Easy Kitchen Updates

The kitchen may be the hardest-working room in the house, so it runs the risk of looking overworked. Give your kitchen fresh appeal with these quick and easy updates, including solutions for your windows, floor, pantry, and more!

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Freestanding Pantry Ideas

Short on storage and space? No worries. These stylish go-anywhere pantry designs house everything from baking pans and cooking staples to party supplies -- exactly where you need them most. As a bonus, many of these units are transportable so they can travel with you when you move.

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One-of-a-Kind Backsplashes

In a hardworking kitchen, a backsplash is an ideal opportunity to add a little personality. See how pretty materials and unique installations can bring a fresh face to your kitchen.

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Drab to Fab Makeover

See how a basic kitchen received a fresh face on an affordable remodeling budget.

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Guide to Cabinetry

From Better Homes and Gardens, ideas and improvement projects for your home and garden plus recipes and entertaining ideas.

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Countertop Ideas

Countertops are big part of your kitchen. Consider these up-and-coming materials to make a statement in your space.

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Subway Tile Backsplashes

When it comes to a classic backsplash, nothing beats the traditional subway tile. Subway tiles make cleaning up kitchen messes a quick and easy task, plus the variety to choose from seems almost infinite. One thing is for sure, subway tile will never go out of style.

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Popular in Kitchens

Budget Kitchen Remodeling: $20,000 or Higher Kitchens

Check out these kitchen remodeling projects that combine high-end and budget-friendly elements with top-notch design to create beautiful, efficient spaces.

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    • Updated Vintage Kitchen

      Yellow paint, a checkerboard floor, and soapstone countertops create vintage style. Stainless-steel appliances and the clean lines of the cabinetry mix in modern touches. Glass-front upper cabinets make the room feel more open. Crown molding added to the upper cabinetry coordinates with the home's existing trim to create a unified look.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $29,574

    • Country Kitchen with a Modern Twist

      Upper and lower cabinetry, an appliance garage, and multiple pullouts maximize storage in this 8 3/4 x 8-foot kitchen. Pre-existing beaded board, a car siding backsplash, and pine plank flooring kept the room's country cottage feel. Black granite countertops contrast the white cabinetry, and stainless-steel appliances and hardware add a touch of modernity to the kitchen.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $34,333

    • Rustic Traditional Kitchen

      Knotty alder cabinetry sets the rustic tone of this traditional kitchen. Stone-look laminate countertops and earth-tone backsplash tiles complement the warm cabinets. The addition of a large island provides a central cooktop and plenty of storage, including a convenient wine rack. Black appliances were economical upgrades and show fewer smudges than traditional stainless steel.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $30,050.

    • Modern Seaside Kitchen Makeover

      Incorporating the home's oceanic theme and modern lines were a must in this makeover. Glass-front upper cabinets, inset lower-cabinetry pulls, stainless-steel appliances and undercabinet lighting bring a contemporary edge to the kitchen. Tile made with recycled shells and a color palette of light blue, gray, and white reinforce the subtle seaside atmosphere.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $24,811

    • Sophisticated Transitional Kitchen

      Refinished cabinetry, painted a crisp white, saved money and upgraded the perimeter of this transitional kitchen. Dark gray soapstone replaced the old tile countertops and kept the color scheme simple and sophisticated. A bridge-style faucet, apron-front sink, and butcher-block island add vintage appeal to maintain the home's original style.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $24,235

    • Eco-Friendly Kitchen Update

      Eco-friendly materials transformed this kitchen, now complete with family-friendly amenities such as open shelving, plenty of low storage, and a chalkboard and magnetic board. Recycled aluminum pendant lighting and glass countertops, as well as low-VOC paint, bring Earth-minded color and style to the kitchen.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $36,090

    • Naturally Modern Kitchen

      White birch cabinets and granite countertops set a natural scheme for this modern kitchen. Slate tile brings texture to the kitchen as an eye-catching backsplash, creating the range area's focal point. Stainless-steel appliances and sleek pendant lights add a contemporary edge.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $25,094

    • Fresh Take on a Farmhouse-Style Kitchen

      Warm whites and reds add color to a once dark and gloomy kitchen. Beaded board enhances the ceiling and walls while complementing the rustic hardware and fixtures that give the room its country charm. White- and red-painted custom cabinetry replaced dark oak. Glass knobs accessorized the cabinets. Mosaic wall tiling incorporated the red found in the L-shape island.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $30,306.

    • Casual Eat-in Kitchen

      Removing part of the small wall between the kitchen and living room opened up the space for a peninsula that serves as casual dining space. New cabinetry accommodates the appliance relocations and creates a more built-in look, while maximizing kitchen storage. The textured dry stacked tile backsplash adds interest.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $35,854

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      Modern Twist on Cottage

      Black-painted maple cabinets provide storage and a dark base for this cottage kitchen. White solid-surfacing countertops and a white apron-front sink stand out against the dark cabinets. Pristine white subway tile on the backsplash matches the counters, and thick grout lines mean less money spent on tile. Wrought iron pulls and clock knobs give a custom touch to the cabinetry.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $26,708

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      Kitchen with Contemporary Flair

      Semicustom cherry cabinetry from a big-box retailer, adorned with high-end hardware, creates sleek lines in this modern kitchen. Black quartz countertops and stainless-steel appliances contribute to the contemporary look. Chic pendant lighting and a gray and purple mosaic tile backsplash add color to the kitchen. A new island provides seating and storage without interrupting the traffic flow.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $29,498

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      Cozy Traditional Kitchen

      A cozy, open kitchen that blends into the rest of the home was the goal for this makeover. Custom furniture-style cherry cabinets give the kitchen a warm feel. Turned legs add shape to the apron front of the island, which separates the kitchen from the rest of the house. Made to look built-in, the appliances are midprice but look high-end.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $24,155.

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      Historic Craftsman Kitchen

      Built in 1913, this craftsman kitchen gets a historic update with cherry cabinets, oil-rubbed bronze appliances and fixtures, and light solid-surface countertops. The floor's ivory hexagon tile has a look consistent with the age of the home. Modern amenities like in-floor heat and built-in appliances mix with plenty of built-in storage options to give this kitchen the renovation it deserved.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $39,557

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      Vintage Kitchen

      Plumbing and electrical costs were minimized by keeping kitchen appliances and the sink in their original positions. A row of windows creates the illusion of spaciousness without the expense of adding on. A new pine island offers the look of a pricey antique, anchoring the vintage-look kitchen.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $22,445.

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      Saving and Splurging in the Kitchen

      Keeping original glass-front 1930s cabinets eliminated the need for new upper kitchen cabinets. The painted island is made of low-cost pine and topped with butcher block; the island houses a new slide-in range and microwave. Salvaged antique roof tiles give the backsplash a high-end look with a friendly price tag.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $23,920

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      Kitchen with Salvaged Island

      Display shelving -- instead of cabinets -- and lots of flea market finds allow for top-of-the-line appliances. The center island is fashioned from a galvanized-steel prep table salvaged from an old bakery and topped with butcher block. Fabric skirts disguise lower shelves that house pots and pans.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $24,053

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      Smart Kitchen Splurges

      Keeping the existing floor plan saved thousands of dollars in new cabinets. Painting the cabinetry, rather than replacing it, and opting for a classic beaded-board backsplash instead of tile allowed room in the budget for splurges like carrara marble countertops and stainless-steel appliances.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $24,680

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      Kitchen with Contemporary Style

      Give stock cabinetry a contemporary twist with ribbed-glass door inserts and sleek hardware. Re-create the look of stainless steel on the backsplash for less with laminate, and splurge on colorful tile behind the range. A stainless-steel table doubles as a working island and a gathering place. New pro-style appliances complete the minimalist look.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $26,487

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      Retro Kitchen

      Black-granite countertops continue the diner theme while offering a durable work surface on both sides of this galley kitchen. Metal tiles on the backsplash enhance the retro feel. Specialized storage features such as the vertical-slat plate holder and a pullout pantry help the small space function in a big way.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $29,305

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      Craftsman Kitchen

      Custom cabinetry that retained the look of the Craftsman bungalow was priority. Refinishing hardwood floors in the eating area and installing solid-surfacing countertops -- instead of granite -- saved a bundle. Reasonably priced appliances are attractive and will be easy to upgrade in the future when the budget allows.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $29,470

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      Art Deco Kitchen Makeover

      New doors and drawer fronts were fitted to existing cabinets for this colorful Art Deco redo. Granite tiles used in place of custom-cut slab countertop look more expensive than they really are. Though the stainless-steel appliances were a splurge, bold paint colors and simple cabinet handles are lower-cost elements that add to the room's flavor.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $32,645

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      Family-Friendly Kitchen

      Perfect for family gatherings, this kitchen includes a central island with seating for four. New cabinets, floating display shelves, and new light fixtures brighten what was once a crowded, dark kitchen. Laminate floors instead of wood helped the budget stay lean. Stainless-steel appliances have the pro-style look without the price tag.

      Total cost (excluding labor): $33,277

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      Next Slideshow Before-and-After Kitchen Makeovers

      Before-and-After Kitchen Makeovers

      See how these kitchens transformed from closed-off and barely functional to dreamy, bright spaces, perfect for cooking, gathering, and entertaining.
      Begin Slideshow »

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