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How to Spruce Up Your Kitchen for Under $500

It is hard to notice when the décor or layout of a room becomes old-fashioned. Maybe it is something that can only be seen once it has already happened. But when that moment comes, when you walk into the kitchen and all of a sudden it feels old and dated, there is no need to fear the price tag. The wood cabinets may be embarrassing and the tiles on the floors just don’t get quite as clean as they used to, and there’s…wallpaper! But with a little forethought and patience, the kitchen can be spruced up without going broke.

A Splash of Interest

The trend right now is whites and greys, and a muted color palette. This can be one of the easier changes to make, but it can also make the room feel sterile and clinical if done incorrectly. So, find a single piece with the right colors to use as an accent. This can be a piece of art, a rug or curtains that will work with the new stylish fade but draw out what color there is. Dark blues and olive greens work particularly well, maybe a little yellow in there, too.

Update the Cabinets

Other than the floor, the biggest item with the largest visible surface area is probably the cabinets. The orangey, yellowish pine is gone the way of the dodo, so it’s time for an update. But don’t immediately jump to ripping out perfectly good pieces, just give it a face lift. The more intense solution would be to sand it all down and re-stain, but a lot of folks are going for painted cabinets these days. The tuxedo look is popular, with a darker color on the lower cabinets and usually white or light gray on the top. The local hardware store will have paint with primer in it that will work just fine.

New Hardware

If the cabinets are a little out of reach right now, instead redo the hardware of the kitchen. This means cabinet handles, sink faucets, doorknobs and so on. These things are usually just a few dollars each and can be replaced with just a Phillips head screwdriver. Faucets are a little trickier, but it’s surprising what cool updates are within even a tight price range.

Exciting Organization

And no matter what happens to the kitchen itself, the organization should be revisited. Every kitchen has a “junk drawer”, right? The drawer where all the chaos goes, with the extra ketchup packets. Go to it with a mind to throw away, and then try something new with the organization–color coding, labeling, the list goes on and on. Give the most frequently-used item the most convenient spot and maybe the brightened smile will do the trick even in the most dated of kitchens.

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