This One Kitchen Upgrade Will Make the Biggest Difference in Home Value—and It's Affordable

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Kitchen with upgrades to increase home value

Many of us want to make choices in our homes to increase their value, but it can sometimes feel unattainable when you see renovations on Instagram that likely cost a fortune. Fortunately, chef-turned-designer and founder of Hedley & BennettEllen Bennett, is here to share the one kitchen upgrade that makes a huge difference in home value—and it won't break the bank.

And after taking notes on her tips below, you can learn even more kitchen tricks and hacks by tuning into Tastemade’s newest original series, Kitchen Glow Up, where Bennett is the host and uses her expertise to help families and individuals transform this space in their homes with function and beautiful design in mind.

"The inspiration for the show really kind of comes from my background," Bennett tells Parade. "I spent a lot of years in professional kitchens cooking and I learned a ton being a line cook—how to organize the cabinets, how to organize drawers, how to be more efficient in the kitchen—and I realized it was a total disconnect between that world and home kitchens."

With home kitchens generally not being "set up for success," and her strong passion for organization that's obvious on screen, Bennett believes the show is informative and empowering for viewers to watch—likely helping them feel motivated to make changes in their own spaces.

"They are going to learn a lot and they are going to realize they have most of the tools already in their kitchen," she says.

The first two episodes premiere on Tuesday, May 28 at 7:00 p.m. on the Tastemade streaming channel.

Related: Decluttering This One Unexpected Area Makes the Biggest Difference in Your Home

The Easy Kitchen Upgrade That Increases Home Value

"I'm pretty obsessed with properly sized sinks," Bennett tells Parade. "So having a 36-inch wide sink with a proportional depth is such a game changer if you think about the fact that most kitchens that were built in the 70s and 80s have those terrible double ones that look like little bowls. It can upgrade the value and look and aesthetic of your kitchen." 

Plus, you don't have to spend a ton of money to make this transformation happen. 

"You can buy them on Facebook Marketplace, you can buy used ones—you don't have to go out and buy a brand new one and you can do a stainless steel one or a porcelain one," Bennett explains. "That's something I changed in almost every single kitchen that we remodeled. I got rid of their double or single small sink and I gave them a 36-inch sink and you should have seen the look on these people's faces—they were blown away because now you can fit a baking sheet, a giant pot, a giant pan. This concept of, like, 'You need small, you're gonna maybe save more water,' I don't actually think you do."

Related: 25 Genius, Low-Cost Storage Ideas for Small Bedrooms

Other Affordable Kitchen Upgrades That Make a Big Difference

"Another thing that I've noticed is people don't have pantries," Bennett tells Parade, recommending that homeowners create a pantry zone for a kitchen, even if it's not built in. "Go to IKEA and then paint it the same color as the cabinet you already have—that's a great little hack and way to upgrade the value." 

Bennett says that she did exactly that in one of the Kitchen Glow Up episodes. 

"[The homeowner] had this adjacent room to the kitchen and it was just kind of hanging out, like it was an empty, random big room and the kitchen was in the middle of the house, so I extended the cabinets," Bennett shares. "By getting IKEA bases and having the fronts customized, it was a couple of thousand dollars versus $50,000 to change out all the cabinets."

Another recommendation? Add wallpaper or paint.

"I love wallpaper—wallpaper or paint—because it's inexpensive. It has a massive impact, visually, and you can take an old, not-so-great cabinet and paint it a different color, and you don't even recognize it. Then, if you throw in new tile as the backsplash, it's like, 'Whoa different kitchens," Bennett says.

"I love wallpaper in the nod of what is even easier than tile and painting because you can put it up (and they sell wallpaper that can be ripped down), but it adds a little bit of personality to the kitchen and texture and color that is not just flat," she explains.

Next: 80 Home Office Ideas for an Organized and Creative Workspace


Host Ellen Bennett is the LatinX founder & chief brand officer of Hedley & Bennett, the leading Los Angeles-based culinary brand. Ellen attended culinary school in Mexico City, and has cooked in two Michelin Star restaurants, Providence and Baco Mercat, in Los Angeles. Working in these kitchens inspired the vision for Hedley & Bennett: make the best aprons in the world by marrying the needs of professional chefs with the design trends for today's discerning consumers. Today, Hedley & Bennett makes culinary workwear and gear that outfits more than 6,000 restaurants, hotels, coffee shops, resorts, and hundreds of thousands of home cooks all over the world.