10 Ways to Update Your Kitchen on a Budget

Posted by Laine Smith on 2/13/16 11:39 AM

Topics: Home Ownership

Kitchens (and bathrooms) sell homes, so it makes sense that they are also one of the most expensive parts of a home to fully remodel. Whether your kitchen hasn’t been upgraded for a couple decades or you’re trying to update builder-grade materials, here are 10 ways to update your kitchen on a budget and without a full remodel.


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Replace Cabinet Hardware


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Grab a drill, some new pulls, knobs and handles and transform the look of your cabinetry in a few hours over your weekend.

Add Statement Lighting


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New light fixtures have the potential to transform any room from drab to fab instantly. 2016 is the year of the pendant light, so make the investment and replace the current model hanging over your kitchen island.

Add Task Lighting


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If you’ve taken care of your decorative lighting, adding under-cabinet LED lights is a great way to enhance the look and function of your kitchen. A set of 6 LED puck lights start around $25.

Make Your Kitchen Island an Accent


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Your kitchen island isn’t just a functional piece. It can be transformed from builder-grade to accommodate any home design style. From adding batten board or corbels to shiplap or faux stone, your kitchen island is a blank canvas.

Replace Your Faucet


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The little things really do add up when it comes to home design. Increase your dishwashing productivity and your kitchen’s look overall with a new sink fixture.

Add a DIY Backsplash


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Backsplashes aren’t necessarily expensive as far as materials go, but hiring someone to install it can quickly boost the cost if you aren’t an avid DIY homeowner. ThisOldHouse’s list of favorite products from the International Builders’ Show includes ACP Peel-and-Stick tiles which gives you the look of a professionally installed backsplash for much, much less and without the need for grout or tiling tools.

Paint Your Cabinetry


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If your cabinets are in good shape, paint can go a long way. Though the project is a little labor intensive if you choose (or need) to sand them down, your hard work goes a long way. HGTV gives a great step-by-step for all types of cabinet finishes.

Add Crown Molding to Builder Grade Cabinetry


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Adding crown molding to your builder-grade cabinets adds height and elegance to your kitchen. You’ll need some minor carpentry skills and woodworking tools, but this is a relatively easy DIY project. Here’s the DIY Network’s how-to.

Replace Your Flooring


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I know what you’re thinking, flooring is expensive. If your current flooring has seen better days, there are still economical options for replacing it. Vinyl is one of the easiest-to-maintain flooring types, can achieve the look of hardwood or tile, and is also relatively easy on your wallet, starting around $1 per square foot.

If you’re committing a larger portion of your “updating” budget to your flooring, check with a local flooring liquidator for the best deals on hardwood and tile options.

Do Away With Cupboard Doors


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If you’ve opted in to freshening up your cabinets with a coat of paint, consider removing a few of the cabinet doors altogether for a fun way to show off your decorative plates, glasses and food storage. You can even add a little color or a decorative element with peel-and-stick adhesive backing.

Thinking of doing a major kitchen remodel? Download our free Rehab & Construction Guide for options on financing the costs of your remodel into your mortgage.

Download: Rehab & Construction Guide

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