Chances are, your kitchen is showing its age: Worn cabinetry, stained countertops, and out-of-date appliances are just a few of the common plagues of dated kitchens. But you don’t have to spend upward of $10,000 to bring your kitchen into the modern era. There are several fast, affordable fixes you can do to modernize your kitchen all on your own.
This is a great starting point — it’s cheap and it’s quick, and it can help your kitchen look newer in a single afternoon. Without a sink replacement, you can get a new faucet for as little as $50, and this would also be a great time to get some of those new features you’ve been after, such as a sprayer or a built-in water filter.
Cabinet replacements are expensive — in addition to the new cabinetry, you’ll also be paying for the installers’ labor. But you can reface your cabinetry with veneer panels and shiny, new hardware and achieve the same effect. On top of the refacing, a fresh coat of paint in a light, contemporary color can make a kitchen look larger, brighter, and cleaner. Then again, there’s always the option to just take the doors off of your cabinets altogether, which can make your kitchen look more spacious while showing off your best dishware.
As long as you have all of your cabinets disassembled, it’s a great time to reevaluate how useful your cabinets actually are. Are your countertops overrun with appliances, cookbooks, and spare Tupperware your cabinets can’t hold? Do you have one oddly deep drawer that doubles as an abyss of misplaced potholders? Consider adding quick-to-install drawer organizers or pull-out shelving that help utilize more space. You can use space between cabinets and appliances for storage with narrow pull-out vertical pantries — perfect for your cutting board or cooling racks.
Much like replacing your faucet, updating your light fixtures can give a room an instant facelift. Modern pendant lighting hung above a kitchen island or recessed lights to illuminate dark corners can add aesthetic and functional appeal.
A small backsplash needs just a handful of tiles and a bit of careful arrangement and elbow grease to become a visual focus in the room. Choose tiles that incorporate colors from your walls, cabinets, countertops, and other decor will make those other features pop while making your whole kitchen look more cohesive.
And don’t forget that the point of this whole project is to create a kitchen for yourself that you can be happy with, so if it comes down to it, treat yourself to a smart splurge. Since you’ve been so carefully watching your budget, maybe it’s time to get those granite countertops, or to replace worn-out linoleum flooring with easy-to-clean wood or tile. By taking on the rest of these small upgrades yourself instead of paying professionals for a complete overhaul, you can get the modern look you love without any of the financial guilt.