updating your kitchen

Updating Your Kitchen on a Budget

Updating Your Kitchen on a Budget

As an interior designer at a design-build firm, I work on all different types of residential remodels. Year after the year, the type of job I work on the most is kitchen remodels, and 2017 has been no different. As the heart of the home, the kitchen is where families gather, holidays are celebrated, and memories are made.  Thus, it makes sense that this is the room that people want to put their remodeling budgets towards. But what happens when you want a dream kitchen but the budget for a full remodel is only in your dreams? Here are a few tips for updating your kitchen without breaking the bank.



Paint is one of the easiest and most economical ways to update the look of your kitchen. A fresh coat on the walls is a surefire way to change up the current look of your space–but don’t be afraid to think beyond the walls. If you have wood cabinets that are in good shape but are simply outdated, paint them, too! Painting them will instantly give your dated cabinets a new lease on life.  Say goodbye to honey-colored stain and hello to a fresh white or gray. If you are feeling bold, try for a more dramatic color like navy or olive.  Just this step alone will leave you feeling like you’ve added tons of style and personality, all for a fraction of the cost of new cabinets or a full remodel.



Adding a tile backsplash can add a pop of color or an additional element of texture to your kitchen. Timeless ceramic subway tile is inexpensive and can work in several design styles. Looking to switch it up? Install the subway tile vertically rather than horizontally, or install it in an interesting herringbone pattern. Contrasting grout can also add extra visual interest. An added bonus—backsplashes serve a functional purpose too—they are meant to protect the walls from spills, splatters, and water stains.



While new appliances are certainly a big-ticket item, updating your appliances to stainless steel will give your kitchen some extra sparkle and a more modern feel.  As an added bonus, new appliances are often far more energy efficient than older models, so you may end up saving on utilities over time. Plus, new appliances often have plenty of additional features that older models do not have, so you will feel like a chef in your “new” kitchen.



Replacing outdated fixtures will also make a significant difference in the look and feel of your kitchen.  Swap out that leaky builder-grade faucet for a stylish gooseneck style with an integrated pullout sprayer feature. Replace your old pendant lights with new ones that make a designer statement. These smaller items often can become focal points in a kitchen and can add your own personal flair to your space for minimal cost.



Kitchen cabinet hardware may seem like a small detail, but it actually can instantly change a kitchen from traditional to country or from transitional to modern. This quick and easy change can make dated cabinets look like new for relatively little cost.  Try out some of the popular finishes like satin brass, matte black, polished nickel, or pewter. Your hardware can help you further emphasize the kitchen style you are going for. Tip: You want the new hardware to match the screw holes of your old hardware. Bring one of your old pieces of hardware with you while you are on the search for new!


Whether you take on some of these improvements or all of them, these smaller projects can help you with updating your kitchen more than you may think. And while a full kitchen remodel will almost always be the best way to create your dream kitchen, these tips will help you achieve the feel of a remodeled kitchen–without the hefty full remodel price tag!

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