Sun shining into a clean kitchen.

8 Easy Kitchen Updates for Less Than $500

Mar 30 2021

Dreaming of a new kitchen? Custom cabinets, shiny new appliances, and granite countertops. Yes, please!  

Then, you realize there’s just one problem: Kitchen remodels can cost $10,000 and up. Sigh … if only you didn’t have a mortgage, other bills, and basic needs!  

 Here’s a secret: You don’t need to gut your entire kitchen to give it a refresh. Here are a few mix-and-match ideas to try and still check out for under $500.  

1. Add a fresh coat of paint 

Cost: $75 (Estimated price for two cans of paint, brush, roller, tray, and painter’s tape.)  

Paint can do wonders to set the tone of a room and there are lots of options for your kitchen. You can give your walls, ceilings, and cabinets new color, do an accent wall, or “tuxedo” your cabinets with a two-tone blend.  

2. Put up a backsplash

Cost: $5 per square foot at Wayfair

A backsplash does more than protect your walls from splashes and stains: It can create a pop of color or texture, too. Subway tile provides a classic look while patterned ceramic can add a little flare. Hardware and home-goods stores sell prefabricated sections of tile, many of which have an adhesive back for easy installation.

Psst – struggling to keep up with kitchen maintenance? We have tips to make it easier!

3. Install an island

Cost: $300 on Overstock

Who doesn’t need more storage and counter space? Islands can provide the space benefits of a remodel without the cost of new cabinets and countertops. Choose a style that blends with your kitchen, or pick one that stands out as an accent piece. Some even have wheels!

4. Hang a few shelves

Cost: $60 on Etsy

Shelves are multitalented. They can give you some extra storage space or provide a perch for plants and decor. For the clean modern look of floating shelves, pick up a few brackets and some nice wood (stain and seal it first) to rest on top of them.

5. Replace your sink and faucet

Cost: $300 at Home Depot

As a main focal point of any kitchen, a shiny new sink and faucet can give the whole room a fresh glow. For a stylish and modern look, stainless steel with a pull-down faucet should do the trick. If you’re looking for something with a craftsman or country feel, try a farmhouse sink with a bronze-finished faucet.

6. Upgrade your cabinet hardware

Cost: $20 on Overstock

Small details can make a huge difference, and new cabinet hardware is a great way to get a big style boost in your kitchen. From glass knobs to bronze birdcage pulls, there are a ton of options. And don’t hesitate to mix and match hardware with your upper and lower cabinets for a unique look.

7. Mount a new light fixture

Cost: $100 at Lowes

The right light fixture above your sink or kitchen table can make all the difference when it comes to tying the room together. Try a modern chandelier above the kitchen table, pendant lighting over your island, or a stained-glass ceiling light above your sink. You can also consider different kinds of bulbs to set the room’s tone.

8. Don’t stop dreaming

Maybe that dream remodel isn’t on the kitchen table right now. That’s OK! Transforming your home is a process. Little by little, light fixture by cabinet knob, you’ll get there!

For more ideas on how to spruce up your home, check out:

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