6 tiny changes that can make your kitchen feel like new
You want to upgrade your kitchen but a remodel seems unaffordable? Fortunately, there are some tweaks you can apply to avoid spending the time and money of a major remodel - and with great results! Follow this list we put together and have a great new kitchen to enjoy with a small investment.
1. Brighten all up
Old kitchens are usually dark and dingy, but that's easily fixable with new lighting fixtures and a coat of brighter paint.
In her new e-book Kelly's Kitchen Savvy: Solutions for Partial Kitchen Remodels, the interior designer Kelly Morisseau says “Good lighting has the psychological effect of making your kitchen feel brighter, more cheerful, less cavernous, and easier to work in”.
Change those recessed lights from the ceiling for a more modern hanging fixtures and add extra undercabinet lighting to improve the brightness of the counters. Upgrade all the bulbs for their Energy Star version in the right hue to save money while enhance the color of the food and the overall cooking experience.
Then, follow our recommendations on choosing the right color for your kitchen and find the option that best matches with your cabinets, countertop and floor for your paint job.
2. Get fancy with architectural details
Every room can look more expensive and sophisticated with better quality baseboards, crown molding and casings, so apply that common knowledge to your kitchen too.
There are lots of options in the market and some of them are very easy to apply if you are the DIYer type. But, as Kelly Morisseau says, there is a catch “If you're a novice, pass on this upgrade until you can hire a pro: your home is likely not perfectly square and it can require some expertise to make sure everything lines up”.
3. Add glass to your cabinets
We already talk about cabinet refacing, but what about changing its style a bit?
"In luxury design, textured glass in a feature cabinet are popular," Morisseau says, so you might not need to go full-refacing but just change a few door fronts with a matching glass version.
A clear glass option is perfect for displaying a nice set of tableware and frosted ones are great to partially hide some messy but colorful stuff.
4. Renovate your backsplash
Create a beautiful and modern backsplash is really an inexpensive kitchen upgrade that can change the looks of everything around.
"In a luxury kitchen, a tile backsplash usually extends from the counter to the underside of the wall cabinets and may even continue around the sink window and on other walls," and that’s a very affordable project if you happen to find enough tiles in the clearance and outlet section of the store. Ask your contractor to help with the calculations and -if you want to combine colors- make sure that all the tile you're using is the same thickness.
5. Upgrade your fittings
Some cabinets and drawers aren’t as functional as you wish, but you can upgrade the hardware without changing the cabinets. You can purchase after-market items, such as trays, lazy Susans, roll-out shelving, smooth drawer glides, and organizers to get custom interior fittings.
And, if your appliances are old and you can't afford to update them, consider replacing old or worn parts, such as burners on an electric range, knobs on a dishwasher, or shelves in a refrigerator.
6. Spend freely on just one good kitchen appliance
"Today's appliances have a sleek appearance in almost any price category," Morisseau says. You can buy a professional range to match a mid-price refrigerator, both in the same material and color, so buy smart and take advantage of that.
Buy discontinued appliances or bulk-buy from the same manufacturer to get the best sale prices and promotions. And take care that new appliances fit in the existing spaces to avoid calling a carpenter to retrofit the openings, that can add unnecessarily to the final cost.
All of these tips have a huge impact in transforming your cooking space with a small amount, and can be done altogether or one by one as needed. Do you have any other tip to renovate the kitchen on a budget? Share it with us in the comments below!