How to Update your Kitchen on a Budget
Low on funds, big on ideas? Welcome to my world sweetheart!
For those of you with champagne dreams on a box o’ wine budget – this post is for you! And really, even if you’re made of money, there’s no reason to spend it all when you can do some affordable updates and keep some money in your hot lil’ hands!
So, let’s get on to the good stuff…
Kitchen Update Idea #1 Hardware – Add it or Change it
Never underestimate the visual power of a wee strip of metal. Most kitchen cabinets can be updated with hardware for under $200.
If you really want to make a change, choose something that not only looks good, but also has tactile benefits as well – it’s all in the grip! Plan on spending $4 – $6 for handles and $3-$5 for knobs.
If you currently have knobs and want to make a change, drill another hole and install handles (always use a template – you simply can’t go wrong with this wee beastie from Ikea). Handles/pulls can add class to boring or out of date cabinets.
Count how many handles/knobs you need before leaving your home (and count twice)
Measure the distance between bolt holes so you know what size of handle to get
Kitchen Update Idea #2 Install a Basic Backsplash
One of the BEST ways to update an old kitchen is with a new backsplash and it DOESN’T need to cost a fortune!
- Save money by doing a shorty backsplash (approx. 6″high – as shown in photo above)
- Keep thing simple by tiling as high as the bottom of your electrical outlet cover – this will save you a lot of cutting, cursing and wine drinking
- If you decide not to use a schluter strip (the metal edge that divides your tile from your drywall, then use green tape to tape off wherever your tile meets the drywall. THEN put grout on the top row of tiles. This will give you a clean finished edge when you’re done grouting (see the horizontal line where my tile meets the wall – nice and tidy looking)
- If you aren’t inclined to do-it-yourself, then expect that a professional tiling job (for a full-height and width backsplash) will cost you between $500-$800 (depending on kitchen size)
- When all else fails, do a subway tile as it’s a timeless classic. For a subtle look, match the grout to the tile. To highlight the pattern, choose a grout that is lighter or darker than the tile
Read more: How to Choose the Best Subway Tile
Kitchen Update Idea #3 Clean up the Clutter!
Yes, I’m talking to you. Clear off your counter tops entirely and put back only the things you use 3 times a week or more. The rest should find a space in a cupboard/pantry – if there isn’t any space then you’ve got more than just your counter tops to worry about! Visual clutter is mental clutter – Lord knows there’s enough mental stuff going on in my house, so my counter tops are daaaamn clear.
Things that are forgiven….
Those things with whirlygigs on the end. Like a blender or a MixMaster. I don’t bake, can you tell? These almost always look fab when out on display – especially on a counter top inner corner
Coffee Makers. Forgiven
Knife Blocks. Forgiven. Only because I know that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to find the right type of space in a cupboard for these butt-ugly beasts
Wine Bottle. Preferably half-empty
The other thing to de-clutter is the front and side of your fridge. Take it ALL off baby and see how good it feels to breathe easy! Now I know your fridge probably holds precious tidbits of kids and grandkids, but don’t worry, there’s always other places for those things like corkboards, picture frames and what not.
For some great ideas on what the heck to do with all of your kids artwork, check this out… “Ideas for Hanging and Organizing Kids Artwork“
Kitchen Update Idea #4 New Sink and/or Faucet
Before I talk to you about buying a new sink, the first thing I recommend you do is use some Comet on your existing sink. I do this about once every month and I’m AMAZED at the sheen I get! Things brighten up so quick and that nasty ole’ thing looks sparkly and brand new.
But if that doesn’t work….
A decent kitchen sink will cost under $300. A modern kitchen faucet will run you about $250. So, for approx. $500 you can add some new bling to your kitchen without breaking open the kids piggy bank!
For the faucet – stick with chrome for budgetary reasons. You ‘might’ find a stainless steel or oil rubbed bronze one on special, but for that same price you can get an even better quality chrome one. At specialty stores, chrome is almost always 20-30% less expensive than stainless/nickel/oil rubbed.
- Don’t fiddle around with paying more for a faucet that comes with a soap dispenser. Invest in a nice lil’ soap dispenser that sits on your countertop and call it a day.
- Before you buy a new sink, take a look at your existing one and notice whether the holes are centered or off-centre – this matters when it comes time to hook it all up
- Don’t be afraid to go to your local specialty plumbing supplier (aka not Home Depot or Home Hardware). Ask about floor models and clearance items, you are likely to get a far superior product for a great price (compared to the big box selections)
- Did you know that plumbing suppliers (ie: American Standard/Moen) make different version of the same faucets? The faucet at the Big Box store and the Boutique store may look the same, but you can almost guarantee that the inner-workings of the pieces at the Boutique store are higher quality and will last longer. You do get what you pay for….
Here are a few of my fave budget-friendly faucets…and yes, even after that lecture I’m still using Big Box stores for my examples. I have a wide-range of lovely (and handsome) blog followers, from Canada, the U.S.A and beyond and this is the best way to show what is available to the ‘majority’. If you like one of these and are curious as to the ‘higher end model’, just take a print-out to your local specialty supplier and they will surely find you a similar looking model.
Moen Kipton Chrome 1 Handle Faucet
If you prefer a more modern, sleek look, the Grohe Concetto faucet is a clean look.
Grohe Concetto Starlight Chrome 1 Handle Faucet
And please, avoid these. Functional – yes. Affordable – yes. Fugly – yes.
Well, I hope those ideas help you update your kitchen – happy decorating!
If you would like a Personalized Consultation, please refer to my Online Consulting Services (starting at $45).
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Kylie M Interiors Interior Decorating, Design, Home Staging, Ideas and Online Color Consultations and Virtual E-Design Services Based in Nanaimo on Beautiful Vancouver Island, BC