We all know that the kitchen is the heart of a home. Even if you're not Suzy HomeMaker, which I am not, we all still drool over light, bright and beautiful kitchens - cuz we all have a kitchen, even if it just came with the house!

So, you ended up with a kitchen that you don't love or maybe you just don't love it ANYMORE. And to top it off, we're not all blessed with a $50 thousand kitchen reno budget - like I WISH!! That's OK. There are a ton of ways that you can give your kitchen a makeover without breaking the bank. Ways that are impactful, look more expensive than they really are and that will help you fall in love with your kitchen.
(Image credit: Architectural Digest)

First - you need to deep clean your kitchen. I know this sounds silly, but I'm serious. Giving your kitchen a really good scrub down, like I mean scrub the baseboards, really wipe down every single cupboard door and drawer with some serious elbow grease, give that tile grout a really thorough scrub - use a toothbrush if you have to! Cleaning a kitchen - really cleaning it will give your kitchen a new lease on life. PLUS, it's the most bang you'll get for your buck by spending literally zero money (other than cleaning products!).

OK - so, you've scrubbed your kitchen to within an inch of its life and you're still not loving it. I feel your pain, friends. I've been there! So, our next option is HARDWARE. Just switching out the hardware on your cabinetry can make a world of a difference. Are you still rocking the 80s BRASS hardware on your oak cabinets? Or maybe it's still the white CERAMIC handles with brass centres... Yikes! So, we need to make some changes and you will be shocked with the difference it will make. Brass is back in style, but that doesn't mean those old-school 80s knobs are back - you need to modernize your brass. Brass can be difficult to work with, particularly if the rest of your kitchen isn't quite up to par yet, so a safer option is brushed nickel. Honestly, you can't go wrong with brushed nickel. And make sure that you choose simple and streamlined shape for your handles and knobs. Like don't pick something super scrolly (yep, that's a word in my vocabulary) or really ornate. Choose something with modern lines and a very clean look - that goes with everything. Plus, we're attempting to modernize here, so let's keep it contemporary and chic! If you're not totally sure what I mean, these pictures will give you some ideas and inspiration.
(Image credit: The Sweetest Digs)

(Image credit: DecorPad)

Alright, so you've cleaned, you've updated the hardware and we're still not there yet. So, what's your lighting situation? Switching out to a contemporary pendant light is an option. I LOVE the look of pendant lighting in a kitchen. But, I know, pendants aren't for everyone. So, track lighting is option too - again, keep it simple and clean. Don't do anything fancy or crystally (yep, that's in my vocabulary too!). Don't do anything too over the top - keep it chic, keep it contemporary. Need some inspiration - the photos below will help you picture what I mean.

How is everything looking? If you're happy, then you're done! Look at how much money you've saved and your kitchen looks amazing!

Or maybe that didn't quite do it for you. You still need to make a few changes - that's great! This next option requires a bit of work, but it'll only cost you the price of a can of paint. Yep, we're painting - painting cabinets and cabinet doors. So, many of us have cabinets that could use a fresh coat of paint - or maybe just a major colour overhaul. I love WHITE cabinets - almost any kitchen looks more contemporary with white cabinets. Or, if you're going for a bit more of a stylized contemporary look - pale grey cabinets are in as well - grey is super in right now - it has been for a while (think Benjamin Moore Designer Grey or Stonington Grey). However, grey can be difficult to pull off if the rest of your kitchen isn't quite on the top of its game. Like, for example, if your countertop is has quite a bit of brown in it, then grey may not be for you - or if your flooring is quite creamy or also has brown in it, then grey may not be the best choice. If your kitchen meshes well with cool colours, then, by all means, go grey. Grey makes a statement and looks so chic. So, is your kitchen more warm in tone, that's great! There are tons of great grieges (grey-beige) that will work with your kitchen and will look equally as chic (think Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist or Edgecomb Grey).
(Image credit: Entrance)

(Image credit: deVOL Kitchens)

Another paint project is the newly popular two-tone kitchen cabinetry. If you want to look "on trend", then do two-tone cabinets. What does that mean? This look involves painting the upper cabinets a light colour and the lower cabinets a darker colour or even a statement colour (like a dark blue or a green). You'll find some examples here.
(Image credit: Style At Home)

(Image credit: klikk)

(Image credit: Dwell)

One more paint project that you could consider, if painting cabinetry just sounds like WAY too much work - cuz, trust me, it is A LOT of work - worth it, but still a lot of work. So, you're not up for removing all of the doors and painting them and then re-installing them all - that's fine. Paint the walls of your kitchen! Just updating the paint in your kitchen can make massive difference in the overall look. I've done this in every house that I've lived in and it has always made a huge statement and brought me a step closer to loving my kitchen. Again, grey is awesome, if you can do grey with the other elements that you're working with, then do it. If not, then greige or even a "MUSHROOM" colour (which is like the new warm grey and super trendy - but, not in a "go out of style next year" kind of way) will look awesome and equally as stylish.
(Image credit: Chris Loves Julia)

OK - so, you're not really the reno/painting type. That's totally ok. I have a refresher for you to try. Are you a coffee lover? Then choose a small corner of your kitchen countertop and create a coffee bar! We've all seen them on Pinterest - get a tray (see my previous post on decorating with trays) and move your coffee maker over to this corner. Grab your prettiest coffee mugs (just a few, like 4 at the most), find some cute jars or canisters to put your creamer pods or coffee pods in - if you use sugar or sweetener or honey, display that in a cute way that complements your decor style (farmhouse chic, contemporary, etc.), maybe add a chic little container to house your stir sticks or clean spoons, you could add some greenery like a small plant or a faux plant, and grab some kind of neat or witty coffee sign to complement the bar - and VOILA! You have a new take on your morning coffee in the cutest/chicest coffee bar in town - your own kitchen.
(Image credit: The Home I Create)

(Image Credit: Style At Home)

I have one last idea that is completely free - re-purpose a rug from somewhere else in your home and put it in your kitchen! It's not necessary to have rugs in a kitchen, in fact sometimes it works better not to have one. But, bringing in a rug that maybe you're tired of in a different space of your house and putting it in the kitchen will freshen up the kitchen and also make a small update to that space in your house where the rug used to be!
(Image credit: Chris Loves Julia)

OK - so, now that we're all sufficiently inspired to revamp our kitchens, tell me - what have you done to refresh your kitchen on a budget? Are you planning to put any of these ideas into action?


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