According to a Statista report, Americans on average spend 5.9 hours a week in their kitchens – that’s 307 hours for the whole year! It truly is the heart of your home. So if you aren’t happy with your kitchen, perhaps it is time to do something about it. According to Home Advisor, a major kitchen remodel averages about $20,556. If you don’t want to invest that much (not to mention the complete disruption of your household by construction crews), there’s plenty you can do on your own for a mere fraction of the cost.
First, decide on an overall budget. Then, consider the one or two items that you want to splurge on – that tumbled marble backsplash that you must have, for example, or replacing your current countertops with granite. Perhaps you’d rather put a large chunk of your budget into a great new stove or other appliance. That one luxury item will make you happy every time you go into the kitchen, so it is worth it.
If you don’t want to rip out existing cabinets for new ones, consider painting them, covering them in bead board, or changing the hardware. You can also remove doors and paint to create open shelving, which will make your kitchen feel larger. Don’t be afraid to paint your existing cabinets a bold or unexpected color – lime green or barn red may seem drastic, but it will change the entire look and feel of your kitchen.
Don’t underestimate the power of crown molding, bead board, gingerbread, embellishments, and other trim. It is very inexpensive, easy to install, and will give your cabinets and kitchen a whole new look. Try using molding around the cabinet doors, with a pretty embellishment in each corner. Paint the entire door and you’ll be amazed at how those boring old cabinets are given a whole new look.
Another inexpensive trick is wallpaper – only don’t use it on the walls. Add wallpaper to the recessed panels of your cabinets and paint the rest of the doors with a cheery matching color. Or, if you have open shelving, add wallpaper to the wall at the back of the shelves to make it stand out from the rest of the kitchen.
Have some fun with your backsplash! An attractive glass-tile wall in vibrant colors, fun ceramic tile, or something unexpected such as tin or bronze will perk up your space and give your kitchen a great new look for very little money.
Lighting is important. If you have the standard fluorescent ceiling light glaring down at you, consider replacing it with something softer, such as an antique pendant light or even a brightly-painted chandelier. Add table lamps – place one on the counter or on your kitchen island to make the space feel like a warm, inviting room. Under-cabinet lighting is also great – it will add a soft glow to your kitchen (and even act as a nightlight) and make it easier to see what you’re doing when slicing veggies, etc.
Decorate your kitchen – hang plates, display collectibles on open shelves, and add artwork. If you spend several hours every month in the kitchen, you want to personalize it just as you do your living room. Decorate with items you enjoy. If you collect antique teapots, for example, use one to hold cooking utensils, display them in groups, or convert one to a clock.
Make sure you have plenty of storage. You can create storage by adding above-window shelving all around the kitchen to display some of your favorite dishware, or you can add a pot rack – suspend it from the ceiling over the kitchen island or sink area and use it to display your favorite copper cookware (and free up cabinet space). Plate racks are also a great way to free up cabinet space – hang one on the wall and add your favorite plates, creating an instant splash of color and texture.