Small Changes, Big Impact: 3 Ways to Upgrade Your Kitchen

When we moved into our current house, I had planned to paint the cabinets but changed my mind after researching the amount of work involved. Instead, I’m considering other options for updating the kitchen’s appearance. If you’re thinking about starting a kitchen remodel, consider these three budget-friendly options for improving the look of your kitchen before making major changes like knocking down walls or replacing cabinets.

There’s a lot you can do to improve the look of your kitchen and spend less money in the process. Here are three simple kitchen renovations that are not only easy, but also easy on your wallet.

Pretty-Up the Kitchen With Paint

If your kitchen has a dated color scheme, a new coat of paint can give it a fresh, modern look. Lighter shades of blue, yellow, and neutral colors like gray or white can all work well on cabinets, walls, and even the ceiling. White in particular can give the kitchen a clean and refreshing feel, and it’s also a versatile color that can easily be paired with other shades. The white color gives the room a fresh and clean feeling and wakes you up immediately when you enter. And when you choose white as your base color, you can easily play with other colors in the kitchen.

As fun as it is to choose a color, you should also think about the right paint when painting your kitchen. The kitchen is a place in the house that gets dirty a lot, there’s a lot of work and needs a good cleaning from time to time, which means you need to choose a finish that will withstand water, soap and, of course, elbow grease. A satin finish is a solid choice and can resist mold, dirt stains and cleaning. The semi-gloss color reflects a lot of light and is very durable, making it the best choice for the back wall.

Add Essential Under-Cabinet Lighting

If your kitchen feels too dark, you don’t have to undertake a major electrical renovation to get the task lighting you need. Under-cabinet lighting is a simple and cost-effective solution that can be easily installed and wired. When choosing under-cabinet lighting for your kitchen, make sure to select a model that produces a non-glaring, small, lightweight light that generates minimal heat to avoid damaging your cabinets and their contents. If you already have good lighting in your kitchen, tape lights or an LED strip may be the best choice to provide additional light to your countertops and workspaces.

Get Creative With Concrete

You don’t have to remove your worktops to give them a new, fresh look. If you like the look of concrete countertops, you can recreate it in your kitchen without the mess and with just a few tools like putty knives, sandpaper, drywall knives, food-safe concrete sealer, and a roller and brush. While you won’t have the strength and durability of real concrete countertops, you’ll get a modern look by coating them with Ardex concrete mix. Be sure to start with clean and polished countertops. You also need to seal the back wall and protect the appliances.

What is the biggest expense in a kitchen remodel?

The biggest expense in a kitchen remodel is often the cabinets and countertops.  Cabinets are often the biggest expense in a kitchen remodel because they are a major part of the kitchen’s design and functionality. They provide storage and organization, and they are also a key element in the overall aesthetic of the kitchen. Cabinets can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, laminate, and metal, and the cost can vary based on the quality and style of the cabinets. Custom cabinets tend to be more expensive than stock cabinets, and the cost can also be influenced by factors such as the size and layout of the kitchen, the type of hardware and finishes used, and any additional features or customization.

These are the most visible and used elements of a kitchen, and they can take up a significant portion of the budget. Other major expenses in a kitchen remodel can include appliances, lighting, flooring, and plumbing. Depending on the scope of the remodel, the cost of labor and materials can also be significant. It’s important to set a budget and prioritize your spending based on your needs and goals for the remodel. Working with a designer or contractor can help you make informed decisions about where to allocate your budget for the best results.

What adds the most value to a kitchen?

I would say that the most valuable updates to a kitchen are those that make the space more functional, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing. Some specific improvements that can add value to a kitchen include:

  1. New cabinets and countertops: Replacing old or worn out cabinets and countertops can make a big difference in the look and feel of a kitchen.
  2. Energy-efficient appliances: Upgrading to newer, more energy-efficient appliances can not only save you money on your energy bills, but also increase the value of your home.
  3. Lighting: Good lighting is essential in a kitchen, and adding task lighting or updating existing fixtures can make a big difference.
  4. Storage solutions: Adding more storage, such as pantries or extra cabinetry, can make a kitchen more organized and functional.
  5. Flooring: Replacing old or damaged flooring can also add value to a kitchen.
  6. Fresh paint: A new coat of paint can refresh the look of a kitchen and make it feel more modern.
  7. Backsplashes: Adding a backsplash can add character and style to a kitchen.

Overall, the most valuable updates to a kitchen are those that make the space more attractive, efficient, and functional for the homeowner and potential buyers.

What kitchen shape makes the most out of smaller space?

A galley kitchen is a good option for making the most out of a small space. A galley kitchen is a long, narrow kitchen with countertops and cabinets on either side, often with a walkway down the middle. This layout is efficient and effective for small spaces because it allows for easy movement and efficient use of available space. Other options for small kitchens include a single-wall kitchen, where all the appliances and storage are along one wall, and a U-shaped kitchen, which can provide plenty of counter space and storage while still fitting in a smaller space.

When designing a small kitchen, it’s important to consider the appliances and storage you’ll need, as well as how you use the kitchen and the location of other areas of the home in relation to the kitchen. To make the most of the space, make a list of your must-have appliances and think about how you cook, who else needs access to the kitchen, and the location of the dining table in relation to the dishwasher. This will help you create a layout that is functional and efficient for your needs.


You don’t need a big budget to make big changes in your kitchen, just a little free time and a little creativity will do.

So what do you think? Will any of these solutions help you love your kitchen any more?

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