The Home Depot website has all kinds of nooks and crannies to explore while looking for information and helpful hints, including a blog. This post, which I found through “liking” them on Facebook, has OODLES of quick and cheap little projects to help update or just reinvent your kitchen in the span of a weekend.
Here are my takes on the ten suggestions they listed:
Add Cabinetry Hardware
YES YES YES. My cabinets didn’t even have hardware when we moved in, but adding in even the most simple of knobs changed how my kitchen looked in the span of an afternoon.
My Hint: Put knobs on those faux drawer fronts by your sink for continuity.
(Re)Paint The Walls
One of the basic tenets of any room makeover is to paint. It’s the cheapest, easiest, and least permanent way to change the feel of anything. Even touching up in the same color will brighten and freshen up a space within a day.
My Hint: Go bold and have fun — just because a space is mostly functional doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.
Change Up Your Window Treatments
This is good to do in any space every once in a while. There are so many different options out there — try something new and unexpected, like changing out cafe curtains for aluminum blinds, or bamboo shades for cafe shutters.
My Hint: Shop your local discount retailer for steals on window hardware and coverings.
Put Up Some Shelves
Open shelving is really hot right now, and can be a simple and classy way to work any decor scheme from Scandinavian minimalist to country chic to time period traditional. I just did this last spring in my kitchen to create myself a breakfast station and it’s opened up so much cabinet space for things I don’t necessarily want on display while utilizing precious storage space on what was otherwise a blank wall.
My mom has recently done the same in her condo, creating for herself more of a cooking-at-her-fingertips space where traditional cabinets would have cramped her space and cut off a doorway. It still feels light and open, but really functional and practical at the same time.
My Hint: Make quadruple sure you mount your shelves correctly so they are of optimal weight-bearing capabilities, and wait 24 hours before loading them up with really anything lest they decide to fall and rip out giant chunks of your wall. Not that that happened to me, oh no.
Replace Your Faucets
Kitchen faucets get used more than probably any other water fixture in your home. They show the wear and tear of life pretty quickly — and since they’re kind of a crown jewel of function and decor, they’re something you should consider carefully when replacing. You don’t want to be changing out your faucet twice a year — more like once every few years.
My Hint: Here’s 7 tips on shopping for a new kitchen faucet.
Change Out Your Area Rugs
I actually use bathmats of various kinds in my kitchen because they’re slightly more water resistant and typically have that rubber backing on them so they don’t slide when you step on them. I have quite a few purchased VERY inexpensively at IKEA that I routinely change out, mix and match, and wash pretty regularly. They add just the right amount of pizazz to my kitchen without feeling like I’ve overworked the decor elements.
My Hint: If you really love it, buy two. That way if one gets dirty, you can switch it out while you launder the first one. Try the same pattern in reverse colors, or the same shape in complimentary shades — so effortless.
Set The Mood With New Lighting
When we moved in, there was a four-bar fluorescent thing on our ceiling, sans cover. We spent maybe $40 and got an energy efficient, 3-row fixture with a nice cover that matched our aesthetic — which made the light in our kitchen feel less blinding and more inviting. We also found (on clearance!) a couple of pendant lights to replace the ugly contractor’s fixtures in the pantry and where we have our kitchen table. Perfect amount of light, spot-on detail enhancement, and flexibility to boot.
My Hint: Check out your local home goods thrift shop for unique light fixtures — and don’t let metals or colors scare you. It’s nothing a can of spray paint and a good steady hand can’t remedy, and you’ll save more than a few bucks in the meantime.
Put Up a Simple Backsplash
Oh, backsplashes. So easy, yet too often so taste- and decor-specific. However, don’t think you have to tear out tile and drywall to revamp a simple aspect of your overall kitchen. There are plenty of inexpensive ways to change it up, from simple paint to plastic sheets made to look like tin tile to metal plates to just about anything your heart could desire. And backsplashes are more than a design statement — they’re incredibly practical for maintaining clean, undamaged wall surfaces behind your sink and cooking surfaces.
My Hint: Have just a few ugly tiles you want to cover? Tattoo them.
Add a Kitchen Cart
This is actually the hint I’m least enamored of. I think kitchen carts can be great, if you have the space and the layout for one. However, if you have a tight galley kitchen, a huge central island, or, like me, weird little niches because your kitchen is 80 years younger than the rest of your house and you still have to fit two highchairs in there, a cart could be less than ideal.
That doesn’t mean good storage solutions can’t be made in nearly any space, though. Adding shelves to the wall, like suggested earlier, is a great way to do that, as well as things like hooks and racks. Wall space is precious real estate and should be utilized to its utmost potential. Even setting up more designated trash disposal/recycling systems or a baker’s rack for often-used items in the right places can make your kitchen seem more effortlessly functional without being overcrowded.
My Hint: Check out an IKEA catalog for amazing storage solutions. They know their business.
Refinish Your Cabinets
This project probably takes up the most time and effort of any on the list, but it can have a huge impact. We just painted our cabinets black with a semi-gloss (to take them away from the 1980′s maple they were) after sanding and priming them to protect the wood should we someday want to change them again. But you can do anything from glazing to completely replacing the fronts to get the look you desire — just make sure you do the proper research on the techniques you want to implement because nothing in DIY is worse than messing up and having to start all over.
My Hint: Don’t limit the resurfacing to the cabinets. You can re-imagine your countertops and even your appliances with a can or two of the appropriate paint.
So what do you think of these tips? Which would be the ways you’d pick to update your kitchen? Let us know below in the comments, and as always share your experiences and helpful hints as well!