$500 Makeover: Dowdy to City Chic

It took less than $500 to transform this kitchen from dowdy to city chic.

After the Makeover

A little reorganizing and a few upgrades infused this condo kitchen with a new look. A fresh coat of paint, a new tile backsplash, and custom built-ins were among the easy alterations that made a big difference.

Overall: Before

Part of a former bachelor pad, this kitchen lacked color and personality and felt cramped. Clearing off the top of the cabinets was a simple, inexpensive way to make the lofted room feel expansive.

Keep What Works

The white cabinets and appliances were staples in this kitchen, so they stayed. A tile backsplash brought in more color, while new cabinet hardware helped update the look.

Install a Backsplash

A blend of colorful 1x1-inch glass tiles replaced the boring 4x4-inch white porcelain tiles. For $229 from Modwalls, the mosaic tile was a simple way to add color and style.

Switch Out Hardware

To add interest without major changes, linear pulls replaced the original drawer knobs. For $118 from Atlas Homewares, the modern pulls gave the cabinets a new look without needing to paint them.

Make Use of Wasted Space

Open shelves installed to the right of the range are ideal for cookbooks and make good use of what was once wasted space between the cabinetry and roofline. The lumber cost only $15.

Create Storage

The skinny upper cabinet to the left of the sink had been awkward and inefficient. Taking off the door and adding $5 worth of shelving created the perfect spot for wine storage.

Add Paint

Painting the sage and eggplant walls a neutral gray created a tailored, cohesive feel that extends to the kitchen's window seat area. The paint from The FreshAire Choice cost $40.

Window Seat: Before

Before, this nook was a cluttered catchall place to store wine, cookbooks, and more.

Window Seat: After

A seat cushion gives this cozy dormer a purpose and creates a comfortable seating area. The cushion fabric came from Company C and cost $50.

Upgrade Light Fixtures

An easy-to-install outdoor light fixture was the perfect style -- and price, at only $30 from a local hardware store -- to replace the original, outdated fixture.

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