These simple projects can be done on your own or with minimal outside help:
1. Add a backsplash.
Backsplash is the way to go if you want to make a big statement at a fairly affordable price. You can hire a professional to install backsplash for around $1,000. Or watch some YouTube tutorials and do it yourself for a fraction of the cost. Peel-and-stick backsplash tiles are also an option.
2. Buy a new appliance.
Sometimes, it’s that easy. Purchasing a new stainless-steel refrigerator or double-oven cooktop is enough to give your kitchen an instant facelift. If you’re looking to save, consider buying “open box” or slightly used from retailers like Lowe’s and Best Buy—potentially cutting more than half the price.
3. Consider new flooring.
On the hunt for low-cost kitchen flooring, luxury vinyl is likely to be your best choice. Thanks to hardwood flooring shortages driving up prices, more homeowners have turned to luxury vinyl tiles (typically peel-and-stick with grouting), costing around $3 to $18 per square foot.
4. Get an island.
Adding a kitchen island can introduce a brand-new surface for cooking or dining if you have room for it. A rolling island may cost anywhere from $200 to $2,000 and can be custom-built through a site like Etsy. Purchasing an island with a butcher-block countertop and plenty of storage space is recommended.
5. Hang wallpaper.
Wallpaper is back (and may never have actually gone out of style, depending on who you ask). If you haven’t shopped wallpaper lately, you may be surprised at the variety of options available: Think scenery, graphics, vintage prints, and more. You can hang it yourself for around $25 to $35 a roll.
6. Install new countertops.
If you’re going to put in countertops yourself, look for post-form countertops, considered to be the easiest for a DIY kitchen update. Or price contractors near you if you’re in need of guidance. Another option is to purchase a countertop paint kit, giving you a whole new look for around a hundred dollars.
7. Look into under cabinet lighting.
What screams “luxurious” without commanding a high price? If you answered “under cabinet lighting,” you’d be right. This simple kitchen update can range from effortless to more complex. You can hire a contractor to wire the lights for you or take a shortcut and order rechargeable stick-on lights.
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8. Make a coffee bar.
This is your chance to get creative: Clear out a crowded nook, hang floating shelves, or put in a new cabinet. Arrange your coffee wares and buy a new espresso machine, while you’re at it. Hang mugs from a hook or store them on shelves and display coffee beans or grounds in glass jars.
9. Put in new light fixtures.
Swap out old hanging pendant lights with bolder, statement fixtures—or look into installing pendants if you don’t have any. Some “illuminating” over-island pendant picks include industrial dome lights, globe lanterns, frosted bell lights, and even an antique gold chandelier.
10. Repaint cabinets.
Touch up chipped paint or make worn cabinets new again with a totally different color. (Right now, white, black, yellow, and cashmere are trending.) Metal, wood, and wood-laminate are considered some of the easiest cabinet materials to repaint.
11. Replace window treatments.
Whether it’s broken blinds or tattered curtains that need replacing, new window treatments offer another inexpensive kitchen update. Purchase brightly patterned curtains to add a pop of color. Put in shutters to keep out heat and conserve energy in the summer. Or hang linen to let in more light.
12. Reupholster with new fabric.
Modernize an outdated kitchen by refreshing fabrics that have seen better days. Depending on the age of your furnishings: Chairs, bar stools, and banquettes could all benefit from being reupholstered. DIY or outsource the task if you can find an affordable reupholstery company in your area.
13. Upcycle kitchen seating.
You can also find—and revamp—old seating for a colorful kitchen update. Spray paint barstools from a garage sale in a bright color. Hunt for chairs and benches at the thrift store and revive them with a new coat of paint. Consider decoupaging kitchen chairs using maps or another material for extra flair.
14. Update hardware.
Will it be matte black, brushed gold, brass, or a combination of your favorites? Kitchen hardware is inexpensive and easy to find at your local home improvement store. Once you’ve made your purchase, you can update most components—cabinet knobs, drawer pulls, and sink handles—in an afternoon.