10 affordable ways to update your kitchen

Want to spruce up your kitchen? Here are simple, budget-friendly ways to give your kitchen a fresh, new look and add value to your home.

By Karen Kirk
Designed by Glen Peloso
Photography by Brandon Barré

10 affordable ways to update your kitchen
You know it's time for an update when you can't stand the thought of cooking one more meal in your kitchen, with its dark cupboards, outdated backsplash and dingy wallpaper. Don't worry – you can get a fresh new look without breaking your budget.

Glen Peloso, host of W Network's "Take This House and Sell It," shows you how to refresh your kitchen into a bright, family-friendly space with 10 simple do-it-yourself ideas that won't cost a lot of money -- but will add value to your home.

Take a look at a larger image of the updated kitchen.


1. Create more space. A set of underutilized upper and lower cabinets, a mirrored backsplash and a small breakfast counter attached to the peninsula were removed, leaving plenty of room for a comfortable breakfast nook. A pretty glass-topped table is just the right size for the space.

2. Paint your cabinets.
No budget for new cabinets? Paint them in a durable eggshell or semigloss finish and save thousands of dollars. The cabinets were painted for a fresher, brighter look in Pittsburgh Paint's Crumb Cookie 217-1.

3.
Lighting. Drop a decorative pendant light over the table and put it on a separate dimmer switch to save energy.

4. Make a small kitchen look larger.
California or bust! Lose the '80s-style California drop ceiling to gain extra height in a small kitchen. Replace it with an inexpensive "big-box store" track lighting system for a modern look and better-quality task and ambient lighting.

5. Paint your walls.
Wallpapering a kitchen can get dingy with cooking oil and fumes. Remove wallpaper and borders – and get painting! A fresh coat of paint gives you big bang for your buck. Cool blue walls in Pittsburgh Paint's Chambray 552-4 brighten and open up the space.

6. Get new blinds for your windows. Remove built-in wooden valances over windows and replace them with faux roman blinds for a softer look. Use faux blinds when privacy isn't an issue. You'll save money on fabric costs and still get a pretty window treatment.

7. Add art to your home decor.
Keep it simple with inexpensive art – framed black-and-white photos of kitchen items, such as cutlery, add interest.

8. Get modern-style cabinets.
Add a contemporary twist to traditional-style cabinetry with simple and inexpensive brushed metal hardware. It takes only a few minutes to change the hardware on cabinets.

9. Remove clutter.
Get rid of the clutter on your countertops, leaving only the things you use every day. Choose glass, stainless steel and chrome finishes to make your kitchen sparkle and complement any colour scheme.

10. Make cleaning simpler.
Durable, easy-to-clean materials, such as glass, ceramic tile on floors and backsplashes, and paint designed specifically for kitchens, will cut down on cleanup.

Tip: Save energy and money in your home
Keep your kitchen bright without turning on the lights. Use simple window dressings that let in natural light and cut down on energy use.

This story was originally titled, "Clean Sweep" from the October 2009 issue of Canadian Living. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!

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