Your kitchen says a lot about your house and it’s where you most people spend a lot of time. Whether your cooking, grabbing a quick snack, or entertaining the kitchen often times gets more use than any other room in the house. This is why the kitchen is usually the first room to get a facelift. When the time comes however you don’t have to break the bank to make a big difference. More often than not people put more money than they need to into their kitchen update. Below are the top 10 updates you can make to your kitchen while maintaining a budget and getting the most bang for your buck:

1. Paint – It sounds so simple yet it’s one of the best bang for your buck upgrade’s you can do to any room in your house. In years past darker colors were often used throughout the house and in the kitchen so revitalizing it with a lighter, brighter color will go a long way. Walls get dirty in the kitchen from all the cooking and traffic so you will notice a huge difference once you do paint. Also, wall space in the kitchen is usually less than other rooms like bedrooms and living rooms so you won’t need as much paint to get the job done.


2. Cabinets – Replacing your cabinets can be very expensive and unless you’re a craftsman you’ll need to hire a carpenter to replace them. Most cabinets are built very well and have a very long functional life even if they are outdated. Simply painting the cabinets and replacing the hardware can make your kitchen feel brand new again. If the door and drawer faces have real ugly designs or have significant damage you might consider re-facing the cabinets which can be more expensive but still much less than entirely replacing the cabinets. Recently more people are going for a modern farm house look and feel that can be achieved by simply rooming the doors from the upper cabinets. Most times just paint or just hardware updates will do the job though.


3. Lighting – With any room and old light fixture really stands out like a sore thumb especially if you’ve just painted or done other updates. Buying new fixtures from Home Depot or Menards aren’t too expensive and can usually be replaced fairly easily if you’re handy or can follow an online tutorial. Also, hiring an electrician just to install a few lights is not as expensive as you might think.  TIP – If you’re going to paint and update your light fixtures do the lighting first, the paint will look different and brighter with new lights.


4. Backsplash – Backsplashes are one of the first things that get skipped when a builder is trying to cut their costs in the kitchen.  Depending on your skill set may determine what route is best for a backsplash, if you have little to no handy skills you can buy vinyl adhesive backsplashes that just peel and stick to the walls. If you have some handy skills or can read an online tutorial you can buy the supplies and do a stone, glass, or ceramic tile backsplash. For an ultra frugal approach simply paint the walls a different color beneath your kitchen cabinets.


5. Countertops – While updating your countertops is not always the cheapest upgrade it can go a long way. Whether you go all the way get granite countertops or if you go a cheaper route like formica or laminate you will see a huge improvement in the feel of your kitchen. For the budget minded homeowner going with formica will often times fool people into thinking your countertops are actually granite or quartz.


6. Flooring – Updating your kitchen flooring can make a huge difference and doesn’t have to be too expensive. Just like with countertops new lamnite flooring is cheap and often times looks just as good as more expensive stone and tile. If you prefer stone or tile and you’re fairly handy you can also look into getting the tools needed to do it yourself and save a ton of money on labor. TIP- If you are redoing or like the flooring in an adjascent room consider doing the same in the kitchen. Flooring creates flow between rooms and can really pull your home together.


7. Clear the clutter – This is an entirely free update you can do yourself. Look at your counter space, do you have a toaster taking up space that you haven’t used in 6 months? Don’t let it eat up your precious counter space, put it away in a cabinet or pantry when you’re not using it. Also, getting cheap cabinet and drawer organizers from Home Depot, Menards, or Amazon helps save space.


8. Appliances – Obviously this is not necessarily an affordable update but in comparison to doing an entire remodel it’s not that expensive. Appliances are another item that builders often skimp on when trying to minimize kitchen costs. Newer appliances are often more efficient which will help on your bills as well. If you’re looking to sell in the near future new kitchen appliances are one of the first things buyers value.


9. Add Space – Adding shelving or a free standing cabinet will add storage space for a very resonable cost. A floor standing wine rack suaully serves are more counter cpace and shelving as opposed to storing wine. Wall mounted shelving can add a ton of storage space and can be added very easily with supplies from Home Depot or Menards.


10. Window Treatments – If you have a kitchen window and it has blinds or curtains you might want to consider removing or updating them. Lighting is key in the kitchen and if you have blinds chances are you’re making it darker. If you require window treatments make sure they open all the way and don’t restrict natural light.

Whether you just bought your house, are looking to sell soon, or just want an update for yourself you might want to consider these kitchen updates.

Thanks for reading!