6 Ways to Update Your Kitchen For Less

It can be frustrating when you crave change in your surroundings but have limited funds. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy, DIY fixes you can do in no time at all.

6 Ways to Update Your Kitchen For Less


It’s been said time and again because it’s true: a fresh coat of paint can work wonders on tired walls, trim or cabinetry. At only $15-$25 on average per gallon, you get the biggest decor bang for your buck, along with a little elbow grease. Watch for sales. If you keep an open mind and aren’t married to a particular brand or color, you can score paint cheap at home improvement stores in their “oops, wrong color” shelves.

Or, check out Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores, which are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and used building materials, among other cool finds, at a fraction of the retail price.


Light fixtures are an easy way to add interest to any space. In the kitchen, think about the tasks that you do in relation to the layout and counter space and plan accordingly.

Check out secondhand options like Goodwill or thrift stores in your hometown. Clean them up or repaint them and they’re good as new. And, if you don’t love it, you can always switch it out when a better option comes along, and feel good you didn’t overspend. Ikea is another great place to find inexpensive fixtures.

Accessories & Wall Art

You can find great accessories and wall art just about anywhere these days. Or, make your own art. Visit a secondhand book store or your own library and browse through the images for possibilities to frame. Kids’ artwork is another option. Take some of their masterpieces off the refrigerator and frame them to really make them really special.


Of course, another way you can refresh your kitchen for less is with a new backsplash. There are millions of materials to choose from, but for a truly budget-friendly DIY project, two brands stand out.

Fasade faux tin panels are available in a multitude of traditional, modern and industrial styles in more than 20 finishes. They easily stick to the wall with double-sided tape or construction adhesive. Aspect peel and stick tiles come in two formats, metal and glass, and add instant flair to your space. All you have to do is peel and stick!


Replacing cabinet hardware and drawer knobs and pulls makes for a dramatic update for very little. You can find them at any home improvement store or specialty cabinet shops at all different price points. Or, take it a step further and remove some of the doors on your upper set of cabinets to achieve a lighter, more open look and have a new option to display some of your favorite dishes and serving platters.

Window treatments

You don’t have to live with tired window treatments. At the very least, clean the grime off your blinds. You’ll be amazed at the amount of dust and grease that accumulates over time. Here’s a great article on how to do that. Or, take down the blinds and try Roman shades or a new valance. These items can be purchased inexpensively at any mass merchandiser. Or, get crafty and sew them yourself.

What do you think of these 6 ways to update your kitchen for less? Have any more ideas? Let me know in the comments!



Considerations for Great Kitchen Design

While there are countless ways to beautify a kitchen, good design, functionality and layout are just as important as cosmetic fixes. There are a number of considerations for great kitchen design.

What you want to accomplish will help determine your budget. Most experts agree that the kitchen should account for 10-20 percent of the fair market value of your home. But if your goal is to simply spruce up before putting your home on the market, you can spend less.

Lifestyle is another important factor in kitchen design. Do you need something family friendly or a larger space that works better for entertaining? Would you rather have an upscale showpiece with the latest technology and gadgets, or something with a simpler aesthetic because you eat out more than in?

Layout is another factor to consider. Consider the “work triangle.” The work triangle is defined by the National Kitchen and Bath Association as an imaginary straight line drawn from the center of the sink, to the center of the cook top, to the center of the refrigerator and finally back to the sink. The triangle minimizes traffic and interruptions to the cook. This is especially useful in a small kitchen.

Other factors to consider in kitchen design include: appliances, flooring and surface materials, and lighting options.

Finally, don’t overlook the ceiling. You can add interest, variety and style to any room with paint treatments, different textures and shapes.

Ceiling options:

  • Modular wood ceiling systems, including lay-in wood ceiling coffer panels, provide a custom-crafted look at a low cost and are easy to install.
  • Decorative thermoplastic panels are an elegant, yet cost-effective way to revitalize any interior, and with countless style and finish combinations available, including faux metal and faux wood, the possibilities for expressing your own unique style are endless.
  • Change the look of any suspended ceiling with lay-in ceiling tiles, which range from simple to elaborate. Or, choose glue-up ceiling tiles, which make changing the look of your room easy without the hassle of a suspended ceiling system.

What do you think are considerations for great kitchen design? Let us know in the comments!