Quick and Easy Kitchen Updates
Open Up Shelving
Remove upper cabinet doors to give a narrow kitchen a sense of openness. Then set off the revealed shelves with a decorative treatment. To do so, remove cabinet doors and fill in holes with wood filler. Sand until smooth, and paint or stain as desired. Apply your desired treatment to the inside after priming the interior walls.
Make a Memo Board
Greet guests, make a menu, or jot down a grocery list with a DIY chalkboard. Simply prime a piece of fiberboard before coating with chalkboard paint. For a fancy finish, place the board in a large photo frame. Update with the seasons and for special occasions.
Paint Select Cabinets
A new coat of paint is a cost-effective way to make your kitchen spaces feel more expansive and imbue them with freshness and cleanliness. If you don't want to paint the entire room, consider painting just a section of cabinets. For instance, painting three or four cabinets on a short run will create the illusion of a built-in hutch. Or create variation by painting the lower and upper cabinets contrasting colors.
How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets
Give cabinets an affordable makeover with paint. See our step-by-step video for tips and techniques.
Make the most of a refurbished dresser or sofa table by converting it into a storage-friendly island. Remove the drawers and paint the piece a splashy color before filling with baskets and various utensils. Casters allow the island to be moved around the kitchen as needed.
Replace a Faucet
The sink area is on of the most hardworking kitchen spaces, and faucets get an especially hard workout from daily use. Because of its constant use, an updated faucet would provide an immediately noticeable kitchen improvement. In addition to being practical, kitchen fixtures add style and enhance the overall design.
Add Bold Color
Even the most lackluster space can be energized with a vibrant color. Paint the walls, cabinets, or island a lively hue, like this fun shade of chartreuse. Re-cover chairs or stools with a bright pattern fabric. Hang new curtains in a can't-miss-it shade and pattern.
Swap Out Seat Cushions
Have a banquette in your kitchen? Island bar stools? Either arrangement can be quickly updated with a swatch of fresh fabric. Try seasonal slipcovers on a window cushion and dining chairs in an open kitchen. Use pretty pattern fabric or linens to update cushions on island seating.
Replace Window Treatments
The right window treatment can transform a flawed kitchen space into a place that reflects your style and your sense of beauty. Highlight your kitchen's best qualities with a fresh window treatment. Because kitchen curtains need to be replaced more often than those in other rooms of your home, opt for blinds or curtains that are easy to remove.
Our Easiest DIY Window Treatment
Get a custom kitchen window treatment on a budget by turning mini blinds into pretty Roman shades. We'll show you how!
Create a Wall Display
Open kitchen wall space provides wonderful opportunities to bring in personalized elements, such as collections, photographs, and favorite artwork. Here, children's drawings paired with an antique clock creates an interesting display wall in a breakfast nook.
Install or Update Pendant Lights
Whether you prefer vintage glass shades or tiny modern bulbs, pendant lights are a popular ceiling fixture for the kitchen. Place the lights over an island or countertop where low-hanging fixtures won't interfere with traffic flow. Don't be afraid to go bold -- these unique industrial lights add interest to an otherwise casual kitchen.
Update Cabinet Hardware
Think of hardware as kitchen jewelry -- add new metal or glass knobs for an easy kitchen cabinet update. If you're using metal hardware, choose one finish for the scheme. Be sure to count the number of doorknobs, handles, or drawer pulls before heading out to stores, garage sales, or flea markets. And if the new hardware doesn't fit the old holes, simply buy some backplates to cover the gaps and then drill new holes.
How to Prep Cabinets for New Hardware
Don't install new cabinet pulls or handles until you've watched our tips for prepping cabinetry.
Add architectural interest to your walls with molding, beadboard, or wainscoting. For wainscoting, add an extra-deep baseboard or beef up the existing baseboard so it's at least 3/4-inch thick at the top. Then nail 1x3 boards vertically around the room, spaced 8 inches on center and butting the baseboard. Top the vertical 1x3 boards with a new piece of molding.
Designate a Snack Station
If your base cabinets double as drawers for treats and drinks, fashion the area into a snack station. Chalkboard paint on cabinet doors helps guests determine the drawer's contents, while a tray on the countertop above holds napkins, straws, and other dining accessories.
Add Furniture Details
Give cabinetry a furniture look with purchased bun feet. You can find a big selection of feet about 4 inches tall at most home improvement stores and Web sites. This once-ordinary kitchen island was transformed with corbels, beaded-board paneling, turned legs, and a fresh coat of country-blue paint.
Paint the Floor
A painted design is perfect for a wood floor that isn't in great condition. It helps hide faults, turning a rough, inconsistent plane in to a surface rich with color. A painted floor graphic also defines an area, turning it into a focal point.
Maximize Pantry Space
Turn a kitchen closet into a pantry by removing the door and painting the interior. This closet is loaded with shelves of varying heights to accommodate tall cereal boxes and canned goods. Hang pantry doors and add pegs, hooks, and corkboard on the backs of the doors to hold shopping lists or coupons.
Add Vintage Appeal
Dress up your kitchen with colorful flea market finds. Vintage pottery, kitchenware, and knickknacks create instant charm. Plate hangers make it easy to display patterned dishware in a pretty color scheme.
Soften Cabinets with Fabric
Fabric helps soften a kitchen's lines, adding a cozy touch that harder surfaces can't offer. Fabric panels behind glass-front upper cabinets add personality and hide clutter. Cloth skirts attached to a countertop are a fast, easy way to conceal unattractive lower cabinets.
Here, a gauzy off-white fabric skirts the built-in buffet, suggesting cottage flair while keeping kitchen items out of sight. To achieve this look, simply remove lower cabinet doors, gather fabric on a tension rod, and mount the rod to the cabinet frame.