10 Cheap and Easy Ways to Update A Kitchen

The Kitchen

The kitchen is in many ways the heart of your home, a room that is used daily. A usable kitchen will be designed ergonomically and with plenty of thought given to the processes that are involved in cooking and entertaining.

This doesn’t mean that a kitchen can’t look great too! Modern kitchens are very stylish – especially those with integrated units – but are also expensive to install, and not everyone has the time or budget for a full renovation. So I’ve put together some helpful tips for updating your kitchen without spending a fortune. Let’s get started!


Update Your Existing Hardware

Have a look around your kitchen, especially at the handles on your cabinet doors and drawers. These can be easily replaced at little cost. Look online and you’ll find plenty of more modern and stylish options, or take a trip to your local hardware store. There’s plenty of choice, and it’s a simple DIY job to take the old ones off and add new – often, all you need is a screwdriver. The difference can be very impressive.


Add Under Cabinet Lighting

One of the most effective methods of giving your kitchen a new, modern and fresh look is to install under-cabinet lighting. If you’re thinking great expense, you’d be wrong! There are many lights that you can buy that fit under the toe kick so they cast light down for effect, and also under the upper cabinets. These are usually LED lights – energy-efficient to the highest degree – and there’s often no hard wiring involved: you simply mount them, plug in, and you’re ready to go.         


Rugs Make a Difference

The floor of your kitchen is most likely some form of vinyl, tile or hardwood. That’s great, as all can look good. But have you thought of adding a rug? You might be surprised how much difference a colourful rug or runner makes to the overall feel of the room, and there’s plenty of choice for you at sensible prices.


Hang Some Artwork

What’s on your walls at the moment, those bare spaces in the kitchen that remain unused? Those blank spaces would look even better with a nice picture – perhaps one of your favorite artists – or other form of wall-hanging. It helps to break up the monotony of the room and adds something new. Prints are not expensive, so it’s worth checking out.


Add Molding

Here’s a very simple DIY trick, and a cheap one too, that can make your kitchen look superb – add a crown molding to the upper cabinets. Upgrading to a larger size or adding new trim is a simple DIY project that anyone can do – and the choices of different molding means there’s going to be something that will look great in your kitchen. All you need is a miter saw to cut it to size, and a nail gun to apply it. Check at your home improvement center or lumber yard for different styles, or shop online for great deals.


Floating Shelves Can Look Superb

One of the most-used interior design tricks of the 21st century is that of fitting floating shelves. They work by being fitted to supports that are inside the shelf itself – rather than by standard-type brackets – so give the effect of simply hanging there. Modern, stylish and very useful, they are a perfect adornment for a blank kitchen, or even consider removing upper cabinets and replace with floating shelves.


Replace Pendant Lights

Replace your builder grade hanging pedant lights over the island with something modern and stylish. The variety of choices available is almost endless. Try finding an expensive designer lighting fixture you love online, and then look for a cheaper lookalike knockoff at your local big box retailer. Changing out the fixture is a super simple process anyone can do.


Replace Outlet Wall Plates

Sometimes it’s the most purely functional items that can make a difference. Take your wall outlets, which are probably the original ones from when the house was built. After all, why would you change them? Perhaps because there are so many more attractive and modern-looking examples available now, and they look much better than the ones you have! Check out metal wall outlet plates – that’s all you need to change; the bit you can see which simply screws onto the support behind – in either matt or polished finishes.


Replace the Faucet

If you want a new look to your kitchen and don’t want to go to the expense of replacing major items such as cabinets and appliances, why not start with your faucet? Like many of your kitchen’s fixtures and fittings, the faucet probably came with the house, but things have come a long way in kitchen furnishings in a short time! You can buy some very stylish, modern faucets – including mixers and even those that provide instant boiling water – and they don’t cost a lot to buy and fit, so look online and at your hardware store for some ideas.


Add Backsplash

My final suggestion is a DIY kitchen upgrade trick that is very effective: add new backsplash. How best to do this? There are a couple of options: you can buy stick-on backsplash at any hardware store, and you simply peel it off and it has an adhesive backing. Cut it to shape and size, and you’ve changed the look of the kitchen in minutes. The more upscale alternative is to tile the area, and with a bit of practice this can also be an easy DIY job. Consider bold colors or patterns to dramatically change the look of your kitchen.

So, that’s 10 simple and inexpensive ways you can update your kitchen. Why not combine a few of them and give the room a makeover? You’ll be impressed with the way simple changes can make a major difference.


Steve Wright

Steve Wright is a general contractor who over the last 30 plus years has built hundreds of new homes, ranging from first time affordable homes to multi-million dollar custom homes and everything in between.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Yvette Munro

    What awesome ideas that can totally transform the look of your kitchen. You’ve got me thinking Steve. There are a couple of these that I can definitely try in my kitchen.

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