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5 Easy and Inexpensive Kitchen Updates

Repainting, Cabinet Refacing, Spreading a Rug, and Adding Some Plants

© 2012 by Sarah Harris; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without webmaster’s written permission.

A kitchen with a yellow interior; photo provided by Sarah Harris

This article was updated on 12/13/18.

We spend a lot of time in our kitchens. It’s a space that has a strong, important, and intimate connection with our everyday lives. And yes, both the role and the architecture of the kitchen has changed drastically over the past decade. Is yours ready for a face lift?

The kitchen is the room where we prepare food for ourselves and for our families—it should be a place where you feel happy, comfortable, and cheerful no matter what. If you can’t escape to kitchen, then where CAN you escape?

It’s easy to shudder when you hear things like “kitchen updates”, because we typically think of expensive appliances and equipment when it comes to redecorating.

This doesn’t have to be the case, though, and we’ll talk about a few super-easy ways you can cheaply update your kitchen like a pro.

  1. Declutter Your Space!

    Take stock of the stuff you’ve got taking up all that counter and cabinet space that has been surreptitiously invading like a swath of kudzu.

    Do a quick inventory, and check off the things that you truly need on an everyday basis. How often do you really use it? If there’s anything you think you can stand to get rid of, don’t be afraid to purge.

    Getting rid of clutter or unnecessary items can really free up some real estate in your kitchen and let the whole room breathe a little easier. Those small countertop appliances like coffee grinders and juicers can be stowed away from your work surfaces.

    Any room is more visually comfortable to be in when there’s less clutter, so doing a quick sweep of the essentials you’ve got in your kitchen is a great way to inexpensively update your décor. Think of it as a slight of hand trick that should be done periodically.

  2. New Paint & Fixtures:

    New coats of paint and fixtures for your walls, cabinets and drawers is one of the cheapest ways to give your kitchen a serious shot of new, vibrant life.

    Painting walls is really an easy DIY job so it will fit into any remodeling budget. Choosing light colors will really open up the space -- an important consideration if you have and older, compact kitchen. Choose an eggshell or satin to make it easy to wipe down and clean periodically.

    The appropriate color additions can completely tweak the personality of your kitchen, so you can have things exactly the way you want them. Adding new handles and fixtures to these cabinets and drawers will really help complete whatever new look you’ve decided upon, and they’re inexpensive, to boot.

    Pick a fun, exciting color that contrasts perfectly with the rest of your home’s décor and give your cabinets and drawers a complete makeover. Consider using an exclusive Custom Cabinet Door and Drawer program to achieve a new trim style. If you are using paint on your cabinets rather than a clear finish, consider using milk paint (casein paint). This product is truly a blast from the past so if you are refinishing antique cabinets, using milk paint will maintain that antique status.

    It is also non-toxic (something important in the kitchen area), so there are no dangerous VOC vapors to endanger your health.

  3. Accentuate with a Rug for a Splash of Color:

    Rugs really tie the room together, and this is true of your kitchen most of all.

    A nice, colorful rug can really add some fun personality to your kitchen if you pick the right one and place it appropriately. They can be functional as well—keeping one where your primary counter work area is will really take the strain off your feet and back. Just be sure it has non-slip backing.

  4. Plants are Your Friends:

    If you don’t have any green friends in your kitchen, you might want to consider adding yourself a few leafy pals to keep you company as you cook.

    They might be able to help you out, too, if you pick the right ones. You can grow simple herbs and spices in your kitchen for both a little bit of inside fresh air, as well as that extra-special home-grown flavor added to your cooking.

    Also, don’t discount the fact that certain ones can filter cooking odors out of the air. For example, Aloe vera not only cleans the air, absorbs carbon dioxide and produces oxygen, but also provides first aid for burns, always a concern in the cooking area.

  5. Show off Your Produce:

    Put your beautiful produce on display! Grab a nice glass bowl and display your most colorful fruits and vegetables in it for a colorfully decorative piece.

    Matching consumption with display, you can ensure that it will change as you make your way through your weekly allotment of fruits & vegetables. As a side benefit, this will encourage you to consume produce of all different colors. This has been demonstrated to supply a wide range of nutrients. Food as art!

Any one of these refreshing designs will help you quickly and easily breathe some brand new life into your kitchen, with minimal expense. Got further tips for our readers? Share them in the comment section below!

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