11 Simple Solutions for a Sharper Kitchen

11 Simple Solutions for a Sharper Kitchen

Who doesn't love a complete kitchen renovation? We'd all love a new set of countertops that shimmer in brand-new recessed lighting; cabinets and drawers that open smoothly and exude modern elegance; appliances that save energy and offer all the new features to keep food its freshest and get dishes their cleanest; tile or wood floors that hold their shine for weeks on end. Unfortunately, very few of us can afford the thousands--or tens of thousands--of dollars that go into such a massive overhaul.

Luckily, you don't have to completely overhaul and replace every last piece to feel like your kitchen is still fresh and functional. A few small changes here and there can help breathe a lot of life back into your kitchen--without the expense that comes from a full remodel. We'll begin with some of the most cost-effective options, then move up to some renovations that will require a bit of investment, but will give your kitchen a fresh, new look without breaking the bank.

Budget Solutions:

When you want to spice up your kitchen, but only have a few hundred dollars--or less--to work with, then this is where you should start. These simple solutions will add a lot of aesthetic appeal to your space and can cost as little as $10. (Some of these projects may require power tools or power tool parts.)


If you can't afford to replace your cabinet and drawers completely, then look into replacing the knobs. Maybe you have great cabinets, but your knobs were made of cheap plastic. You can bring a door into just about any hardware shop to learn what will fit and upgrade to sleek stainless steel or colored knobs that will match your current style. A simple re-fitting can go a long way in making your cabinets look fresh and new.


Are your kitchen walls blank? Think of adding some inexpensive artwork or a mirror to the wall. Mirrors can really help open up a tight kitchen space, and art will help warm up the overall environment. You can swing by your local big-box store or a thrift shop to find great bargains on cute art and mirrors for your kitchen.

Utensil Rod

Here's another quick addition you can pick up at your local big-box store. A utensil road or pan hanger can really add a professional look to your kitchen. They don't cost much, and you can hang a utensil road just about anywhere, though over the stove is an especially lovely place. If you have an island in your kitchen and you don't have a pan hanger, then invest in one and display your cookware proudly!


Do you still store your food and staple ingredients such as sugar and flour in their original boxes? Put them on display with jars on your kitchen counters! This small touch can bring a great feel to your kitchen and give it some needed character in the process.

Medium Budget Solutions:

If you have a little more to spend--say in the $500 to $1,000 range, then you can look at some of these renovation options above. Just because you have more money doesn't mean you should skip the budget solutions, though. New knobs, display jars, and art can work really well with some of the suggestions we have here.

Trim and Doors

Adding new trim and doors in your kitchen is a great way to get a new look and feel without breaking the bank. Trim and doors are subtle upgrades, but if your pantry or other closet door has been the same for years on end, it may show some wear. The same goes for your wall trim, which can get especially grimy from grease, food, and other kitchen staples. With a little painting, these upgrades can also help you get a new color motif going in your kitchen.


Do you cringe when you look at your kitchen sink? Perhaps you have a stained, leaky faucet that looks like it belongs in a kitchen from 50 years ago? Well, if that's the case, a simple fixture upgrade can really breathe new life into your sink. Fixtures range across broad price points, but you can find something that you want at just about any of those prices.

You may also want to look into replacing your sink. All you need is a basic understanding of plumbing and the ability to grout the sink into your counter (there are tons of how-to guides online), and you can have a great new look in your kitchen for a pretty low price.


This applies to just about every room in your house, but with a day or two of work and a couple of gallons of paint, you can turn those dirty white walls into warm yellow or light blue walls. The hardest part about painting is the hassle--you have to do some prepping, protect your floors and appliances, etc. But a new coat of paint will really help give your kitchen a new, warm feel that will last for years.

High Budget Solutions:

The next solutions I'm offering up will cost you a pretty penny, but they will still cost a lot less than a full kitchen remodel. A lot of these fix-ups will also require you to hire an expert who can make sure everything goes smoothly as installing new floors, cabinet surfaces, and lights can get really tricky really fast.


Whether you like wood, tile, or vinyl, a new floor in your kitchen is going to help it shine like new. Research the benefits of each before you make your decision as vinyl and tile are generally easier to maintain than wood, but don't quite have the same refined look.

Resurface Cabinets

You don't have to replace your entire cabinet structure to get cabinets that look new. One great budget option is to re-surface your cabinets. This will keep your existing cabinets in place, but will add new doors and drawers to the surface of them, which will give you a whole new look without the massive expense that comes with replacing everything.


Does your kitchen still have a nasty fluorescent light as the only light source? Then think about upgrading your lights to give your kitchen a great new feel. For this upgrade you may need to do some re-wiring, so hiring an electrician may be required, but some hanging lights, recessed lights, and accent lights around your counters will help breathe some freshness right back into your kitchen.


And those are my tips for small upgrades that can bring a lot of change to your kitchen. Whether you have $50 to spend or $3,000, these tricks can help you get a lot of bang for your buck without having to overhaul everything in the space. What more could a kitchen ask for?

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