Mar 3, 2014

Easy Kitchen Updates with Major Impact !

Here's the perfect example of taking a nice (but rather blah) builder basic kitchen and totally revamping it into a space with personality and style

For example, a kitchen that looks like this:

Can turn into a kitchen that looks like this (not the same kitchen but an almost identical floor plan):

This sort of transformation can be totally affordable and you can pace yourself with the updates as your budget allows.

Here's a list of update ideas that will make your builder basic kitchen shine like a custom kitchen, many of which you can do on your own in just one weekend:

1) Add a backsplash - This is a pretty easy DIY project that we did in our previous home {here}.  You can find great tile for less than $5 a square foot, or you can always hang wallpaper or paint the backslash instead.  Other affordable backsplash ideas can be found here and removable backsplash options for renters can be found here.

2) Add cabinet hardware - You can DIY this in an hour with just a few tools, and it can be a very inexpensive update that really perks up a kitchen.  Hobby Lobby, Home Depot, Lowe's, and Anthropologie are great places to find unique knobs.

3) Upgrade the appliances - Check out builder surplus stores for some great deals on "dented/dinged" appliances that may not even be flawed on the exposed surfaces.  Big box stores often offer discounts on appliances on Labor Day and Memorial Day weekends.

4) Remove cabinet doors for open shelving - Yes folks, this design trend is sticking around and you do have to be tidy to make it work...  Consider painting the wall behind the shelves an accent color to really make the dishes pop.  And, if you ask me, white dishes always look best!

5) Paint your cabinets a fresh hue - It's probably worth hiring someone to come in and do a professional spray job on your cabinets.  It's totally DIY-able but very daunting work.  Pick a neutral color like gray or tan if you're concerned about resale, or try another color you love if you're feeling bold.

6) Add a professional-looking vent hood - They're really not that expensive and make your kitchen look like it's chef-ready.  Consider moving your microwave to the pantry or mudroom, or place it on a counter hidden from view.

7) Update your countertops - Solid surface counters like quartz, silestone, marble, solid slab concrete, and granite are the prettiest and most durable picks, but for a more affordable option consider doing a concrete finish on top of the existing laminate countertops (fabulous examples of this can be found herehere, and here).

8) Change your flooring - There are some great options for faux wood flooring today, and often times they're much more durable and far less expensive than the real thing.  Flooring manufacturers now make laminate flooring, vinyl flooring, and ceramic tiles that all look just like wood.

9) Light up the space - If you have recessed lighting, consider adding a few pendant lights over an island or the sink.  There are several recessed light to pendant light conversion kits for less than $100 at retailers like Home Decorators Collection and Ballard Designs.  We used these and loved them in our previous home, as seen {here}.

10) Clean off your counters - I don't just mean wipe them down....take everything off.  Then only add the appliances you use every single day.  That means stow the blender, the toaster, the Vitamix, the standing mixer, etc. unless you truly use them every single day.  This will declutter you kitchen in a way you never imagined...I promise, you'll thank me!

Any other tips you have to help update a bland builder basic or outdated kitchen?  Do share!


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