Remodel Your Kitchen without Busting Your Budget

Your kitchen was a state-of-the-art masterpiece when your house was built. That was decades ago, however, and today the room where you prepare and eat your meals looks more like part of the set of a 1970s sitcom and less like a place you’d be proud to show off to friends and other visitors.

If you have money to burn, you can hire a company to remodel your entire kitchen – appliances, cabinets and all. A more cost-efficient option would be to make several small changes, doing as much of the work as you can and hiring a professional to handle the jobs you don’t feel comfortable doing yourself.

The Easy Stuff
There are several things you can do without the help of professionals to make a dramatic difference in the way your not-so-modern kitchen looks.

Paint or stain
If you’re lucky enough to have solid wood cabinets, you can sand off the old finish and repaint or re-stain them. White is a popular color, but you can add a personal touch by making them light green or light blue. You can even paint some of the cabinets one color and others a contrasting color.

New hardware
A simple way to update your kitchen is to replace all hardware with modern pulls and knobs.

More storage space
If your cabinet space is limited, think about installing shelves where you can display dishes, spices or other items.

You Might Need Some Help
Other options to update your kitchen might require professional help, depending on where you rate on the handyman scale.

Light it up
Changing the light fixtures will brighten up your kitchen. Swing-arm sconces are an interesting choice, though you might want to hire an electrician to install them so that the cords don’t show. You can also update your current fixtures by spray-painting them a bright color.

New countertops
Replacing your dingy white countertops will go a long way toward changing the look of your kitchen. You have a wide range of options:

  • Granite
  • Soapstone
  • Quartz
  • Marble
  • Ceramic tile
  • Laminate
  • Stainless steel

Bring the backsplash back to life
You can tear out the backsplash entirely and replace it with different tile or other material, or simply add new grout or a nice coat of paint.

Everything but the …
Replacing the kitchen sink and faucets will give your kitchen a new look. If any of the pipes need to be moved, you probably will want a plumber to handle that job.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to update your kitchen – you can make a big difference in the way it looks without blasting a huge hole in your budget.


Angelo DiGangi is a Home Depot “on the floor” sales associate. Angelo is also a frequent writer on Home Depot’s website. He has been helping DIYers in the Chicago suburbs since 1994.


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