For most of us, the kitchen is the heart of the home: It’s where we cook, often where we eat, and it can be the literal center of our houses. All of which is to say, a good kitchen goes a long way to making a beautiful home. If your kitchen isn’t working as hard as it could, we have some simple upgrade ideas — and no, they won’t break the bank.
1. Upgrade your hardware.
Replacing door knobs and drawer handles is a quick, cheap way of giving your kitchen a fresh new look. And if your countertop is looking dated and your cabinets are in need of a makeover, don’t get rid of them — upcycle them! Use tile paint to paint over old tiles, and laminate paint for cabinets. You could also paint the upper cabinets only, for a contrast look.
You can also resurface an existing countertop — there are DIY kits that come in plenty of stone lookalike tones. You can even spray paint your old taps; we suggest going for a brushed copper look.
If you’re in a rental, use adhesive decals to update your cabinet doors (temporary wallpaper works well for this). Cover your old appliances with stainless steel contact paper, too — it takes about half an hour and costs around $10.
2. Add an island.
Kitchen islands can be expensive, but think outside the box. You don’t need a traditional island. Why not use a trestle table or floating drawers, instead? IKEA has a range of kitchen work islands that can easily be rolled around the kitchen as needed, and the stainless steel option makes maintenance a breeze.
3. Invest in lighting.
Luxe-looking task lighting, like pendant lights over the countertop or island, can make your kitchen look amazing. They’re also incredibly functional; more light is always a good idea!
If you can’t aren’t able to install new pendant lights, upgrade your existing lightbulbs to LED versions for a bright daylight look. Or, you can even add under-cabinet lighting — this always looks great.
4. Freshen up the floor.
Yes, you can paint your floor! Timber floors that have seen better days can simply be painted over. Choose a shade of soft white, pale blue, or dove gray. Similarly, paint floor tiles with tile paint. And if you’ve got one or two cracked tiles, cover them with a rug instead of pulling up the whole floor.
5. Think about what you need, not just what you want.
If you’re sick of your cabinetry you don’t need to replace the entire cupboard. If the bones of your cupboards are still in good shape, just simply replace the doors. Or go for open shelving in your upper cabinets — this creates a really airy look.
6. Know that little details add up.
When in doubt, why not add a sculptural vase of decorative objet to your open shelving? Wall art and other decorative accents can also go a long way in making your kitchen feel cozier and cooler.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.
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