A very affordable update is to replace your cabinet's hardware with one of today's popular options: vintage-look glass, burnished bronze, antiqued copper, pewter and shiny or matte nickel. This quick and easy change can make dated cabinets look new. Tip: To ensure that new pulls and knobs match the existing holes, remove one of each type and take them with you when shopping.
Replace Sink Faucets
Sink faucets have come a long way in recent years. Current models offer detachable sprayers, hidden soap or lotion dispensers and touch-sensitive, knob-free operation. Faucets also come in a wide variety of finishes and styles, from formal Victorian to ultra modern, making it easy to coordinate the faucet with your home's decor.
Painting your existing cabinets is an inexpensive update that even a newbie DIYer can handle. Some sandpaper, paintbrushes and a few gallons of primer and paint are all you need to give your kitchen a fresh, new look. Design by Beth Haley
Add Hidden Storage
Every kitchen could use more storage. This cleverly concealed drawer, designed by Dave Stimmel, provides the perfect place to keep cooking necessities within easy reach of the stove. Built-in storage like this can be a costly addition. To keep costs down, check your local hardware store for pull-out storage kits and drawer organizers that will fit your existing cabinets.
In addition to improving the overall look, the right lighting also makes a kitchen more functional and appear larger. Brighten up by adding under-counter illumination, task lighting above work surfaces and ambient lighting, such as recessed lights. This kitchen, designed by Beth Haley, uses all three to great effect.
DIY Tile Backsplash
Adding a tile backsplash, even trendy glass tile, is a relatively simple DIY project. Many home improvement and tile supply stores offer free, hands-on classes to teach you the basics. Kitchen design by Erinn Valencich.
New flooring can change the feel of your kitchen. Hardwoods lend a warm, traditional look while natural stone, such as marble or travertine, adds a polished vibe. This kitchen, designed by Kristin Barker, mixes the two for a modern finish.
Add an Island
An island provides additional cabinets, a handy location for a sink or stove and the perfect spot for a casual meal or keeping an eye on the kids while they finish up homework. This cottage-style kitchen, designed by Thomas Conway, beautifully combines vintage-style details with a modern, open-concept layout.
New countertops will give any kitchen an updated look. Laminate remains the least expensive option while granite and marble are the most desirable. More trendy choices are concrete and metals such as pewter, copper or stainless steel. Design by Trish Beaudet.
Appliances are more than just your kitchen's workhorse, they also add to the overall look. Professional-grade stainless steel continues to be the most desirable. Also hot are retro-look appliances from the '20s - '50s. Design by Erinn Valencich.
Replacing the kitchen cabinets offers a great opportunity to customize them based on your lifestyle. This built-in hutch and buffet, designed by Beth Haley, provides an attractive space for displaying treasured dishware in the glass-front cabinets while the countertop below can be used as a buffet when entertaining.
If your budget allows, a complete kitchen remodel is the way to go. New flooring, electrical, cabinets and plumbing allows the opportunity to create a more functional layout. Although it can be costly, removing walls separating the kitchen from adjacent living spaces is a popular option for those desiring an open floor plan. Design by Gail Drury.