10 Easy, Affordable Kitchen Updates That Give Your Kitchen a Whole New Look

Posted by: on February 2nd, 2011 | 15 Comments
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Nothing reinvigorates a home like a newly remodeled kitchen. However, the costs to completely remodel a kitchen can quickly add up. I know that many of our budgets are tight this year but there are ways to refresh without spending a fortune.  Here are 10 simple and effective ways that you can spruce up your kitchen without spending a lot of time or money.

Complete them all or pick and choose, these affordable kitchen updates are sure to make a huge impact even on a small budget.

Update Your Cabinetry Hardware
These small items say big things about your kitchen style. Changing out your old knobs and pulls to brushed nickel or bronze will create a whole new decorative touch.

Repaint The Walls
Nothing changes the face of a room like a fresh coat of paint. A splash of color can help set a new tone for your kitchen style – warm reds and yellows for a Tuscan feel, neutrals to make a traditional classic or vibrant greens and blues to modernize your look.

Change Out Window Treatments
One of the first changes that will get people talking is new window treatments. There are many fabrics and materials to choose from, including bamboo, roman shades or a bold graphic print.

Put Up Some Shelves
Installing shelves is an easy, innovative way to add space with a decorative touch. New wooden or glass shelves over the sink or next to your cabinetry will allow you to clear counter space from small appliances you don’t use every day. You can also showcase decorative and sentimental items on your new shelves.

Replace Your Faucets
It’s one of the most frequently used items in a kitchen, so it should be one you love. You can update your faucet relatively inexpensively, adding a refreshed look to your sink area and also lowering water and energy costs.

Area Rugs Add New Color and Texture
One way to update the look of your floors without the cost of new flooring is with a rug. You can find many rugs that are durable to high foot traffic, but also attractive to compliment your kitchen style.

Set The Mood With New Lighting
Make your kitchen a friendly, inviting space with a new lighting system. Consider updating the existing fixture or installing track lighting. You can also add ambiance with under-the-cabinet task or puck lights that are easy to install.

Put Up a Simple Backsplash
You don’t have to take on a tiling extravaganza to refresh the little space over your sink. Add galvanized steel flat sheets as a backsplash and make a sleek, seamless effect that compliment your appliances.

Add a Kitchen Cart

Your kitchen can appear more spacious with less items on the countertops. A small kitchen cart can house small appliances and cookware for easy access and free up counter space from clutter.

Refinish Your Cabinets
You’ll be surprised how easy it can be to reface your cabinets. Try a faux finish for a rich, antique look. Add some detailed painting to create highlights and shadows that give the sense of depth. Or take out the center face of a cabinet door and install a glass front.

Check out 10 Affordable Bath Updates That Give Your Bathroom a Whole New Look to also help you update your bathroom on a budget.


Leave a Comment

  1. [...] a few, fast changes can make a major impact. And there are many ways to update your look without spending a lot of money – like changing out your old cabinet knobs [...]

  2. Roberta Yost says:

    I am looking for materials to refinish the counter tops in my kitchen . I really can not afford to get new ones. The ones I have are straight out of the 60′s.

    • Lynn Coulter says:

      Roberta, have you considered a countertop refinishing kit? These are more economical than replacements. Also, please click here to see more about changing up your countertops. If you’d like to stop by your local Home Depot, one of our associates would be glad to help with any questions you may have. Good luck with your project! Lynn, Home Depot Garden Club

  3. Ginny says:

    I want to refinish my cabinets. What is best to make them beautiful again?

  4. Tom says:

    How is this a “How To” when the “Put Up a Simple Backsplash” link takes you to the tile products? Where’s the “How To” that shows you “How To” actually do it???

  5. Matthew says:

    Thanks! But my mom’s kitchen is small and cramped and my dad isn’t going to re-arrange the entire room just because she wants an up-to-date kitchen. The cabinet plan forms and “L” shape along the short width and long length of the kitchen. The opposite side length is a wall and the opposite side width is open. I want to put a breakfast bar along the wall. How would I go about doing this? Money is tight, of course, and we cannot replace the counter tops nor the ceramic floors. But we still want the breakfast bar to match. What can we do?

  6. MONICA says:

    I am changing the vinyl of the kitchen floor for tile, but with the wide of the tile and the wood sheet under, the floor is no at the same level of the house, what I can do to put it at the same level

    • Andrew says:

      Use a transition piece that will bring it to the same height as your existing flooring only where it meets. It will probably be a step up or a step down. Not a drastic difference

  7. Diane Spencer says:

    We are doing some updating in our kitchen, i.e. new countertop/backsplash, etc. We are converting from electric to a gas range and would like to know what the required clearance in inches from the top of the range to the bottom of the cabinets or an over the range microwave. We have heard so many different answers. Our microwave is 18 inches above the current electric range. Is that adequate for a gas range? Thank you for your help.

  8. Linda Jacobson says:

    This sounds great, and offers a perfect outline for my kitchen upgrade. I plan to also freshen my kitchen floor covering, replacing old vinyl with new marmoleum. My question is, what do you recommend we do first, second, third, and so on? In other words, should we replace flooring first and work our way upwards from there, or refinish cabinets first, or replace countertops first? Assuming all materials are on hand, naturally, and there are no scheduling or labor constraints. thanks!

    • Darren Ryan says:

      Hey Linda, thanks for stopping by! Normally with a full kitchen renovation you would start with your structural changes, then plumbing and electrical, then cabinets, then countertops, then flooring, seal/chaulk and then paint. If you are focused on just freshening up the room, out of the three things that you mention, I would focus on cabinets, then countertops and backsplash and then your floor. Now the order of things doesn’t always go as planned in renovations, so always plan on being able to adjust accordingly to what your budget and back can handle. I hope this answers your question, please feel free to let me know if you need more information or clarification.

      Good luck with the renvation and please share pictures and updates!

  9. James Ristaino says:

    WE are ronovating a home that was built in 74, we love the kitchen and hav provided the pic ot our contractor. Thank you Home Depot
    CHUKKA – in our world we love the work and style – Chukka
    polo score for GOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAALL