Dreary to Bright Kitchen Makeover

See how these homeowners added light and style to their dark kitchen without breaking the bank.

Everything In This Slideshow

  • Make It Pop

    The homeowners brightened the kitchen by painting the cabinets with a fresh coat of white paint, and utilizing natural light from windows and adjacent rooms, as well as adding more light fixtures. Small colorful accents, such as a plate of Granny Smith apples paired with a green teakettle and fresh flowers pop in the mostly white kitchen. 

  • Kitchen Before

    The dark, dreary kitchen seemed like a big project to tackle, but with the right combination of clever renovations, simple DIY projects, and repurposed accents, the space was given a new face.

    Budget Breakdown:

    Cabinetry
    Beaded board $20
    Hardware $85
    Paint $25
    Plumbing
    Faucet $100
    Sink $185
    Surfaces
    Backsplash $100
    Countertop $600
    Paint $35
    Sealer (for existing flooring) $10
    Miscellaneous
    Flush-mount light $50
    Pendant light $40
    Roman shades (2) $140
    Rope $10
    Track light $70
    Total $1,470*

    *Does not include labor.

  • Small Changes

    Instead of installing all new fixtures and appliances, small changes can make all the difference with more bang for your buck. The one-move addition of an oversize pendant above the sink adds even more light in addition to the natural sunlight from the window. A simple Roman shade adds a pop of color, and complements the fresh feel.    

  • Add Detail

    While often overlooked, a sleek, stylish sink area can really help to define a kitchen. Chrome fixtures add to the clean feel of the sink, and a small bud vase sitting on a platter with the soap dispenser might seem insignificant, but it creates personality without becoming overwhelming or cluttering the workspace.

  • Warm Up

    Paired with the white furniture and a beaded-board peninsula, switching out traditional granite and stone countertops with butcher block gave the kitchen a much warmer feel and also one that's resonate of an old-style farmhouse kitchen.  

  • Everyday Charm

    Instead of investing in expensive, fancy accessories, finding everyday items to spice up a kitchen is often much more charming and helps the bottom line. An oversize chalkboard attached with adhesive strips is a can’t-be-ignored grocery list, and colored glassware fills the space above the refrigerator while adding a playful feel.   

  • Practical yet Pretty

    Sometimes the best decisions are the most practical decisions. A vintage crate repurposed as a shelving unit allows for easy access to everyday dishware while adding visual interest.

  • Secondhand Made New

    Thrift stores and garage sales proved just the places to bring affordable style to this kitchen. This $10 farmhouse table matches the kitchen's various wooden accents, and fills the spacious dining area without blowing the budget, which larger furniture can sometimes do. Mismatched seating is given a cohesive look with paint and pillows.

  • Simple Statements

    Sometimes just one decorative element is all you need to make a wall pop. This sunburst mirror is simple yet elegant, and is just in tune with the clean, white feel of the kitchen. 

  • 10 of 11

    Embrace Personality

    This unique lighting fixture is the star of the dining area and was crafted from old wine bottles and an inexpensive light tracking system. The bottles are hung with rope, which emphasized the space's vintage tendencies.

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