January 23, 2008

six ways to update your kitchen on a budget

Kitchen Makeover with Black Cabinets (by champagne.chic)
Design by Champagne Chic Interiors

Kitchens and bathrooms are the most expensive rooms to renovate in any home. So what do you do if you don't have a lot to spend, but still want a new look?

No worries- there are several ways to refresh your look on a budget! Here are my "Top Six Ideas" to help you begin some budget friendly redesigning in your kitchen...

1. Fast, cheap and easy- update your cabinets with paint. This is the most cost-effective and impactful change you can make in your kitchen! My favorite paint colors for cabinets are black (as seen in the update above), chocolate brown, cream, or mushroom. (From Sherwin Williams', check out: "Black Magic", "Turkish Coffee", "Biscuit" and "Portabello".) These colors can dramatically transform your kitchen!

The key is choosing a cabinet color that contrasts with your wall color- if your walls are dark, choose a lighter color- if your walls are light, choose a darker color. I know what some of you might be thinking- "It will make the kitchen too dark". Not true! No color is too dark in any room if the space is properly lit.

2. Why don't you change out some of your cabinet doors and add glass fronts? On many cabinet styles, you can do this by simply popping out the center panel and taking it to a glass company to have glass inserted. After the glass fronts are in place, add some low voltage lighting and put your best dishes inside to show them off!

3. Take the doors off the cabinets completely and create "open shelving". This is a clean, modern look that can make a smaller kitchen feel really spacious. Yes- you might need to be a neat freak to keep things arranged nicely on those open shelves, but it's worth it when you see the fresh look this will give to your kitchen! (Bonus points: Go the extra mile and paint the inside of the cabinets a different color...)

4. Look up! If you have that fluorescent box in the center of the ceiling in your kitchen (you know the one) call an electrician NOW to tear it down! It's design blasphemy in its most blatant form! Add some recessed lighting, pendant lights, a trestle light or a chandelier to replace that eyesore. The point is: nothing looks good under fluorescent lighting. It's bad enough to be slaving away in the kitchen, don't look ugly doing it, too!

5. Look down. Does your kitchen flooring look like 1982 threw up in your home? If you have bad tile or vinyl flooring, there's a great way to update that floor.... cork! Cork flooring is incredible. Now I'm not just talking about the cork in the wine bottle stopper- cork comes in some gorgeous colors and patterns, ranging from the standard light cork (as seen in the kitchen update above) to rich browns and sienna colors.

Here's the best thing about this flooring choice: It's affordable- and it can also be laid over tile, vinyl, and wood! (Several brands of cork are "floating" pieces that click together, with no glue. This means you will save substantially by not having to pay to remove your existing flooring.)

Other cork benefits include: it's a very resilient and flexible floor (good for the joints), it's a natural insect repellent, and it's a renewable resource and environmentally friendly. In case you haven't noticed, I love this stuff!

6. Another inexpensive way to update your kitchen- replace those outdated cabinet knobs and pulls! Satin nickel, stainless, oil-rubbed bronze, or iron hardware will instantly bring new life to your old cabinetry. Check Ebay and Ikea for some real deals on knobs, pulls, and handles.

See... it doesn't always have to cost a fortune to get great results-
you can update your kitchen on almost any budget, you just have to know the "tricks of the trade"!

1 comment:

cotedetexas said...

Hi - all great points. I need to redo my kitchen and I've done some of these things butnot quite all. I want to either put glass in my upper cabinets or just take off the door completely!!
Great post - and thanks for your comment!!!!!! keep in touch, ok?

Joni, cote de Texas