Want to give your home a luxury makeover without spending a fortune? An affordable kitchen upgrade may be your best bet.
According to a 2021 survey of more than 75,000 U.S. homeowners ages 18 and older by home design website Houzz, the amount of money spent on home renovations grew 15 percent over the year to a median of $15 000.
Kitchen projects have been reported to be the most popular among homeowners doing renovations. While average spending on these projects was flat for the three years leading up to 2021, “major kitchen remodeling investment rose 14 percent to $40,000 in 2020 compared to $35,000 in 2019,” the survey found.
Los Angeles-based interior designer Stefani Stein tells News week: “A kitchen update is a fantastic option to increase both a home’s resale value and one’s quality of life. Dream kitchens often involve a complete renovation and redesign. If that’s not in the cards at the moment, there are ‘ some smaller scale. changes that homeowners can make that still have an impact.”
Below, interior designers share their top tips for simple ways to upgrade your kitchen without breaking the bank.
1. Go For A Wooden Counter
Emily Shaw, an interior designer from New Hampshire, tells News week: “Laminate countertops are known to degrade your kitchen, especially if they are not in good condition. If your countertops need help, I recommend making them yourself out of wood. It sounds scary, but it’s a simple process and extremely worthwhile.”
Shaw said even the cheapest laminate countertop option can cost a small fortune to have installed in your home. But she was able to make a wooden top for her parents for less than $100 and it “lasted for years,” the designer said.
“All you have to do is find the right sizes of wood, glue them together, plan and cut any necessary holes before adding a stain and resin finish. The natural, recognizable material will make your space feel so elevated ,” according to Shaw.
2. Or, A marble one…
If there is a little more room in your budget, choose a marble counter instead.
Stein said, “Replacing dated granite countertops with marble instantly elevates a kitchen. This update works well with swapping out plumbing fixtures for a more current finish, too.”
The LA-based designer recommends “classic, yet current finishes,” such as “antique brass, polished nickel or architectural bronze.”
3. Repaint your kitchen
Shaw said, “The paint in your kitchen can completely define how the space looks and feels.”
Stein agreed: “Repainting kitchen cabinets can breathe new life into a kitchen,” and while repainting, “you might as well update the knobs and pulls at the same time.”
Before you paint your cabinets, be sure to take them to “avoid stickiness and a poor finish,” Shaw advised. “Sometimes high quality wood cabinets are worth more than painted [ones] if the paintwork is not good.”
For your kitchen walls, Shaw recommends choosing a lighter color to help reflect light and avoiding colors with “a lot of yellow in them because it can give the impression that the kitchen is dirty.”
Interior designer Lee Anne Stelte, the owner of Whiteline Designs firm serving North Arkansas and beyond, said News week that painting your kitchen island can also create an “impactful change to the entire space.”
4. Get rid of the upper cabinets
Stelte said changing your “cash hardware” can make a “significant impact with a little investment.”
She recommends taking down some of the upper cabinets and adding a “floating shelf” instead.
“It not only takes some of the heaviness out of the kitchen, but adds beauty by displaying delicious dishes and art,” explained Stelte.
5. Change the lighting
Shaw noted, “Sometimes all a space needs is proper lighting,” and Stelte agreed, saying, “Changing lighting is another great way to update the kitchen space.”
An easy DIY (do-it-yourself) solution would be to switch out your overhead light for one with a bit of character and multiple bulbs,’ advises Shaw. “Additional bulbs add more light to the space which is very desirable to buyers.”
You can also add “rechargeable lights” under your cabinets, which are extremely inexpensive, Shaw said. “It will give the kitchen a luxurious feel.”
Do you have any budget kitchen design upgrade tips to share? Send them to [email protected] with some details and they may be featured News week.