10 Easy Kitchen Upgrades


You don’t have to break your budget to make a huge difference in your kitchen’s aesthetics. All you need is a DIY makeover, incorporating some—or all—of the following 10 ideas.

    1. Swap out drawer pulls. Changing cabinet hardware is one of the easiest ways to rejuvenate your kitchen. You’ll find lots of styles and finishes to choose from, whether you want a traditional look or something more contemporary.
    2. Paint your cabinets. Paint can work wonders on cabinets that are still in good working condition but that simply look outdated. You can usually paint wood and wood-laminate cabinets without running into issues—but if you’re unsure if your cabinet material is going to accept a topcoat of paint, check with your local paint store before starting your project.
    3. Upgrade your faucet. When it comes to upgrading your kitchen faucet, the easiest way to do it is to replace your current setup with a new on that uses the same number of faucet and accessory holes. After that, your decision-list includes things such as finishes, handle styles and whether or not you want a pull-down or pull-out sprayer.
    4. Install under-cabinet lighting. Once you install under-cabinet lighting, you’ll wonder how you ever prepped meals without it. It’s so much easier to read recipes and see what you’re doing with countertops that are properly illuminated. (Under-cabinet lighting is also great for showing off a decorative backsplash.) You can choose from strip, puck or bar lights.
    5. Use a pot rack. Running out of cabinet space? Consider a pot rack for pots, pans and large utensils. While ceiling-mounted racks are popular, you might also think about a wall-mounted rack. Just make sure that whatever you use is mounted properly and can withstand the weight of your pots.
    6. Add a rug runner. A runner serves double duty—it helps cushion your feet as well as adds warmth to your kitchen. To keep it looking its best, choose a runner that’s machine washable or that’s designed for outdoor use (so that you can hose it off).
    7. Hang open shelves. If you have the space, hanging open (also called “floating”) shelves is a great solution for breaking up the look of heavy cabinetry. Use open shelves to store essentials like plates and bowls, or for decorative pieces, like pottery.
    8. Add a backsplash. A backsplash packs a lot of style per square inch. And you have a lot of options when it comes to a DIY backsplash, from individual tile and sheets of mosaic tile, to beadboard and peel-and-stick wallpaper or vinyl.
    9. Remove cabinet doors. Convert some closed upper cabinets to open shelving by removing the cabinet doors. Then jazz up the interiors with a paint color that pops.
    10. Add drawer dividers. Neater drawers mean less time digging around for your go-to spatula. Drawer dividers help you corral everything from utensils to kitchen tools, cutting the clutter, so you can easily find what you need.

    Easily change hardware

    Light things up

    Display your favorite things

    Cut the clutter

    Refresh with paint

    Think outside the cabinet

    Add interest with a backsplash

    Replace your faucet

    Warm up your floor

    Say goodbye to cabinet doors


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