Your bank account might cower at the mention of the word “remodel,” but let’s face it: a bland cooking environment can make preparing food a chore rather than a labor of love, so an update can’t hurt. Here’s how to modernize your kitchen by starting with some easy wins that will deliver the most pop even on a limited budget.
Start with the kitchen floors
Kitchen floors see a lot of wear and tear, which is why they tend to be pricier than other aspects of a remodeling project. The material needs to hold up against spills, splatters, and other cooking-related sources of wear and tear while maintaining its quality look.
If you’re working with a larger budget, invest in wood or stone flooring which are tried and true surfaces that have been relied upon for hundreds of years. Otherwise, get creative. Vinyl flooring that looks like real wood or stone is beautiful and costs between less than $1-$5 per square foot, and is designed to repel spills and stains. Or, for a flooring surface that is practically impervious to moisture yet renders a warm, organic visual effect, there’s always wood grain porcelain tile to consider.
Get creative with the cabinets
Get rid of those shabby cabinet doors. Open-air cabinets create a sense of spaciousness and a chance to show off those brand new dishes you’ll be able to buy with the money you saved by not redoing your cabinets completely. Then, add a splash of paint. Pale grays and greens — or even a pristine — white bring a touch of elegance to any kitchen. A couple of cans of paint will only set you back $30 to $50 each.
For your lower cabinets, keep an eye out for modern knobs or pulls to replace your old ones. You can generally pick those up for less than $10.
Splurge on appliances
Dated appliances are a huge eyesore in a modernized kitchen, so feel free to liven things up with a newer refrigerator or stove. Appliances like these can cost anywhere between $1000-$3000, but that old beige fridge has to go if you want a truly updated kitchen space.
Also, when it comes to energy efficiency, those older appliances are not doing you any favors. So, when it come to making the most of your renovation dollar, investing in new, more energy efficient appliances is your way of helping to ensure savings the long term.
Accessorize Your Heart Out
With your remaining budget, go crazy with accessories. New dishes will look great in your open-air cabinets. A set of all white dinnerware like is clean, modern, and beautiful. Combine that with cutlery and your kitchen will be up and running in no time.
Also consider adding inexpensive light fixtures, such as swing-arm sconces above your cabinets or a glass pendant light above your island or dining room table. You can find each fixture for less than $50 if you’re worried about going over budget. They’ll bring warmth and character to your cooking space without breaking the bank.
Imagination and priorities
Believe it or not, you don’t need to dip into your children’s college fund to bring a little modern flair to your dated kitchen. Imagination and establishing your priorities can take a tight budget further than you think.