The kitchen is well known as the heart of the home. And because of all that time spent in the same gathering spot, you want your kitchen to feel fresh, inviting, and uniquely you—because an outdated kitchen can really drag down your home’s vibe, not to mention the resale value. Even if a complete gut job isn’t in the budget, there’s plenty you can do to give your kitchen a makeover—some for less than the cost of a fancy dinner out! Read on for some of our favorite low-cost ways to freshen up your kitchen’s look.
Give your cabinets new life. Cabinets are a major focal point of the kitchen, and the the first place to make a new change. However, if even the most affordable new cabinet options at your local home improvement store are out the question, there’s still plenty you can do to modernize their look:
- Painting cabinets can be a laborious process, but the results are surprisingly drastic, and well worth the time and effort. Are your cabinets exceptionally plain? Take it a step further and add molding to the fronts before painting.
- Embrace the open shelving trend by simply removing the cabinet doors (beware that you might find yourself dusting more often). Now you can show off your pretty, color-coordinated dishware!
- Add new hardware on the drawers and cabinets for an easy update—keep it simple and matching, or try mismatched, antique, or uniquely shaped knobs and pulls for an eclectic look.
- Love your current hardware but wish it were a different color or finish? Don’t be afraid to give them a little makeover with a can of spray paint.
Update your countertops. Natural stone countertops like granite and marble are gorgeous and understandably desirable—but they aren’t always an option for those of us on a budget. But even if a slab of granite is out of your range, you’re not a prisoner to boring laminate forever.
Cover the builder grade laminate in your kitchen with a few coats of concrete for easy DIY concrete counters. Or, if you don’t mind going faux, DIY your own Carrara marble counters. Another option in the natural stone department is faux granite. Neither is an exact duplicate of the real deal, but they are pretty convincing from a distance and will instantly beautify your kitchen a fresh, new look.
Upgrade your sink and faucet. Replacing your sink and faucet can breathe new life into a tired kitchen. While stainless steel sinks are de rigueur in newer homes, sinks are available in a number of materials and finishes, from cast-iron to copper, and the options for faucets are even more numerous. While you will be limited by the dimensions of your current sink unless you’re also replacing your countertops, you should still be able to find something that aligns with your aesthetic. Compared to other upgrades, a new sink and faucet can be surprisingly affordable, particularly if you are able to do the installation yourself.
Treat the walls to a fresh coat of paint. Sometimes the solution is really easy as a fresh coat of paint. If your kitchen is dark and dismal, why not lighten things up with a coat of bright white paint? While you’re at it, you might consider adding crown molding around the walls and cabinets. Crown molding is an extremely affordable DIY project that will look like an expensive upgrade when you’re done.
Create a splashy backsplash. A backsplash is not only functional, it also introduces color and texture to your kitchen. If your backsplash isn’t doing your kitchen any favors (or maybe your kitchen is pretty bare bones and doesn’t even have a backsplash), it’s time to give it an update. Mosaic tiles are a fun, modern option, and putting in a backsplash can easily be done in a weekend. If you’re intimidated by grout, look into peel-and-stick tiles, which can be applied over your existing backsplash.
Give your refrigerator a little TLC. If it’s not so much your kitchen that has you down as your outdated appliances, don’t be afraid to give them a little DIY attention, too. While it can be scary to, say, start painting your refrigerator with chalkboard paint, the results are a lot less permanent than some other DIY projects you could tackle (replacing a refrigerator is less of a headache than replacing countertops or flooring). If painting is too tedious, consider removable wallpaper/. Either way, your refrigerator will get a new look until you can replace it for good.
With the kitchen being the center of family life and the social hub of your home, any time or money spent sprucing it up will be well worth it in the end, and you’ll have a personalized space you love.