Ten Low-Cost Kitchen Udpates
Sure, a full kitchen tear-out and rebuild might be your best option, but if budget is a major factor imagination helps stretch the budget when you're updating a kitchen. You can put these creative, money-saving ideas to work all on your own.
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Shades of Green
Color takes the lead in making this kitchen look fresh, through freshly painted cabinets and walls, and contemporary glass pendent lights. The island, once a plain base cabinet, has a new surface -- beaded-board paneling embellished with decorative trim and a butcher-block top.
Decorative brackets dress up open shelving edged with molding to keep items from falling. Home centers and online sources sell a variety of similar brackets. Or try brackets made from cast iron, painted to match or accent the shelves.
Hard to Choose
If variety is the spice of life, then display an assortment of drawer pulls in the kitchen -- just for fun. Combine antique glass knobs, pewter pulls with vegetable motifs, or even ones you've made by painting wooden pulls in different colors. The more kinds, the merrier.
Professional chefs hang their favorite cooking utensils within easy reach, but stainless-steel systems are often expensive. Make a copycat rack with a short metal curtain rod, using steel S-hooks to hold spoons and ladles.
New Found Storage
Put that sliver of wall to work with a stack of shallow shelves to showcase a favorite collection. These natural-finish shelves have brushed metal brackets to complement stainless-steel appliances. Or try contemporary "floating" shelves with invisible brackets, available at home centers. If your style is more traditional, choose shelves with wooden supports, finished to match or accent the cabinets.
The quickest way to rev up the style quotient is to roll a fresh coat of paint onto the walls. With so many yummy color choices available in wipe-clean paint, there's no reason to live with drab kitchen walls. Pale gold gives a sunny wake-up call to all-white cabinets, tempered by a darker floor and door pulls.
Add variety to boring base cabinets by removing a door and adding roomy baskets atop each shelf. The baskets slide out easily to allow access to contents. Pretty linens are a charming embellishment.
Need a kitchen island but don't want to spring for one? Any table or chest can be enlisted as an extra work surface, provided it can be made the right height. A vintage dresser, painted and outfitted with paper towels, utensil hooks, and a new marble top, can now be a baking center with roomy drawers for ingredients and pans.
If windows look out onto a less-than-desirable view, or the neighbors can see in, cover the window with colorful stained glass. Buy or make a custom-fit window to fill the opening. If you're on a tighter budget, simply lean framed colored glass against the window.
A shallow glass shelf runs the width of the window to hold a collection of colored glass and trailing plants. Place supports at each side and also in the middle, if possible. The wider the glass, the thicker it should be for safety, depending on what it will hold.