Updating Your Kitchen on a Budget

Posted: April 21, 2021

It’s been said that “the kitchen is the heart of the home.” For most of us, our kitchen is one of our most frequently used spaces in our home. When you roll out of bed in the morning, you probably stumble to the kitchen and fix a cup of coffee. If you have kids to get ready for school, you gather them together in the kitchen before they leave to send them off with a good breakfast and their lunch. When everyone gets home in the evening, you probably find yourself in the kitchen getting dinner ready. Your kitchen serves as the hub of your home!

Because of that fact, it can be easy to get let your kitchen start looking tired. It serves its intended purpose, and ultimately that’s what matters, right? After all, you don’t want to start investing in new appliances until something breaks down and is beyond repair. Fortunately, you can breathe new life into your kitchen without breaking the bank! Yes, new appliances certainly give you the opportunity to make your kitchen look like a brand-new space, but if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly kitchen upgrade, there are several ideas that you should consider.

Declutter
Ultimately, it’s easy to let clutter creep into virtually any space of your home. As time goes by, it’s easy to get careless and let a few cups, a couple plates and some Tupperware containers pile up on the kitchen counter. When you combine that clutter with a microwave, toaster, blender, and other kitchen must-haves, it’s pretty easy to let things get out of hand in a hurry. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed when you take a look around your kitchen, take the time to declutter. If you’ve picked up an excessive amount of coffee mugs, consider thinning out the collection. After all, you can only drink out of one at a time, right? Looks for ways to minimize the amount of items in your kitchen and see how simply decluttering provides a breath of fresh air into the space.

A (Back)splash of Color
If you’ve watched any of your favorite home renovation shows, you may have seen professional contractors cutting pieces of tile and installing a very complex pattern as the backsplash behind the stove or the kitchen sink. If you have a tile saw and some know-how, you’re certainly welcome to take that approach, but you have other options. If you’re not looking to lay each individual tile, consider buying a premade backsplash that you simply adhere to the wall. For those of us who may not even trust ourselves with the premade backsplash, you can get a peel and stick backsplash that allows for a few mistakes along the way. Make sure that you consider adding a splash of color or texture when choosing your backsplash. Since it covers such a small surface area, you can afford to be bold without making the kitchen appear too busy.

Literally Bring Some New Life into the Space
Consider bringing some plants into the kitchen. If you enjoy cooking and coming up with your own recipes, you can put some decorative pots in a window seal and grow your favorite herbs and spices. If you’re more of a takeout fan, you can still create a new feel in your kitchen simply by using some potted house plants. Not only does the greenery create a natural feel in the space, but you can use the pots as an opportunity to hit the room with a splash of vibrant colors or a complimentary texture. If you don’t exactly possess a green thumb, make sure you ask an employee at the store where you buy your plants for something that requires minimal maintenance. In most cases, they will be able to point you in the direction of something that only requires a little water and some natural light.

New Light Fixtures
Light fixtures are the kind of upgrade that can be as expensive as you want them to be. Recessed lighting is an incredibly popular design trend right now, especially in kitchens. Having said that, they do require a decent amount of work as you have to cut holes into the ceiling and wire the lights accordingly. If that sounds like it may be a little out of your league as far as DIY tasks, there are other light fixtures that are much simpler to install. Consider pendant lights which allow you to adjust their length, track lights that can be pointed in different directions to maximize light or another basic light fixture. Depending on the size of your kitchen and the design style you’re going for, an ornate light fixture can serve as a great focal point.

Create a Display Wall
If you have some built in shelving in your kitchen, you literally have a built-in opportunity to create an accent wall. Consider the overall design of your home and your kitchen and build a display on the shelf in your kitchen. For instance, if you have a farmhouse-style kitchen, you can use mason jars, a little burlap and some other “country” design elements to create a design focal point that will automatically catch the attention of anyone who comes into your kitchen. Your display shelf or wall doesn’t have to be expensive. Instead, look for items that fit with the overall theme of your kitchen and arrange them on your shelf.

Buy a Rug
Some people don’t think of a rug when they’re thinking of a way to spice up the way their kitchen looks, but you can find easy to clean rugs that are designed for kitchen use at virtually any store that sells home furnishings. It’s important to note that this rug doesn’t have to be a massive area rug. If there is a small walkway between your island and your sink, consider a runner-style rug that fits perfectly into that area. As we mentioned with a couple other suggestions, rugs give you the opportunity to introduce some color into the space without going overboard. If your kitchen is mostly white, consider an area rug with some bold colors and strong lines. The natural contrast formed here will make a major statement in your kitchen.

Update Your Cabinets
Yes, you can get new cabinets and countertops installed in your kitchen, but depending on the size of the space, a remodel of that size is going to cost several thousand dollars. If you’re looking for a way to make your cabinetry look new, roll up your sleeves and make it a DIY project. Take the time to take each cabinet door down, remove the hardware and paint the doors yourself. With a little bit of sandpaper and some paint, you can make the entire kitchen look different all on your own. While you have the doors off, consider putting on new hinges (or painting the existing ones). You can also make a major statement in your kitchen simply by changing out the handles on your cabinets and drawers. A little hint of color on your cabinet handles and drawer pulls can compliment the color of your backsplash, pots and other kitchen accessories. Sometimes subtilty is best and updating cabinet hardware can be subtle.

Paint a Wall…. or Four
Ultimately, painting the walls of a room is one of the best ways to change the look of the space. Perhaps you’ve already done it in other spaces in your home, but you just haven’t gotten around to painting the kitchen yet. If you don’t want to tackle something as large as painting the entire room, consider painting one wall a bold, vibrant color to create an accent wall. This will open up other design options in other areas as well.

You don’t have to hire a general contractor to come in and install granite countertops, recessed lighting and new cabinetry in order to update the look and feel of your kitchen. In fact, you can go to your local hardware store and find most of the items you need to do the job yourself. If you’re looking for a way to breathe new life into the hub of your home on a budget, these budget-friendly tips can create a completely new feel in one of your most often used spaces.

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