Budget-Friendly Kitchen Details That Make a Big Impact

  • Kitchen Project :

Looking for a change but not ready to invest in a full kitchen renovation? There are updates you can make without spending thousands of dollars. Some of these changes are an easy afternoon task, some just require a bit of styling, and others are more involved DIY projects. But all are budget-friendly kitchen details that are sure to make a big impact in your space.

Clear Off Your Countertops

Let’s start here. If you have a few free hours, this is a no-cost way to spruce up your kitchen. Take a look at the kitchens you’re admiring online. Peruse your Pinterest board. What have you saved on Instagram recently? There’s probably a common thread: minimal countertops.

Take a long, hard look at your kitchen. Do the items on your countertops fall into either of the following categories? Items that you use daily and items that are so beautiful that you’re happy each time you look at them. If not, it’s time to make room for them behind cabinet doors or send them into the donate pile.

A coffee maker that you fire up every morning makes sense to have out on the countertop. Same to a knife block or a spoon rest. One caveat: can you upgrade these items to something that will look more “styled” while still serving its function?

A food processor you use once a month can take its place in the cabinet above the fridge. Same to a decorative dish used only for entertaining. The grazing board resting behind the stove may not be used regularly, however, looking at it brings you joy and it adds a bit of warmth and texture to the room.

Repeat this process until your countertops feel like a weight has been lifted. You’ve already made a big impact in your kitchen — and spent zero dollars.

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Install Open Shelving

If you have a well curated collection of dishes and glassware, then open shelving provides you a twofold opportunity for making a stylish impact in your kitchen for less. First, it costs less to install open shelves than it does to splurge on full cabinetry. You can pick up shelves at a home improvement store to go the DIY route or order them from a mass market home goods retailer.

Second, open shelving gives you an opportunity to incorporate styling on your walls. From bringing in color and texture to showing a bit of personality, it’s a blank canvas waiting to make a statement.

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Switch Out Your Lighting

Like everything in design, you can find save or splurge options for lighting. If you go the save route, it’s an easy detail that you can change yourself, or with the help of an electrician, yet it makes a dramatic impact — one you’ll notice as soon as you walk into the room. Consider island lighting or a chandelier above a breakfast nook. You’re not restricted by standard “kitchen lighting”, feel empowered to get creative.

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Add a Pop of Color to Your Cabinetry

Custom cabinetry can be expensive…and it also makes the most noticeable impact when a kitchen is redone. However, you can achieve a similar look without the high price tag by painting your existing cabinetry. It’s not a quick project and it’s not going to be the easiest DIY you’ve tackled, but it’s doable over the course of a weekend.

Want to dip your toes in without committing to a full kitchen job? Try painting just an island or one singular section of cabinetry for a pop of color that will draw the eye away from the cabinets you’re hoping to replace down the road.

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Add Style with Texture & Greenery

You cleared your countertops off in step one but now we’re going to add a few items back for an easy budget-friendly kitchen detail that you can swap out with the seasons and as trends come and go. Think about places where you can add natural and manmade textures: a wood cutting board, ceramic jars, a porcelain vase. Use stylistic restraint for an arrangement that looks high end.

Additionally, a beautiful potted herb is a wonderful way to add affordable — and functional — greenery and detail into your kitchen.

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Update Your Hardware

Another cabinet update you can tackle yourself is hardware. While hardware trends come and go, something gorgeous will always feel in style. Brass, matte black, and rose gold are all unique choices that feel a bit different from what you’ll see in a standard kitchen. And, if you’re feeling even more adventurous (or if you have a trusty plumber), swap out your sink faucet to match.

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Warm Up Your Space with Textiles

Kitchens can sometimes veer into sterile or industrial territory. Color helps soften them, as does adding texture and light. But, one of the often overlooked details that can make a huge impact is textiles. Add a small runner in front of your sink for a delightful, soft texture as you pour a glass of water. Hang a valance in a favorite fabric above a window.

While the kitchen isn’t the room to fill with fabric (grease stains are a reality!), just a touch can warm up your space and bring in a splash of color.

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The Bottom Line on Budget-Friendly Kitchen Details

A total kitchen renovation is one of the best ways to make an investment in the look (and value) of your home but it’s not always realistic to take on a full project at once. These tips show that some of the biggest changes can come with changes that are accessible updates — even ones that you can make every few years to freshen up your kitchen between larger renovations.

And you don’t have to wait for a full kitchen renovation to hire a professional’s guidance. An interior designer can help you focus on the changes that will make the biggest impact in your space, create a design plan that you can execute on the schedule that works with your budget, or even guide you through a do-it-yourself e-design process.

As it turns out, sometimes all it takes is a little time and an eye for budget-friendly kitchen details to make a big impact.

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