Cook Up a New Style for Under $1,000
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.
For a more polished look, consider swapping out the cabinet hinges to match the new hardware.
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.
It is also important to consider the height and reach of a faucet's spout, making certain it will reach all areas of the sink. High-arching gooseneck faucets are very popular as they provide clearance for filling tall pots.
INSTALL A BACKSPLASH AND APPLIANCE COVERS
"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.
Cut to fit and applied to the wall with adhesive, the panels create the look of an expensive pro-style kitchen for as little as $10 per square foot. Homeowners can select from classic stainless steel to warm hammered copper. Finishes come in polished, matte and even diamond plate for a bold industrial-chic feel.
Stainless steel appliances are all the rage, but it makes no financial sense to replace an appliance in good working order. 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.