11 Kitchen Refresh Ideas for Every Budget

If the only thing you're loving about your kitchen is the food coming out of it, it may be time for an update. Here's how you can add style and function to your kitchen at a variety of price points.

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June 12, 2018

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Rustic White Photography

Fresh Plants

Plants are a quick way to add a soft and natural vibe to a kitchen. Buy a few flower pots in a cheery accent color or paint your own. Having a few herbs close at hand may also encourage more flavorful cooking.

Cabinet Hardware

Swapping out your cabinet hardware is a quick and easy DIY project. Pricing per knob varies greatly and depends on the finish, material and size, but you can expect to pay around $7 for an on-trend, upscale cabinet pull. Be sure to measure the distance between a pull's screw holes before you shop, as not all pulls are the same size.

Pro Tip: If you really need a new look, opt for inexpensive pulls and knobs, then use the extra funds to paint your cabinets, too.

Faucet

You use it all the time, so why not invest in something that is more functional and looks fantastic? The new pull-down spray design for kitchen faucets is popular for good reason; it's sleek yet versatile, so it's a good choice for almost any style kitchen.

Coordinating Accessories

Sometimes a kitchen just needs a little personality. Small appliances in a bold color, like this gorgeous KitchenAid mixer, can be an instant boost to any kitchen. If you're not a foodie, display a cheery tea kettle or a few patterned dishes.

Undermount Sink

Upgrading to a stainless steel undermount sink is a smart way to spend your decorating budget. It's timeless and makes it easier to keep surrounding countertops clean. Keep in mind, for most homeowners a double-basin sink offers more versatility. And if you can swing it, buy the deepest sink you can afford; you'll get more use out of it in the long run.

Area Rug

Rugs in the kitchen are HOT right now. They're a great way to bring a warm, sophisticated look into what's usually considered a utilitarian space. Whether it's a long runner or an area rug, choose one with enough color and pattern to handle the occasional spill or stain. Accidents will happen, so going with a really expensive rug in this space probably isn't the best choice.

Kitchen Island

Many kitchen configurations lend themselves to having a kitchen island, and it doesn't necessarily have to be built from your kitchen cabinetry. A free-standing island is usually a more affordable option and can be made mobile with the addition of castors. Consider how you use your kitchen before you buy, and if you need an area to sit and eat, make sure there's enough countertop overhang to accommodate seating. For the avid baker or chef, select an island with open shelves or drawers for utensils and cookware.

Pro Tip: If you're on a tight budget, consider buying an unfinished wood version and painting it yourself. You can even add your own personal touches like spice racks, extra hooks and a towel holder.

Lighting

If you have a dark kitchen or you've inherited several uninspired fixtures, you have options! Pricing varies greatly with this particular upgrade, as it depends on the cost of the fixtures, how many you'll need and whether you'll be hiring a pro or doing a DIY swap. When assessing your space with lighting and budget in mind, there are three zones to consider: ceiling, task or breakfast bar and under-cabinet lighting.

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Backsplash

Whether you go with an inexpensive ceramic tile or opt for something more high-end, a beautiful backsplash can be a game changer. It also happens to be a DIY project most people can handle (if there aren't a lot of tricky cuts and angles involved). As for the tile itself, just like most building materials, pricing varies. Budget-conscious DIYers will find simple ceramic tiles for approximately $2 to $4 per square foot. If you're hiring an installer, plan to pay around $20 per square foot.

New Appliances

If your kitchen appliances look like they're straight out of a '70s catalog, consider making this pricey (and totally-worth-it) upgrade. Many retailers have seasonal sales where you can score a new refrigerator, stove and dishwasher around this price point. Buying them all at once gives you a little leverage to bargain for a better deal.

Countertop Swap

One of the biggest line items in your kitchen reno budget may be for countertops. This purchase requires research, since not all materials are suited to every lifestyle or budget. While those Calcutta countertops look great on your inspiration board, your kids' grape juice spills and spaghetti sauce mishaps may not mesh well with your marble countertop dreams. As you price this project out, you'll want to clarify what you're paying for: the countertops, installation and any special edging fees.

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