Under $1,000 Kitchen Makeover

Sliding Cabinet Drawers
A few cosmetic alterations can change the entire feel of a room, as proven by these frugal first-time homeowners. For a total cost of just $946, the couple infused the once-bland kitchen with contemporary character.

Before: Lackluster Finishes

When first-time homeowners purchased this renovated Cape Cod home, the kitchen had new cabinetry and appliances, plus beautiful hardwood flooring -- all positives for the couple on a tight budget. However, the space lacked a functional backsplash, and dark cherrywood cabinets made the space feel crowded and heavy.

After: Modern and Bright

A mix of light and dark finishes elevates style and enhances natural light in the open floor plan. Medium gray paint on lower cabinets hides any evidence of high traffic and usage, while white upper cabinets embody the desired minimalist design. A stainless-steel table pulls double-duty as an extra work surface and storage space.

Get tips and tricks on how to paint cabinets in your home.

Do It Yourself: Paint Cabinets

See how to paint your kitchen cabinets with pro-like results.

Practical Peninsula

The homeowners used three coats of semigloss paint to achieve a slick gray cabinet color, which adds depth to the space. The oversize peninsula separates the family room from the kitchen and boasts a range on one side and breakfast bar on the other.

Budget Backsplash

To save on costs, the homeowners installed glossy white subway tiles themselves. Finished with gray grout, the inexpensive backsplash links the kitchen's two-tone painted cabinetry and complements the existing gray laminate countertops.

Watch our step-by-step guide to learn how to tile a backsplash.

Do It Yourself: Install a Backsplash

Adding a backsplash is a done-in-a-weekend DIY project that will elevate your kitchen to the next level. See how it's done!

Before: Dated and Dark

An abundance of different wood tones and outdated sconce lighting aged the room. Without a backsplash or pop of color, the basic but boring kitchen lacked a focal point.

After: Sleek and Stylish

With reuse and rethink as their mantra, the homeowners achieved sparkling sophistication for less. Faux-wood blinds allow natural in, while existing bar stools stand out against freshly painted paneling. 

Luxe Lighting

The makeover's biggest expense? Three globe-style pendants that hang above the peninsula. The contemporary clear fixtures replaced dated lights for a fresh new look that no longer blocks sight lines. 

Streamlined Hardware

New hardware, purchased for $130 at a home store, accentuates the room's clean lines. The sleek brushed-nickel finish shines against dark lower cabinets and matches the polished table island.

Get tips on how to remove old cabinet hardware, plus how to install new hardware in your kitchen.

Do It Yourself: Install Cabinet Hardware

Bring a polished look to your cabinets with new hardware. Watch and see how easy it is to install hardware.

Smart Storage

Retained from the former kitchen design, these stylish straw baskets slide out for superior function. The dark, cool nook is perfect for storing vegetables that don't need to be refrigerated.

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