This kitchen had good bones, which made a budget-friendly upgrade easy. Cosmetic changes like a fresh coat of paint, a subway tile backsplash, a butcher-block island countertop, and modern accessories made a big impact.
The dark green floral wallpaper made the kitchen feel cramped and dated. The oak cabinetry was in good condition but needed new hardware to update the look.
Subtle blue paint from Sherwin-Williams -- only $35 -- simplifies the kitchen. The island is the main kitchen workspace, and a new butcher-block countertop from IKEA ($90) replaced the old chipped laminate countertop.
A no-drip border routed along the perimeter of the butcher-block countertop contains spills.
The homeowner repeated the window shades¿ leaf motif in accessories, including inexpensive plates and bowls from Target and Wal-Mart.
The colors from the tailored Roman shades inspired the rest of the kitchen's design and color scheme. The shades were made from IKEA curtain panels that cost $60.
A classic white subway tile backsplash with dark grout adds a custom, high-end look. The white tiles visually connect the appliances and the light-color perimeter countertops. The tile from Lowe's cost $34.
Replacing the old brass hardware with sleek oil-rubbed bronze pulls was an easy-to-do update, taking less than an hour. The pulls from Liberty Hardware cost $108.
An instant hot-water dispenser ($122) speeds prep time for hot chocolate and instant oatmeal.