Detail of a modern/rustical kitchen

Small Kitchen Upgrades for a Big Impact

The kitchen is the heart of your home. You want your kitchen space to be functional, welcoming, and attractive. If your kitchen isn’t living up to your expectations, you’ve probably dreamed of updating it to better meet your needs.

But maybe taking on a major kitchen remodel isn’t in your budget at this time. After all, the average cost of a minor kitchen remodel is $22,500. And a complete kitchen makeover can cost you between $48,000 and $90,000.1

The good news is that you can save money and get big results with a few small kitchen upgrades. If you have some DIY skills and a few free weekends, you can create a beautiful kitchen design that you’ll be proud of. Let’s dive in.

3 Quick and Easy Projects

If you aren’t looking to tackle a large project due to time or budget limitations, don’t worry—there are several quick and easy changes you can make to liven up your kitchen space. 

#1 Add plants to your kitchen

Incorporating plants into your decor will not only enliven your kitchen, but you’ll enjoy the benefits of breathing in the fresh air they provide.2 Set pots on the window sills for an added burst of color. Or hang them from your ceiling around the room and allow those pollutant-soaking beauties to make the air crisp and fresh.

You can even choose to plant fresh herbs like mint, basil, and rosemary, providing the aromatic and aesthetic quality you’re looking for while also saving you a trip to the store for seasoning. 

Other popular choices for kitchen plants include:

  • Ficus
  • Aloe
  • Tillandsia
  • Spider plants
  • Philodendron

#2 Change the artwork 

Nothing adds a splash of color to a room like a tasteful piece of framed artwork. You don’t even have to purchase new art to liven up your kitchen. You can switch the paintings or photographs that you have in one room with those in the kitchen to make both rooms feel like new.

Or, if you want to make a bold statement—one that’s a great conversation starter—try creating a few pieces of artwork yourself. 

Have an itch for photography? You can frame colorful photos of fruits, vegetables, flowers, or local scenery to make a gallery wall. 

Fancy yourself a Monet? You can use paint, charcoal, or colored pencils to craft abstract designs using colors that coordinate with your kitchen’s current color palette. Once your masterpiece is finished, simply frame and hang your work. 

#3 Update your window treatments

You know those old, dusty blinds that have been hanging in your kitchen windows since you moved in a decade ago—they can be replaced with just a few tools. Swap them out with modern, durable plantation blinds for a stylish upgrade to your kitchen wall. 

For an extra pop of color, you can add bright curtains or a new valance. Your curtains can be coordinated with your new artwork, placemats, rugs, or even stylish dishes. Don’t forget to clean your windows when you swap out your window treatments for an instant room brightener.

3 Weekend Projects

If you want a more in-depth update, these three design projects can typically be completed in one weekend of solid DIY work.

#1 Paint your walls

Painting your walls always has the effect of making a room feel brand new. And when it comes to your kitchen, you have plenty of creative options. 

Try spicing up your walls by:

  • Painting the wall above your marble or granite countertop—up to the bottom of your upper cabinets 
  • Using a contrasting color—dark walls if you have light cabinets, light walls with dark cabinets
  • Making a full accent wall in a bright, cheerful color

#2 Refinish or paint your cabinets

If you don’t want to paint your walls, consider updating the color of your existing cabinet. New custom cabinets will cost thousands of dollars, but refinishing and painting your existing cabinets will only cost about $200. 

White cabinets tend to make a tiny kitchen feel larger, while colorfully painted cabinets can show off your personality. If you love the look of your wooden cabinets, but they need a new coat of stain, try refinishing them.

Whichever type of kitchen cabinet refresh you choose, make sure that you are using the correct paint or stain. To ensure the process goes smoothly, take the time to strip and sand off the existing color.3 That way, the new coat has a clean, even surface to adhere to.

#3 Change your cabinet hardware

You might be surprised by how much of a difference changing the hardware in your kitchen can make. Sleek, modern, coordinated handles and knobs on all of your cabinets will give your kitchen an upgraded look without breaking the bank. You can even order custom-made hardware if you want to spend a little more money to get the look you want.

2 Quick Handyman-Certified Upgrades

If your budget can afford the extra help, you can make some simple updates to your kitchen’s lighting or add some tilework. While these will cost a bit more; they’re not quite a full kitchen renovation and will provide you with a whole new kitchen upgrade. 

#1 Upgrade your lighting

You’ll need an electrician if you plan to add new lighting to your kitchen. If you’re just changing out the existing light fixtures, you may be able to do it yourself, depending on your comfort level. Both options will give your kitchen the face-lift it needs. 

Hanging lights are very popular now and they come in every color, finish, and style imaginable. You can also opt for under-cabinet lights to produce a showroom effect. Dark corners can be brightened with the addition of an extra light fixture. 

#2 Add a stunning backsplash

Tile backsplashes can take a kitchen from bland to wow. With countless colors, patterns, and materials available, there’s something to fit everyone’s taste and budget. If you haven’t worked with tile before, it can be tricky to get it right so you may need to call in a professional. 

Even though this is a more expensive option than some of the others on our list, you’ll find that the effect of a well-crafted tile backsplash is breathtaking.

Find the Best Tile for Your Kitchen Refresh with Materials Marketing

When you’re ready to put your kitchen refresh ideas into action, Materials Marketing is your best resource. With high-quality materials and professional guidance, you’ll find what you need to create the kitchen design you’ve always dreamed of. 

Remember: Even small kitchen updates can make a big impact on a dated kitchen when you choose the right products. That’s where Materials Marketing can help. Looking for assistance with how to make a kitchen look more modern? We can help with that too!

Sources: 

  1. Nerdwallet. What a Kitchen Remodel Costs — and Ways to Save. https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/mortgages/kitchen-remodel-cost#:~:text=Data%20from%20a%20Remodeling%20Magazine,depending%20on%20the%20kitchen’s%20size.
  2. WebMD. Health Benefits of Houseplants. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/ss/slideshow-health-benefits-houseplants
  3. This Old House. How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets. https://www.thisoldhouse.com/kitchens/21097083/how-to-paint-your-kitchen-cabinets