tiling statement utilizing the plethora of color, pattern and texture options now available.

10. Countertops

Replace old granite or Formica countertops with beautiful zero-maintenance quartz.

11. Hardware

Install new, designer cabinet hardware (handles and knobs) for a bold statement.

12. Flooring

Refinish that tired, old flooring. Or replace it with wider plank wood, engineered wood or synthetic luxury vinyl planking.

To learn more, call 402-204-1299, or visit

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