Updating a kitchen can get expensive! Here are five ways to update your kitchen for $100 or less!
By Lisa Burns, Contributing Writer
If you ever watch Fixer Upper on HGTV, you know that the kitchen is usually one of the most expensive rooms to remodel in a home. Even though I have seen the show many times, whenever Chip starts listing off the costs of their current project, I am always a little shocked at how much money can be spent updating a kitchen.
We just finished updating the kitchen in our home at the beginning of this year. I LOVE the way it turned out, despite not having the budget or manpower of the Gaines family.
Our kitchen remodel literally took years to finish. So I know a little about waiting patiently for work to be completed, and living in the midst of raw wood and unfinished spaces.
You don’t have to spend a ton of money to give your kitchen a fresh look! Both in the waiting and in this last final push towards completion, I learned several ways to make our kitchen functional and attractive for very little money.
Adding little elements of design that you love, updating colors, decorating with intentional messages, and purposefully selecting additions that will make a big impact can go a long way in giving you a kitchen you love to be in!
5 Ways to Update Your Kitchen for $100 or Less
1. Focus on one area.
I lived with a plywood counter top on our buffet for several months, a hole in our cabinets where an oven was removed for over a year, and plenty of unfinished wood for even longer. I did not have a lot of control in speeding those projects along (due to lacks in budget and time), but I could choose to focus on certain areas in our kitchen and make them as functional and pretty as possible.
While I was still waiting on a majority of the remodeling, I asked my husband to go ahead and get one corner of the kitchen completed. We tore down some cabinets and replaced them with beadboard and rounded shelves. I painted the whole thing white and went to Hobby Lobby to splurge on a few new pieces of decor for the space.
Having that one beautiful space was enough to keep me patient for the completion of the rest of the kitchen.
If you want to bring a fresh look into your kitchen without the hassle of a large-scale remodel, pick one or two areas to give new life. Put out a few potted plants and a picture on a window sill, update the decor on top of your cabinets or the refrigerator, or change up an entry way or other small space.
2. Update the lighting.
New lighting can totally change the look in a room! There are so many different ways you can bring in new lighting in a kitchen, and if you shop around you can find some great deals too.
Depending on your budget, you could go all out and completely update a kitchen with new lighting. But if you are looking to make a simple change for not a lot of money, think about one or two areas to add new lighting and go from there.
Hang a pendant light over the sink to give a new focal point and a punch of color or design.
Install inexpensive under-the-cabinet lights to brighten up the kitchen and make meal prep easier.
Find a lamp that fits your kitchen’s decor at a home store or thrift store.
Place some string lights around the top of your cabinets or in another corner to make your kitchen more warm and inviting.
Put up some new (dim-able!) canned lighting over a workspace or entry way to add more lighting options.
3. Paint the cabinets.
I always thought that painting kitchen cabinets had to be a major headache, but it turns out that the process was not as difficult as I imagined it would be. It also was a great opportunity to go ahead and clean out and reorganize our cabinets.
Giving your cabinets a fresh coat of paint can be a HUGE way to update the look of your kitchen! Choose a white to brighten things up, a calm grey, or a color to give your kitchen an element of fun.
4. Find new storage.
Another way to change up the look in your kitchen for not a lot of money is to update your storage. Whether you go for an eclectic look or a matching look, baskets and bowls and utensil caddies all can be great elements of design in a kitchen.
I love finding baskets at Goodwill and then spray painting them whatever color I want. I am also a big fan of Hobby Lobby and Target’s clearance sections.
Start by looking through your house at what you already have on hand. What can you repurpose to both serve your needs in the kitchen and update its look? Write down what you still need and fill in the gaps at the store.
5. Declutter and reorganize.
I love that one of the best ways to update the look in a kitchen does not involve adding things, but getting rid of things!
Kitchens so often can become dump zones and the clutter can build and build without us really noticing. Taking the time to declutter can make a big impact in how our kitchens look.
Begin by doing a major purge. Make a trash pile, a donate pile, a “doesn’t belong in the kitchen” pile, and a “needs to be organized” pile. After you have sorted through clutter from on top of your refrigerator, countertops, and junk drawers, come up with a plan to organize what needs to stay in the kitchen. Focus on making the organization functional (otherwise it won’t last), and making it aesthetically pleasing (so you are more motivated to keep it up).
The kitchen is often the heart of the home.
We gather there to cook together, spend time together, and eat together. So it is natural to want to make our kitchens places that are as functional and pretty as possible!
Making small changes gradually can ease the strain of the high cost of a kitchen remodel. I hope that this list has inspired you with fresh ideas!
What projects have you taken on in your kitchen? How have you updated your kitchen frugally or gradually?