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How to Change the Look of Your Kitchen on a Budget

Although it would be fun to gut and redesign a kitchen from the floor up, you don’t have to spend a mint to give your space a facelift. Instead of making sweeping changes that require contractors and a big chunk of your savings, focus on small changes that create a big impression. The best way to make budget-friendly changes is to make a list of the things most in need of refreshing and do some research to find your favorite options. With a bit of planning, you’ll know exactly how much you can expect to spend and have no trouble staying within those parameters.

Here’s a list of key elements to update in your kitchen that will make a big impact without breaking the bank.

Because they take up so much visual space in a kitchen, giving your cabinets an update can change the entire appearance of the room. The colors, style and size of your cabinets set the tone, so this is a great place to start if you want to create a new look. Whether you choose to paint them, add embellishments or incorporate some whimsical knobs, your cabinets are the canvas of your kitchen. Updating cabinets can be inexpensive, only requiring a gallon or two of paint or stain from Behr and a small cost to purchase new hardware.

Another element that can take up a lot of optical real estate is tile. This is especially true for kitchens with tile both on the floor and walls. If you already have tile in your kitchen, consider giving it a fresh coat of glaze to change the color to something more neutral. Kits are only about $50, and easy enough for a DIYer to accomplish over a weekend.

If your grout has faded from pristine to dingy, consider painting it with grout paint to make it look like new. This update will set you back about $12 per bottle and only a few hours for application.

Want to add more color or texture to your kitchen? Pick your favorite pattern and add a tile backsplash. In addition to being eye-catching, tile can also be easy to clean and will protect your walls from cooking splatters. Consider using a less expensive tile for the majority of the surface, adding pricier tile as an accent to save money.

Shelves and Storage
If you have a smaller kitchen, or one without a window over the sink, you can create functionality by adding shelves or storage spaces (like an island with drawers or cabinets). Adding shelves will give you extra horizontal space to experiment with, and an opportunity to show off your favorite artwork, heirloom dishes or a floral arrangement. It’s also a convenient place to store cookbooks you reference often, or frame a few handwritten recipe cards from someone you cherish.

As both a practical and aesthetic element, your kitchen faucet is bound to be noticed. Think about how many times in a day you fill a glass or rinse a dish. Swapping a tired old faucet for a new design with Touch2O Technology will help keep you efficient in the kitchen while adding a stylish update to your kitchen. This innovation is available in a variety of faucet styles, including coordinating bar/prep faucets, so you’re certain to find one in a traditional, transitional or contemporary style to coordinate with your new look.

Windows and Doors
Your guests’ first impression of your kitchen begins at the doorway, before they’ve officially entered the space. If your kitchen connects to a patio where you entertain, choose a door that’s easy to open while carrying dishes. Consider a swinging French-style door, or sliding patio door to allow a breeze to enter your kitchen.

Equally as important are the windows in your kitchen. If they’ve been painted over too many times or don’t allow in enough light, try adding a new window. Adding a bay window over your kitchen sink will give you more space for small potted plants, and will give you easy access to fresh air. If you like your current setup, consider adding a new window treatment to inject personality and style. Plantation blinds and Roman shades are easy to install and will give you control over how much natural light enters your space.

Making even one update from this list will change the look of your kitchen. To stick to your budget, make a wish list of updates and order them by priority, considering how to get the most mileage out of your options. With a few strategic purchases and a little DIY magic, you can produce a kitchen renaissance that your family and guests will admire and enjoy.