Low-Cost Kitchen Updates

painted floor
Stretch your kitchen budget and put these creative, money-saving ideas to work for updates such as revamped cabinets, a fresh backsplash, and more!

Cozy Up the Work Space

A colorful or patterned rug instantly gives your kitchen a boost of personality and comfort. Plus, a comfy rug adds warmth underfoot and a touch of homeyness to your hardworking kitchen space. Consider placing a rug in areas of the kitchen such as in front of the range, refrigerator, or sink, where you tend to do a lot of standing. Be sure to place a slip-prevention mat beneath the rug for safety.

Refreshing Change

The quickest way to rev up your kitchen's style quotient is to roll on a fresh coat of paint. With so many color choices available in wipe-clean paints, drab cabinets or walls can be banished in a weekend. A burst of cheery yellow cabinetry, tempered by a rich wooden island and floors and a white beaded-board ceiling, cozies up this room.

Stylish Faucets

Spruce up your kitchen sink with a new faucet. Often overlooked kitchen elements, faucets are truly valuable style-setters. Faucets come in a limited number of metals, so to start you'll need to settle on a finish. After you've decided on a finish, search your favorite brands for models that suit your needs and your kitchen's style.

Learn tips for replacing a faucet in your home.

Step-by-Step Faucet Replacement

See how to replace your facuet. Follow our easy step-by-step and give your sink an instant update!


Lift your kitchen's appearance with cheery wall art. Although kitchens are often considered mere work spaces, giving your kitchen a boost of style will transform it into a cozy gathering space. Hang playful prints on walls, or place them on floating shelves and countertops to spruce up your space and give it a dose of character.

Bright Ideas

Updating your kitchen's style might be as simple as looking overhead. Consider switching out an old light over an island for a more personalized look. With so many styles and finishes available, finding unique lighting to suit your kitchen's style is easier than ever. For lighting that will hang above a work space such as an island, search for a model that balances style and function and provides adequate lighting for cooking tasks.

Cabinet Hardware Update

Give your cabinets a boost with fresh hardware. Take a trip to your local hardware store to scope out the styles, finishes, and shapes that best suit your kitchen's style. To add some detailed variety -- and a splash of fun -- select assorted drawer and cabinet pulls in complementary finishes and colors.

Open Up

To give your kitchen a major style update, forgo ordinary kitchen cabinets and incorporate open shelving. Open storage offers display space for pretty dishes and transforms even the most ordinary pieces into works of art. If totally exposed cabinetry sounds a bit daunting, consider replacing some of your cabinet fronts with frosted glass. The result will look modern and fresh while slightly obscuring the cabinet's contents.

Window Dressing

A kitchen with windows offers an opportunity to incorporate storage in unexpected ways. In this kitchen, a bank of sturdy shelves has been installed directly over the window trim and painted the same crisp white as the trim and surrounding cabinetry. The fixed shelving adds display space for decorative dishware and draws attention to the stunning bank of windows.

Weathered and Worn

No matter how dismal outdated cabinets might look, there's usually nothing a bit of paint can't fix. These once-blah cabinets have been given a new finish -- a coat of cream-color paint and sanded spots that create an old-world feel. Black granite countertops emphasize the cabinetry's aged surface and create a dramatic look.

Styled in Tile

A tiled backsplash adds waterproof character to the often-damp area behind the sink, where wallpaper or paint might become a problem. Tiling a backsplash is an easy do-it-yourself project, particularly with tiny tiles that eliminate the need for a tile saw. The tiles come preattached to sheets of mesh to ensure accurate spacing.

On Display

Save your favorite decorative dishware from a life of collecting dust by looking overhead. A row of small clear- or frosted-glass-front cabinets above concealed cabinetry is perfect for displaying little-used dishes such as pitchers and oversize serving bowls. To create a cohesive look, make sure all of the dishes are relatively the same color and scale.

Newfound Storage

Put a sliver of unused wall to work with a stack of shallow shelves that showcase festive dishware or extra stemware. These sturdy wooden floating shelves add natural texture that contrasts with the mirrored mosaic tile backsplash. Floating shelves feature invisible brackets to create a contemporary look. But if your style is more traditional, search for shelves with decorative brackets that match your kitchen cabinetry.

Changing Identities

Improve the functionality of your kitchen -- without spending a lot -- by transforming an old furniture piece into a work space. Any table or chest can be enlisted as an island stand-in, provided it can be adjusted to the right height. This narrow table, painted white and outfitted with a beveled-glass topper, now serves as a delightful dining area in this tiny kitchen.

Hang It Up

Professional chefs hang their cooking utensils within easy reach, so why shouldn’t you? But some professional-grade stainless-steel systems are expensive. Make a low-cost, high-impact copycat using a short metal rod outfitted with steel S hooks to hold spoons, ladles, and other cooking must-haves.

An Arm's Reach Away

If you struggle with limited cabinet space, free up a significant amount by installing a pot rack. Easily construct a pot rack using a sturdy curtain rod, or strengthen a hollow rod by inserting a wooden dowel into it. Hang the rod above the range to keep pots and pans within reach while you cook.

Supporting Roles

Decorative brackets dress up open shelving, while molding edges prevent items from falling in this all-white kitchen. Home centers and online vendors sell a variety of detailed brackets in both wood and metal.

Basket Storage

Break up a wall of concealed cabinetry by removing the doors and adding pretty storage baskets. To create drawerlike convenience, purchase hardware that will accommodate slide-out baskets. Use the baskets to store items from shelf-stable vegetables to kitchen linens.

Subtle Beauty

Subtle beaded-board accents throughout a kitchen develop a warm, cottage-inspired look. Accents of beaded board incorporated into this bright coastal kitchen add texture to all-white cabinetry and the cool blue island. Beaded-board panels come in a variety of patterns that incorporate slightly different textures.

Style Underfoot

Save the expense of buying new floors by updating the ones you already have with paint. Add a couple coats of polyurethane when paint is dry to help preserve the finish. Remember that scratches can add to the character, particularly if you're aiming for a country look.

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