An outdated kitchen design can negatively impact the overall aesthetic of your home. While a full kitchen remodel might not be in the budget, updating its design is possible with a few simple and affordable tricks. Here we give you nine low-cost kitchen makeover ideas even the least skilled DIY-er can tackle.
1. Add a bold-colored rug
This is perhaps the easiest upgrade of all. Adding a rug in your kitchen not only provides warmth and cushion underfoot, but also makes the space pop and adds personality and style to the area. Keep the rest of the decor clean and simple so the rug is the focal point.
If your kitchen doesn’t get that much natural light, try a light-colored rug in a cream or white shade to brighten it up. For small kitchens, try a runner rug to elongate the space and provide dimension. Larger, open kitchens can take advantage of a bigger rug or even multiple rugs, depending on the layout.
2. Swap out your hardware
This is a great trick whether you rent or own your home. Swapping out the hardware—knobs and pulls—on your kitchen drawers and cabinets, as well as faucets and light switch covers, can make a huge difference in the style of the room. These types of upgrades are great because they don’t require much money or time.
When choosing your hardware, try sticking with a theme for a more cohesive look. If you’re going for a modern vibe, sleek, tubular pulls are a good choice. If you want a farmhouse or French country look, knobs with a slight antique appearance will suit the theme. It’s also a good idea to keep all your hardware in roughly the same finish to keep the kitchen from looking too busy.
3. Paint your cabinets a dark color
Painting your cabinets a deep shade, like navy blue, emerald green, or even black, will give your kitchen a modern vibe, especially when paired with a light-colored countertop, backsplash, and floor. To keep the space looking bright and open, only paint the bottom cabinets dark and paint the upper ones white.
4. Install a backsplash
While this upgrade requires a bit more DIY skills, the extra effort will be worth it. A tile or tin backsplash can give your kitchen a whole new look and even improve the value of your home. If your kitchen design is fairly minimal, a fun pattern or bold design on the backsplash will make a statement. Otherwise, stick with a clean and simple option, like subway tile or something similar in a light color.
If you’re not an expert at renovations, there are plenty of how-to videos for installing a backsplash in your kitchen. Peel-and-stick wallpaper or tile are easy to install and more affordable if you’re on a tight budget.
5. Upgrade your light fixtures
Most homes come equipped with outdated light fixtures. Swapping these out for something more eye catching and stylish, like a vintage chandelier or bold pendant light, can make a huge difference in the overall look of your kitchen.
6. Change your window coverings
If your kitchen has windows, changing your window coverings can improve the look and change the style of the room. Replace the boring miniblinds with something more decorative, like bamboo shades or linen curtains.
7. Mix colors, patterns, and materials
Try mixing colors, patterns, and materials for a funky, modern update to your kitchen. Don’t be afraid of multi-tone walls, different types of tiles, and unique hardware and light fixtures. Tie it all together by using complementary colors or incorporating a rug that pulls in the elements.
8. Take advantage of open shelving
If you already have open shelving, take advantage of the space by keeping them curated and simple. Adding stacks of cookbooks, a bowl of fruit, or small trinkets is a great way to dress them up. Or upgrade your kitchen by installing open shelves where you can put your favorite items on display.
9. Incorporate plants
Plants and flowers add color and visual interest to a room and are a great way to liven up your kitchen. Hanging plants work well near windows or patio doors, while smaller potted plants, like succulents, look great on the counter or open shelf space. A fresh bouquet of seasonal flowers on the countertop or dining table is another affordable way to elevate your kitchen and can also boost your mood.