Bold Kitchen Makeover on a Budget

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Blah takes a permanent vacation with this bright kitchen makeover. With a few easy projects and one weekend, you'll have a whole new kitchen for less than $1,000.

Boring, Basic Kitchen

This kitchen features ok cabinets and appliances, but it's devoid of any real character. A few creative moves ramp up this room's personality. Assuming you already own a few basics, such as glue, thread, and painter's masking tape, these projects should cost less than $1,000.

Bright and Bold Makeover

Just a couple of yards of playful floral-print fabric, which we used on the window shade, pendent shade, and pillow, inspired a new color palette for the kitchen and a brighter outlook. The transformation is dramatic, but it only took a few simple projects to add a lot of personality.

Red Hot Kitchen Island

Create your own storage-savvy kitchen island by placing two unfinished dressers back-to-back beneath a white-stained solid-core door. Use screws to hold the pieces together and a coat of polyurethane sealer to protect the surface from spills and splatters. For extra pizzazz, add a flower stencil to the drawers. It may take you a couple of hours to cut out a stencil pattern similar to this one, which was inspired by the floral-print fabric, but dabbing on the paint is super fast -- no artistic skills required!

Simple Sink Skirt

For a contemporary-country touch, replace under-sink doors with a skirt mounted to the cabinet frame with hook-and-loop tape. This skirt is a single panel with an inverted pleat that's embellished with glass buttons.

Pretty Painted Backsplash

Create your own eye-catching and inexpensive backsplash with paint. Striping the original white backsplash in this kitchen with alternating broad red bands and slim olive stripes adds bold scale to the space, uniting the more intricate fabric pattern and the solid red island.

New Look for Lighting

Give a pendant shade a personality boost by covering it with fabric. Attach the fabric with spray adhesive, tuck the edges under, and secure with fabric glue. This technique looks best with a nonlinear pattern or a solid; it's too frustrating to try to line up stripes on a tapered shade.

Quick Wall Treatment

Fluted tart tins make great shiny frames for favorite recipes. Use a copier to enlarge and print vintage cookbook recipes on white card stock; then trim and glue each recipe to a tin base. Seal the deal with a polyurethane sealer.

DIY Roman Shade

Fashion an easy window treatment by pairing a finished rectangle of fabric with two sets of contrasting ties. Gather the fabric to the desired length and knot the ties, then hang the fabric from a tension rod.

Handsome Hardware

Turn plain knobs into focal points with petite embellishments. Here, oversize wood knobs were spray-painted white and layered with a metal washer from the hardware store and a typewriter-key tack from the scrapbook store. To assemble, apply polyurethane glue to the center of the painted knob and position the washer and tack on top. Then secure the pieces with a rubber band while the glue cures overnight.

Comfy Seating

Freshen up an unfinished stool with white paint. To add comfort for the cook, finish with a skirted seat cushion and lumbar pillow.

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