You may be dreaming about a complete kitchen makeover. But it might not fit in your home improvement budget in the near future. Are you stuck living with your existing kitchen? Not necessarily. There are plenty of smaller-scale updates you can complete that will breathe new life into your kitchen.
Replacing cabinets can be a huge chunk of a full-scale kitchen renovation. But you can update your cabinets in a few ways. Changing out the drawer pulls and cabinet knobs can instantly update the look of your cabinets. Home improvement stores have many styles to choose from, or consider second-hand stores or architectural salvage yards for one-of-a-kind finds. You could also repaint your cabinet fronts. Remove the doors first, and sand the old paint so the new paint adheres properly.
One of the easiest ways to update your kitchen (or just about any room in your home) is to change the color of your walls. Consider a contrasting color to the finish of your cabinets, or go subtle by choosing the same color family as your cabinets but going lighter or darker. Many popular colors this year take their cues from nature - ocean hues in mint green and pale blue, soft flower shades of warm yellow and pale pink, seashore colors reminiscent of sand and driftwood, and earthy tones in warm gray and taupe.
Could your kitchen use a little brightening up? Updating your lighting can make a dramatic impact. Replacing an old light fixture in its current location is a job many homeowners can handle with a few common-sense precautions. When replacing the light fixture, consider adding a dimmer switch so you can control the light intensity.
Many kitchen sinks have a window above them, but they often don't let in very much light. A window replacement is another way to bring more light into the room, especially if you're able to enlarge the window opening. For even more natural light, consider a garden window. Designed like a miniature greenhouse, garden windows have four sides of glass that allow much more natural light to enter the room. They'll also afford more cross-ventilation if they have casement windows on the sides, which may come in handy when you need to air out the kitchen after a cooking mishap.
While replacing appliances may be cost prohibitive, take a look at your sink area. You can switch out your old, outdated faucet with a new model. While the cost of a new faucet can vary dramatically, you can pick one up for about $100 or so on the low end. Some homeowners are handy enough to install a new faucet, but if you need to hire a plumber you will need to figure that into your total cost.
While you may not be financially ready for a full kitchen renovation, there are many smaller projects you can tackle to update the look of your kitchen. A can or two of new paint, changing your cabinet color, bringing in more light, and replacing your faucet are all ways to spruce up this much-used area of your home.