If you’re like most homeowners, unless you did a major remodel recently, you would love to have a new kitchen. But you probably think you can’t afford a remodel. You may be right – it costs a small fortune to completely redo a kitchen, and remodeling companies seem to excel at pushing the latest, the newest, and the priciest ideas on you. But before you throw in the dishtowel, there are some smart ways to go about redoing your kitchen. While they may not be super cheap, they cost way less than a remodel, and you can pick and choose from a menu of options. Best of all, you don’t need a designer to implement any of it!
– Jazz Up the Lighting
People in the remodeling business know that often, just the little touches can make a huge change. Take a look at the lighting in your kitchen. Does it look tired and outdated? You’d be amazed how much better the whole room can appear if you put in new lighting. Match it to the look of your kitchen – there are fabulous new lighting designs for every type of kitchen décor. Lighting store staff can help with selection, and an electrician can finish the job.
– Time For a Paint Job
OK, this one is a bit obvious, but it is not to be ignored. When was the last time you painted your kitchen? Was it even this century? A new color palette will absolutely transform your kitchen. Looking for ideas? Many home improvement stores now have consultants on staff in the paint section, whose whole job it is to help you pick out the right color schemes. Use their expertise, and throw some new color on those walls.
– Reface Your Cabinets
New cabinets are just about the most expensive, messy, time-consuming task in any kitchen makeover. So don’t replace your cabinets, reface them. Basically, refacing is a fancy word for new doors and fittings. But they can look spectacular, and the change can be dramatic. If you’re really handy, you can probably do it yourself, but if not, there are plenty of vendors. Check out a resource like This Old House for tips and advice before you begin.
– Change the Mood With a New Table and Chairs
Face it, in most kitchens, what is the largest single piece of furniture? The kitchen table, of course, surrounded by the requisite kitchen chairs. In many ways, the heart of the house. Not inexpensive, but a new table set need not cost the earth. And a new style and look can totally reinvent the room. For example, combined with cabinet refacing, a new table could turn a dated ’80s kitchen into a French country look, or Retro, or whatever your heart desires. Make a couple of big changes, and finish by accessorizing.
– Theme It
Talking of accessorizing, what’s the theme of your kitchen? Often, a clever, fun theme can overcome (and overshadow) some basic problems like older appliances and a dated layout. A theme can be anything you want it to be, although themes related to food and cooking are likely to work best. Country kitchen is one approach. Earth tones could be another theme. Ethnic foods provide another idea. Let your imagination and personality shine through.
– Window Treatments
These are often overlooked, but ugly windows are a real downer in any room. With the affordability and ease of new blinds or curtains, there’s really no reason to live with poor window treatments. You can find every kind of blind imaginable, for example. They come in every style, material, and color. And many are very reasonably priced. Take a look at your window options – another fix that delivers major impact for the money.
– Restore Your Floors to Brighten up your Kitchen
Kitchen floors take more abuse than floors in any other part of your house. Chances are, if you look at your kitchen floor, it could use a makeover. What you are able to do depends on the floor itself. If it’s a hardwood floor, like many kitchens today, there are the most options. A wood floor that has lost its shine and luster can be professionally restored. For an even bigger improvement, it can be completely stripped, and a brand new finish applied. If it’s a tile floor and it’s in good shape, just a really good cleaning may help. If the tiles are old and cracked, then a new tile floor is the way to go.
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Author Anna Shoreham is a writer with an interest in design and home improvement. Recently, she covered wood flooring in modern and traditional homes.