Special to Yahoo Homes
The kitchen can be the most important room of the house. It is well used, being far from just a functional space where we cook our food. It’s the heart of the home, a hub where meals are created for family and friends. It’s often considered the main room of the house because it serves as a family living and entertainment space where meetings and activities are held and guests are entertained. It’s a place where the kids do their homework and adults do their office work. With all this activity, the kitchen over time receives a due amount of wear. As a result, you may be considering some updates to your kitchen. According to Pro.com data, the average cost in the U.S. for a kitchen remodel is $50,000. If a complete overhaul is out of the question due to time or budget constraints, below you’ll find seven cheap and easy ways to give your kitchen a facelift.
1. Replace Light Fixtures
One of the simplest ways you can update your kitchen is by changing the light fixtures. Changing out the light fixtures can add warmth and new ambience for very little money. You can choose from many different styles, including pendant lights or even repurposed vintage fixtures from antique or salvage stores. You can even go with energy efficient fixtures which lower energy costs, helps the environment and improves productivity with more natural-quality lighting. Most people can change out fixtures on their own, but if you would feel more comfortable hiring a professional to take care of it, it will cost around $165.
2. Paint the Walls
Another simple update you can make to your kitchen is to paint the walls and ceilings. It’s affordable and you can do it yourself, and doing so can completely change the look, feel and mood of the room. For example, the color green has a calming effect on those who enter into your kitchen, and orange radiates warmth and happiness and is known to enhance social communication. Another thing to keep in mind is functionality. You want to use paint that can handle a little soap and water when the walls need to be cleaned. Satin and semi-gloss paints are your best options. If you would rather not do it yourself, hiring a professional to paint a room will cost on average $1,750.
3. Swap Out Faucets
Kitchen faucets are the most used utility in the house. They become worn out with constant use and can become a bit of an eyesore over time. When choosing your new faucet, consider things like what kind of handles you want and what kinds of tasks you need your sink to do. You can choose from ball faucets, which are most common, or disc, cartridge or compression styles. You will also want to consider finishes. When doing so, keep in mind the other appliances and fixtures in your kitchen so you can maintain a unified look. Brass, copper, chrome, nickel, gold-plated, oil-rubbed, matte, satin or shiny metals, and even textured faucets, are some of the finishes you can choose from. If you would rather not deal with plumbing issues in installing your new faucets, hiring a professional to do the job for you will cost on average $155.
4. Add a Moveable Island
Adding a moveable island can create more counter space and can even add character to your kitchen. With the wheels, you have a moveable workspace. The islands can also provide extra storage and can be used as a serving cart for dinner parties. There isn’t really any cost to build one, unlike major counter replacements or additions, and most come with easy to follow set up instructions. However, if you don’t have the patience to assemble furniture, hire someone else to do the heavy lifting for about $150.
5. Paint or Refinish Cabinet Doors
If your kitchen cabinets are dated or worn, it may be time to give them an update. They are the first thing people see when they come into your kitchen, and drab or worn cabinets can take away from the warmth and character of the room. Replacing cabinets altogether can put a strain on your pocketbook. However, repainting or refinishing the doors of your cabinets can create the illusion of new cabinets without busting the bank. There are numerous paints and finishes you can use. Consider what kind of tone you would like to set and what colors make you feel good to be in the kitchen. Simple colors like white or off-white can make your kitchen feel more expansive and light-filled. Sanding and varnishing wood cabinets to bring back to life the natural wood can make the kitchen feel cozier and warm. This can be a fun project for the avid do-it-yourselfer, however, if you’d rather leave the work to the pros, you’ll want to schedule a consultation to provide you with a more accurate cost estimation based on dimensions and needs.
6. Change Out Hardware
After refinishing cabinet doors, you may want to think about new knobs or handles. Adding new knobs and handles alone can provide an instant makeover that will be pleasing to the eye, and the update is fairly light on your pocketbook. There are many styles to choose from ranging from more modern styles such as a rod, flat or recessed bar pulls, to more classic styles made from nickel, steel, ceramic or vintage glass. Changing out your cabinet hardware is a fairly easy task that you can do yourself, but if you’d rather hire a professional to install them, it will run on average $105 for their time.
7. Create Open Shelving
Instead of painting or refinishing cabinets, you might want to consider removing the doors altogether to create open shelving. Doing so opens up your kitchen space and allows you to display your favorite dishes, making those items a part of the kitchen decor. While removing the doors is a simple task, you’ll have to remember to paint or stain the visible edges and inside of shelving to match the rest of the cabinetry in your kitchen to give it a purposeful, finished look. Just as with painting or refinishing the doors, you’ll want to schedule a consultation to get the cost for having a professional to do this for you.
Pro.com is a website founded in 2013 by service industry entrepreneurs and former Amazon executives to simplify home services -- especially research on contractor fees and qualifications.
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