Small DIY Upgrades that Make a Big Difference in your Kitchen

Do you have a tiny budget for your kitchen remodel? Some people spend upwards of $50,000 on their kitchens, but if you don't have that kind of cash, you might have to get a little creative with your renovation. When it comes to a new look for your kitchen, you don't necessarily have to gut it and start from scratch. More homeowners don't realize how big of a difference small upgrades can make! Here are the top eight changes you can make - and most of these cost $100 or less:

  1. Replace the faucets. Outdated or hard water stained faucets can instantly make a kitchen look worn. Choose some sleek new styles according to current trends or classic models. Replacing them is easy with a wrench and the directions!
  2. Change the curtains. Fabric picks up the smells of the kitchen and easily discolors. For an instant change, choose a bold statement with your curtains. Remember, your options aren't limited to what you find in department stores. With just one or two lines of sewing, you can transform almost any piece of material into curtains. Save even more money by picking up discount fabric.
  3. Repaint. Just like fabric can become discolored in the kitchen, so can paint. Instead of totally changing the paint color, though, try picking a tone that is just one shade darker than the color currently on your walls. You won't have to purchase primer that way, and one coat should cover.
  4. Cover a wall in cork. For most homeowners, the kitchen is the hub of the house's activities. You may already have a bulletin board or hang items on the refrigerator. Why not take that project to a larger scale? Cork is extremely inexpensive and available in small sheets. You can attach these sheets to the wall for a custom corkboard - perfect for the busy family on the go! If an entire wall seems like too much, consider just one strip or section or even just a door instead. Alternatively, you can paint the wall or door with chalkboard paint, which dries to look and work like a blackboard.
  5. Install a new wood floor over the old wood or tile. This tip is slightly more expensive for most homeowners, depending on the size of the floor, but the result is spectacular. Look for a wood option that snaps in place - you won't need hammers and nails to create this new flooring. As long as your old floor is flat, the new can be installed right over the top. It is extremely easy and very cost-effective, though you might need help cutting planks for installation around corners or in other weird spaces. The bottom line, though, is that you don't have to spend a fortune to redo the floor in your kitchen - and in many cases, you can do it yourself!
  6. Add a floating island. For just a few hundred dollars, you can purchase a DIY floating island kit from just about any department or home improvement store. By following the directions, you can put these together in an afternoon, and before you install them, you can even sand and re-stain or repaint the pieces if they don't match your current dècor. Kitchen islands help you make good use of a larger space and completely change the look of a kitchen.
  7. Change the lighting. Don't be afraid of electrical work. In most cases, all you have to do is switch off the power, follow the simple directions on the box to hook up the new light, and than switch the power back on. Many homeowners mentally roadblock themselves, but changing your lighting isn't hard at all and can really make your kitchen look different.
  8. Refinish old kitchen cabinets. This project takes some time, but when done correctly, they look just as nice as expensive custom cabinets and don't even cost a quarter as much! If you also opt to replace the doors altogether, go for an open cabinet look, or simply change the hardware. Remember, your cabinets don't have to all match. The trend in kitchens right now is for that cool customized style, not for generic, matching look. So, don't be afraid to mix things up a bit!

The last tip that should always be in the back of your mind is to buy quality products. They're more expensive every time, but your kitchen will look 100 time better if you choose quality materials. Basically, this is a matter of shopping around, which you don't need professional help to do! If you can't afford the top of the line, compromise a bit, but also keep in mind that you don't have to no all of the renovations at once. You can spread out the projects over months or even years to make it fit into your budget.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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