Cabinet hardware and hinges on the kitchen cabinets – By far the most bang for your buck in updating your kitchen is updating the hardware and hinges (if the hinges are on the outside). If your kitchen does not have knobs (commonly referred to as “pulls”), adding them will make your cabinets pop. I suggest picking a round pull as they are easier to install and if they loosen a bit and turn, they still look correct.
Your new hinge finish should match the pulls. Home Depot has a large selection of pulls. A nice round pull will run you around $4 each. For most kitchens, you can get by for $100 on this one and it makes a HUGE difference.
Cabinet Finish – We are on a budget here, so look at hiring a cabinet refacer to touch up faded or damaged cabinets. This is what they do, so many times they will be able to just touch up what you currently have. They can also build new cabinets to fit modern appliances.
If your current finish needs a lot of repairs or a total refinish, it may be cheaper to paint your cabinets. Painting them hides many of the blemishes and can be a quick and easy way to give your cabinets a very expensive look and feel.
Countertops – Replace your countertops with something up to date. Granite, Quartz and Concrete are some of the most popular “solid surface” countertops in today’s market. They add value to your home and provide a long-lasting finish.
You can call local companies for free estimates to find the best and most reputable company. Make sure you ask for references or ask friends and neighbors whom they have used. You want quality and service on this one for sure.
Backsplash – The area between your countertops and your kitchen cabinets is known as a backsplash.
Generally, this area has 14-18″ of space and adding tile or a faux painting finish to it drastically dresses it up. Considering most backsplashes are just a flat painted area, adding tile or faux painting sets you apart from the rest.
Lighting – Replace your outdated lighting fixtures. A trip to your local Home Depot or Lowe’s should provide you many choices to pick from.
Try to pick a light that will fit and work where your current fixture is. Swapping it out is much easier and cheaper than having to move the electrical box.
Window Treatment – An updated window treatment in the kitchen and eating area helps freshen up your look. You have come this far, don’t let a dingy valance or old mini-blind kill your new look!
Appliances – If your appliances have seen their better days, you might consider replacing them. This is a larger expense but something to consider. The new appliances are more energy-efficient and do a better job than most of the old ones.
Repaint – Lastly and certainly not least, adding a fresh coat of paint to your updated kitchen makes it look and feel fresh. Pick a color that will complement your window treatments, backsplash, and countertops. I know it can be overwhelming but selecting the right color can provide that finishing touch on your newly updated kitchen.
I hope these ideas help guide you in updating your kitchen. Even if you just update your cabinet hardware, add a backsplash, freshen your window treatments, get a new light and repaint, the look and feel of your kitchen will change dramatically without spending too much money.