Budget-Friendly Kitchen Updates From Expert Designers

We asked. They answered. Expert designers share what to buy if you only have $200.

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Dining Room Enlivened with Distinctive Southwestern ThemeHide CaptionShow CaptionDesigner Amy Bubier adds warm earth tones and diffused indirect lighting to this relatively inexpensive kitchen update.

All About

Amy Bubier, AB Design Elements LLC:
1. Clean out the clutter, remove everything from the walls, counters, windows and on top of the cabinets so you can see the kitchen as a fresh clean slate.
2. Identify a design style that speaks to you. Do you respond to a minimalist modern interior space or a more layered, richly colored and accessorized space? Every good design begins with a plan and identifying your design goals is the first step.
3. Grab a measuring tape, a ruler and a piece of graph paper and draw an ‘as built’ floor plan. Measure the room and draw it to scale where 1/4-inch (one square on the graph paper) equals one foot. Draw in the cabinets and appliances. Now you’re ready to begin the planning process. Though your $200 budget obviously won’t cover a full remodel, you may find that the as built (and overlay sketches that you may want to do) will help to spark ideas for a new idea file. Maybe plan for a remodel for next year! Sometimes seeing your kitchen from a different perspective gives you new ideas.
4. Time to spend that $200 and you guessed it. Begin by painting the walls with a color that you’ve seen in one of those inspiration photos, and even consider painting the cabinets if they are old and drab.
5. Remove the old flooring, rent a concrete sander/grinder to prep the slab and use a soy-based concrete stain, like Soy-Crete, to give the concrete a non-toxic, easy-to-apply coating of sheer color.
6. Accessorize with a few well-proportioned, well-placed items to re-invigorate the room with a new style. Toss the old clutter and dusty faux plants!

Check out more of Amy's transitional design style on Designers' Portfolio.