Nowhere else in the home does design and functionality need to be more harmonious than in the kitchen. This is the most-used room of the house, one where we spend most of our leisure time, one that gets the most attention from potential buyers and where we invest most of our dollars in renovation budgets.

A kitchen renovation costs an average of $ 20,000 with a potential 73% return on this expenditure at the time of resale. A more major renovation costs an average of $58,000 and provides a recovery potential of approximately 68% of the expense, according to a study conducted in 2010-2011 in the United States.

When you spend so much money on a renovation, you want to choose the improvements that achieve multiple objectives including efficiency, functionality and beauty. Some types of upgrades are more expensive, while others are easy and relatively inexpensive.

These five kitchen renovation elements will greatly improve functionality and beauty, while allowing you to recover your maximum investment upon the resale of your home:

1. Counters

In every kitchen, the counter is an important design element and must provide foolproof functionality. Counters act as work and storage areas, and surfaces on which to present food and beverages while playing a crucial role on the overall look of the kitchen. Replacing old laminate countertops with more upscale options such as granite can improve the appearance and usability of your work surface. Even if you opt to replace the old laminate with the same product, you will improve the overall look of your kitchen.

2. Lighting and ventilation

Effective lighting and ventilation in a kitchen will not only allow you to appreciate more the beauty of the room, they will provide a safer and more comfortable work environment. Under-cabinet lighting, internal cabinet lighting, task lighting and the addition of lights over the lunch counter will improve usability and beauty of your kitchen. Skylights, if operable, can assist in the removal of heat, moisture and odours while providing additional natural light. Accessories like decorative blinds with remote control, allow you to adjust the amount of light that enters your kitchen, while dressing your decor.

3. Cabinets

Upgrading your cabinets can be an expensive prospect, but well worth the investment because they serve as not only a major design element in the kitchen, but are essential to the effectiveness of cooking and convenience of all occupants. There are several options to renovate your cabinets, from total replacement with custom cabinets to simply repainting or resurfacing existing cabinets.

4. Equipment and accessories

The cabinet hardware and faucets are the jewels of your kitchen. Replacement of worn or dated materials – including knobs, handles and hinges – is a fast, easy and cost-effective way change the look of the entire room. In addition, you can improve the functionality by choosing larger pulls that are easier to use and replace the old hinges with modern varieties that close quietly and smoothly, or are completely concealed behind the cabinet door . Replacing the kitchen faucet is an easy way to freshen up the kitchen at low cost.

5. Appliances

Your car could not function without an engine and tires… Likewise a kitchen cannot accomplish its mission without proper appliances. If your appliances are more than 10 years old, chances are they getting tired and outdated. There is also a good chance they are less efficient than newer models. Kitchen appliances represent nearly 20% of the energy consumed by the average home, according