I write for Homes.com and earlier this month, I discussed how to easily update the look of your kitchen with paint or removable contact paper. Today, I’m taking things a step further by showing how to update the look of your kitchen with lighting, architectural elements, hardware, paint, accessories, and furniture. If your budget doesn’t allow for all of these changes, pick one or two ideas that interest you and make gradual improvements. Remember that decorating should be viewed as a process and not a race!
1. Kitchen Lighting Lighting can indeed be pricey; however, with a bit of creativity you can update your lighting on-the-cheap! Below are examples of second hand lights given new life with just a can of spray paint and some ingenious tweaking. Places to search for affordable lighting are thrift stores, Habitat Re-stores, and on Craigslist.
2. Open Shelving & Architectural Elements Updating your builder grade cabinets with architectural elements is a fantastic way to achieve a new look for less. In the first two pictures below, you can see that the homeowner replaced her top cabinets with open shelving and installed a beadboard ceiling. If ripping out your existing cabinets isn’t an option, consider removing some cabinet doors to create an “open shelf” appearance.
In the bottom two pictures, the homeowner upgraded her island by installing beadboard paneling and some newel half posts. Before completely gutting your kitchen, consider adding on to your existing cabinetry with beadboard paneling, molding, and corbels. Tip: If you are a DIY beginner, paintable beadboard wallpaper can be used on the ends of cabinets to create a more custom and finished look.
3. Backsplash Installing a kitchen backsplash is probably easier than you think and can make a huge difference in the overall appearance of your kitchen. I recently updated my kitchen backsplash using garden stones! The entire project cost me less than $100, and I am thrilled with the end results.
4. Hardware Your faucet, knobs, and pulls are the jewelry of your kitchen. Changing them out for something fresher will change the look and feel of your space. Tip: Spray paint can be used to change the color of your knobs and pulls, but faucets don’t fair as well when spray painted.
5. Paint A fresh coat of paint on the walls will give your kitchen a complete facelift. Choose a color that compliments your cabinetry and blends with the surrounding rooms. If you like to play it safe with color, consider choosing a neutral color for the walls and a fun bold accent color for your pantry door!
6. Accessorize Never underestimate what a bowl of pears, a vase of flowers, or beautifully displayed plates can do for your kitchen! Consider displaying your prettier dishes. Place seasonal fruit in bowls as an accessory and healthy snack, or grow garden herbs in your kitchen windowsill. Every space feels fresher when you include something alive and something personal!
7. Furniture Changing the look of your kitchen stools might be the easiest solution to a quick and affordable update. Spray painting your existing furniture is always an option! However, if you’re looking to purchase new stools, a contemporary update to consider would be metal stools. They are typically affordable and offer a modern contrast to a traditional kitchen.
Whether your budget is large or small, there is an affordable kitchen update waiting for you! I’d love to hear if you are planning on using some of these ideas to update your own kitchen. Please let me know in the comments which updates look doable to you!