When building a house or doing complete home renovations, experts will always tell you to devote the most money to the kitchen. Kitchens are expensive to create, but done correctly, they can be huge selling points, on top of making your life more functional. Kitchens are actually becoming second living rooms for many families, as more families are cooking often and using meals to reconnect. If you don’t like the look of your kitchen, there are small change you can make that actually have a huge impact on the look of the room. Without much money, you can make the following eight changes to create a brand new kitchen:
By far one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to change the look of any room is a fresh coat of paint. This is especially true in a kitchen, as years of cooking can discolor the walls. Use a primer to cover whatever color was already on the walls and go to town with your favorite hue. Keep in mind that the color of a kitchen should be warm and inviting, not sterile, so colors like buttery yellow and soft green work well. You can also consider a fresh coat of paint for your kitchen cabinets, thought this is a more expensive and time consuming job.
2. Add a backsplash.
Backsplashes behind the sink and stove look great and don’t actually require much money. You can create a backsplash with paint or you can invest in some tile to make a more effective backsplash. Even if you choose the tile route, however, most of the cost of this project will be eaten up in labor. Do the project yourself and you’ll save hundreds of dollars. Because you don’t need much file for this thin strip of wall, you can often get small lots of tiles that have been discontinued and are, thus, very inexpensive. You can also use leftover tile from any of your recent flooring projects.
3. Clear the clutter.
Kitchens often become catch-all rooms for mail, newspapers, purses, and more. Put an end to this with some smart storage solutions. Instead of throwing your keys and coat over the bar, place hooks by the door, for example. You should also limit the counter usage to one to three items that you really do use very often. Some people like to keep everything on the counter, from the bread machine to the toaster oven to the blender. These items just collect dust and make your kitchen look cluttered, so store them away unless you’re using them.
4. Replace the fabrics.
Although most of your kitchen will be made of hard surfaces, nearly every kitchen has some fabrics. Replace these to give the kitchen a renewed look. Start with the window treatments. Curtains aren’t expensive, and you main want to invest in new curtain rods or other nice window treatment elements. You can also use the same fabric or a different fabric to recover the cushions on bar stools or chairs, as well as buy new floor mats or rugs if you have them in your kitchen.
5. Think about the smell.
We typically think of renovations and home improvement in terms of how something looks, but one of the first things we actually notice when we walk into the room is the smell. If your kitchen smells less than fresh, it can really turn your stomach. Purchase heavy-duty garbage and recycling cans with lids to cut down on the smell from waste, and use candles or oil diffusers to create an inviting scent. Avoid plug-in air fresheners that never turn off. When you’re cooking, you want to be able to blow out the candles in order to let the delicious smells of the food speak for themselves.
6. Add plants.
When you add plants to any home, you immediately change the look of the room. Kitchens are a great place to include plants. Consider an herb garden near the window and use greens or flowers in other places to freshen the look of the kitchen. If you want to splurge a little, consider larger potted plants and trees, but keep in mind that plants can get a little price if you go overboard.
7. Add crown molding.
Although fairly inexpensive, crown molding can really take the look of your kitchen to the next level. Simply paint the pieces in a coordinating color and use a nail gun to hang them at the wall – ceiling seam. This DIY project should only take an afternoon at most.
8. Replace your appliances.
Lastly, consider replacing old and outdated appliances. At first glance, this is not a cheap project, as refrigerators and other appliances and fixtures can be quite expensive. However, if you choose new Energy Star appliances, you start to get that money back in the form of lower utility bills. The investment is worth it when it comes to appliances.