Kitchens can often make or break a house for home buyers. It’s one of the most frequented rooms in the house and it’s near impossible to hide when company is over. Not everyone has the money or the time for a full kitchen renovation, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with an ugly kitchen for the rest of your life! With a little imagination, a small amount of money, and some elbow grease you can easily give your kitchen a mini-makeover that won’t break the bank.
Paint the cabinets
Kitchen cabinets are one of the first things you notice when you walk into a kitchen. Even if yours are dated in style you can easily change the whole look in just one day by painting them. Painting cabinets is a pretty daunting project so it’s easy to put off because so many steps are involved: the removal of cabinet doors, removal of hardware, cleaning, sanding, wiping down, a couple coats of paint, drying time, and then reattaching the doors. I’ll tell you from firsthand experience though, a day spent on this project will completely transform your kitchen. It’s been a few months since we painted our cabinets, but I still think, “Wow, what a difference!” every time I walk into the room. Our kitchen here still needs new countertops, a backsplash, and blinds but by painting the cabinets we were able to breathe fresh air into the space and it immediately made the whole room feel lighter and less dated.
A quicker fix would be to simply update the kitchen hardware. Even the most inexpensive hardware at the home improvement store can completely transform the look of a tired-looking kitchen. We swapped out the old, peeling, faux-brass knobs with stainless steel knobs and it immediately brought the kitchen into the 21st century. Brass is back in style now but it’s different than the ultra-shiny brass of the ’90s. If your kitchen is full of the old shiny brass, consider updating your hardware to a matte gold/brass or stainless steel color. It’ll likely cost less than $100 (depending on what style you choose and how many knobs/drawer pulls you need) but it will make a big difference.
Quick countertop fixes
Everyone wants marble or granite countertops but sometimes that’s simply not in the budget. If you have formica countertops you could try painting them with one of the kits sold at home improvement stores, or you could go the concrete route. I’ve even read about putting concrete on top of Formica countertops as a quick and easy fix (that is likely what we’ll do in our kitchen). Another affordable option is butcher block, which you can sand and restain whenever it’s looking a little beat up.
Consider adding a kitchen island
If your kitchen footprint is large but lacking in counter space, consider buying a kitchen island. There are all sorts of different styles, including islands on wheels, islands with ample storage space below, and even islands with an overhang so that you can tuck barstools underneath. Another alternative would be to use an antique table as a makeshift kitchen island. No matter which kind you choose, a non-permanent kitchen island is a great way to increase your usable space without making a permanent and costly change to your kitchen floorplan.
Freshen up the paint
Another affordable kitchen upgrade would be to simply paint your walls. Sometimes a fresh coat of paint can work wonders! If you’re a bit handier then you could even install a backsplash.
No matter how bad your kitchen is, don’t feel like you are destined to live with it that way forever. Even if you can’t afford a major upgrade or hire a contractor, there are always manageable DIY options that can make a big difference with a minimal budget.