Want to redo your kitchen without breaking the bank? "It is possible to give your kitchen a whole new look for much less money," says Nikki Trivisonno, president of the Ohio State Chapter of the National Kitchen & Bath Association. "But you have to be willing to make some compromises."
Start by updating the color and reducing clutter then add new hardware, fixtures and a backsplash. You'll go a long way toward stealing the high-end look you crave.
Replace the Hardware
"Hardware has a really big impact on a kitchen's style, so changing it is a great way to freshen up the look of your kitchen," says Trivisonno.
For less than a couple hundred dollars and just a few hours of work, a homeowner can swap out every handle and knob in the kitchen. Styles range from contemporary to rustic to traditional. Finishes come in ultra-popular oil-rubbed bronze or easy-to-clean polished chrome. To make installation a breeze, Trivisonno suggests that homeowners bring along an old drawer pull when shopping to make sure the new hardware matches the holes of the previous set.
Depending on the style and finish of the hardware and the number of drawers and cabinets, the average kitchen can be completed for as little as $150.
Replace the Faucet
Fixtures are the jewelry of the kitchen, and the kitchen sink is often the focal point of the room. Investing in a new faucet is a simple and cost-effective way of giving the whole room an updated look. Like cabinet hardware, faucets come in a wide range of shapes, styles and finishes, making it easy to match the decor of the room.
Kitchen faucets come in single- and double-handled models and can include a separate pull-out sprayer, requiring an additional slot. Match the new faucet footprint to the old to save hours of frustration and quite possibly the cost of a brand new sink.
Install a Stainless Steel Laminate Backsplash
"For a really clean, contemporary look, a homeowner can easily install a stainless steel laminate backsplash," says Trivisonno.
Capped with a thin layer of stainless steel, copper or aluminum, metallic laminate sheets can be used as countertop backsplashes, as appliance covers and for the wall area behind the cooking range. And because they install with little more than a few dabs of panel adhesive, the job is easy enough for any do-it-yourselfer.
A properly sized metallic laminate panel affixed to the face of a refrigerator or dishwasher can modernize its look for a tiny fraction of what a new appliance would cost.
Add a Ceiling Fan
When shopping for a fan, look for the Energy Star Label, which means the product has met the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's energy-savings standards. Experts say an energy-efficient fan can save up to 40 percent on summer cooling costs and up to 10 percent in the winter. In other words, they're well worth the effort to install. They'll keep your kitchen cool and provide a new visual element to your space.