Tips for upgrading your kitchen

Whether you are planning to invest your own sweat equity in a complete kitchen remodel or simply hope to make a few quick changes over the weekend, every cent counts.  It’s important to choose renovations that will make a big impact for the lowest price possible. Stay focused on the results you’re after and be willing to get your hands a bit paint-splattered, and you’ll certainly achieve beautiful results.

From paint to hardware, the following tips will help you turn your kitchen from terrible to très chic.

Bright lighting

Good illumination is important for a clean, modern look and it signals that your kitchen is a sophisticated and functional space. Make use of the maximum wattage you can into both your task and overall lighting and become creative with lighting designs. The new stylish pendant lights can easily become the feature piece of the room.

Matching appliances

Although you might get away with unmatched counters, major kitchen appliances of the same style and brand will give a lackluster kitchen some credibility. There are microwaves, coffee machines and fridges for sale that are often offered as a set for this very reason. Stainless steel is no longer a requirement as many people are disenchanted with the upkeep. Modern materials include ceramics, metallics and plastic.

Add new hardware

If you’ve had the same knobs and handles in your kitchen for 20 years, maybe it’s time for a makeover. New classic hardware is a worthwhile upgrade, subtly enhancing the look and feel of the entire space. Just keep an eye on the price per piece when shopping, because it adds up fast – especially if you have a large kitchen with lots of cabinets. Bring home one sample and see what it looks like before committing to a full count.

A fabulous faucet

An impressive faucet can make an old kitchen look much newer. It doesn’t need all the bells and whistles, but it should be big. Do your homework, be patient, and scoop up one on sale.

Newish cabinets

When it comes to fix-up costs, paint can give you the most bang for your buck. If your cabinets cry out for a quality boost, give them a fresh lick of paint. Skip the cabinet interiors but add new white shelf liners. With the right product and prep, even laminates can be painted.

Upgrade accessories

With limited opportunities for decorations, it’s important to make the most of the little things. Corral frequently used items on a woven tray, prop up a few wooden boards on your counter and display pantry items with pretty packaging.

Add sconces

Swing-arm sconces above open shelving provide lovely ambient light and offer more personality than standard recessed or track lighting. Ideally an electrician would install them with the cords hidden, though it may be possible to use plug-in versions with cord covers concealing the dangling cords.

Remove upper cabinet doors

If glass door fronts are out of the budget but you want to open up a bit of space, try simply removing the doors to your upper kitchen cabinets. It’s an easy change to make (just unscrew the doors, fill in the holes and a quick paint) that can expand small kitchens.

A beautiful kitchen will automatically uplift the value of your home. So, go ahead, gussy up that kitchen!