Vintage home decor: houseplants green succulents old wooden boxes and vintage blue glass bottles on white wooden board cozy home interior.
DIY, Home Improvement

15 Ridiculously Easy DIY Tips for Improving Your Kitchen

Discover 15 super easy DIY ways to spruce up your kitchen on a tight budget. From lighting to cabinet hardware and more, get the job done fast and cheap.

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Upgrade Your Kitchen Today, Without Professional Help

Kitchens and bathrooms are the two rooms that most homeowners seem to be the most eager to remodel when they get into a new home. Like it or not, your level of satisfaction with your home is most likely to be very closely tied to how much you like your kitchen. But, many homeowners cannot afford to take out a second or a third mortgage to bankroll that much-desired kitchen upgrade.

So, in the spirit of DIY mavens everywhere, we offer fifteen easy ways to upgrade your kitchen on a budget, and without the use of costly professional help.

Modern kitchen in wood with table and dishes

1) Swap Out Your Light Fixtures or Add Sconces

Unless you have can lighting, chances are that it would be ridiculously easy and pretty affordable to swap out most of the light fixtures in your kitchen. For additional points, consider adding under-cabinet task lighting and some wall sconces.

2) Upgrade Your Cabinet Hardware

For very little money, you can give your whole kitchen a new look with only a screwdriver, in about an hour.

3) Repaint Your Cabinets

Walls aren’t the only available spaces for painting. A new coat of paint on half or all of your cabinets can have a dramatic effect on how your kitchen feels.

4) Add Pot Racks

If you have the clearance to put in pot racks without them ruining your sightlines or being a hazard to anyone’s head, then put them in. Cast iron and copper pots look especially good hanging from a steel or iron rack.

Pans and pots hanging in the kitchen

5) Add Some Decorative Storage Shelves

If you have blank wall space, adding a couple of inexpensive shelves and decorating them with dishes, knickknacks, or whatever you enjoy looking at can really brighten up your kitchen.

6) Change Your Window Treatments

New curtains or shades can make a huge difference in how the space of your kitchen feels, just by changing the quality of natural light in the room.

7) Change Your Color Scheme

Paint the walls a different color and change your whole outlook on life. Of course, this is a big maybe — but it could happen!

8) Upgrade and Display Your Dishes

If you already have a beautiful set of extra colorful Fiestaware or fine china, put it on display. If not, consider investing in some beautiful dishes to use as decorative elements. Remember — they don’t all have to match to make for great design elements in the kitchen, and with the right dishes, you can really add some bold color details to an old room.

9) Remove Your Cabinet Doors

Or, if you want to get really radical, you can always take the doors off your cabinets all together. You may want to repaint the interiors, but the open storage look can do wonders for a drab kitchen space.

10) Add a Chalkboard or Paint a Fixture or Wall With Chalkboard Paint

You can paint a wall, your old white refrigerator, or you can bring in an antique chalkboard to jazz up the space while creating a dynamic feature in the room. Anytime you feel the need to refresh the look of your kitchen, simply erase what’s up on the board, and draw or write something fresh. You can use it for family reminders, dinner announcements, kitchen lists, and so much more, creating a functional element that’s fun.

11) Add “Live” Elements

Live plants that freshen up the air, as well as bowls of fruits and colorful vegetables do wonders to liven up a dreary kitchen.

Vintage home decor: houseplants green succulents old wooden boxes and vintage blue glass bottles on white wooden board cozy home interior.

12) Put in a Free-Standing Island or Butcher Block

If you have the space and can find an affordable temporary island, go for it. Has anyone ever said, “this kitchen has too much counter space”? Probably never been said in anyone’s kitchen, ever.

13) Put in Drawer Organizers to Reduce Clutter

If your limited counter space is clogged with clutter, then try drawer organizers to get a cleaner look both in and outside of your cabinets.

14) Turn Staples and Utensils Into Art With Glass Jars and Crocks

A plastic bag of heirloom beans isn’t much to look at when it’s tucked away in a closed cabinet or pantry. But, an antique mason jar full of heirloom beans is nearly a work of art when displayed on a counter in clear or colored Kerr jars.

15) Paint Your Floors

This may seem like a ton of work, but if you have haggard wood flooring (under the four layers of linoleum, perhaps) giving a nice coat of off-white, light gray, or light blue paint could do wonders for your kitchen.

There You Have It – 15 Easy Kitchen Makeover Ideas

Some of the great ideas mentioned in the list above are practically free, and don’t require much effort, either. Some cost a little money and may take a little bit of your time, but carry a big payoff at the end. And all of these ideas are still considerably cheaper and much less disruptive to your daily life than a full kitchen remodel. Good luck!

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Alex is a home staging guru who moonlights as a writer. She loves everything about interior design and loves working in the industry. Alex is an expert in finding what makes people light up when they walk into a room, and has made a living by creating interiors that are unique, warm and inviting. When she isn't arranging flowers or making sure she's found the right loveseat for prospective buyers, she writes about her passion — home design.


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