Free Do It Yourself Projects: Easy Home Improvement Ideas For The Kitchen

By making a few simple changes to your current kitchen, you can update its look and make it more efficient.

There was a time when the kitchen was an isolated room of the home strictly for food preparation, but that time is long gone. The modern kitchen is the center of activity in many homes, where much more than cooking happens. It serves as a gathering place for friends, an area for the kids to do their homework, and even an office space complete with computer. With all of the uses of the contemporary kitchen, it is easy to see why it is the third most popular room of the home to renovate. Still, it seems like a complicated and potentially expensive task, with the average renovation costing between fourteen and forty-three thousand dollars. Luckily, there are several simple projects you can do to give your kitchen's look a boost and make it a more functional and inviting space.

Most of us think of new appliances, expensive installations, and especially new cabinetry when we hear the words "kitchen remodeling." However, none of these steps are necessary to revive an outdated room. Instead of replacing a fridge or oven that is older but still works well, think about taking attention away from them by emphasizing the rest of the kitchen. Simply by changing the color of the area, you can completely transform an old-fashioned kitchen. Paint the walls a bright color, especially if you have limited space, to create the illusion of a larger room. Yellow, terra cotta, and light rose are all popular kitchen colors, but the best shade for your room is the one that matches your personal sense of style. Use a latex satin enamel interior wall paint with little or no gloss, making sure to buy a dependable brand. It is likely that the walls of your kitchen will need to be cleaned from time to time, and you will want a paint that does not fade over time.

Cabinetry can also benefit from fresh paint if there is no room for re-facing or new cabinets in the budget. High gloss paints in white or off-white do wonders for old cabinet faces. Either manually paint all exposed cabinetry or spray paint it if you are feeling extremely frugal. You may also wish to try you hand at amateur cabinet front replacement. Remove a few strategically chosen old fronts and replace them with individually purchased glass-paned pieces. Instead of your old stuffy cabinets, this will give you open modern display cases. If you are concerned about keeping the visible shelf space neat, opt for brightly colored dishes behind frosted glass. This will add a splash of color but will distort the cabinet's contents a bit. Alternately, you could remove the cabinet fronts altogether to change the tone of the room. With some bright accent paint, these areas can be used to display decorative accents or oft-used appliances.

Yet another great way to spice up the look of your kitchen is the change all the hardware. Get rid of dull hinges and handles, replacing them with exciting new pieces. Whether you choose simple stainless steel hardware, elegantly sculpted pieces, or an eclectic mixture of colors and styles, the change will be stunning against white cabinets. Other surfaces can also benefit from a makeover, but you need not spend a fortune. To change the look of old countertops, forget about expensive custom-installed marble. Instead, consider installing your own cost-effective tile countertop. Depending on the size of your counter, the project should only take about a day. You can add unique accent pieces -- home improvement stores now carry an incredible selection of these -- as well as a lovely backsplash. You can likewise completely revive a tired floor. Check out your local store for easy-to-install ceramic tile, wood, laminate, or linoleum. On top of an impressive array of choices, these stores will also offer advice on installation as well as free classes on occasion.

Having improved all of these areas of your kitchen, you may find that your sink looks a bit pathetic. While it is possible to replace the entire piece, it can be expensive and rather difficult depending on the size of sink you choose. Rather than going to all the trouble and expense, think about simply replacing the faucet. These fixtures are now as lovely as they are useful, with sleek swan-like spouts, elegant handles, and even delightful little extras like spray hoses. Install a stainless steel or understated white faucet and you will find that the sink does not look nearly so old.

Finally, it is important to pay attention to lighting when renovating an old kitchen. Natural light from windows should be used to its full potential, so you can throw out any dark or heavy curtains you have. Instead, hang sheer airy fabrics and lightly colored mini-blinds to allow sunlight into the space. Install artificial light everywhere possible, from the ceilings to inside of cabinets. A ceiling fan with bright halogen bulbs will make the room feel immediately more inviting, as will carefully placed track lights. Take advantage of as many lighting options as possible to achieve a sense of warmth in the kitchen.

In conclusion, it does not have to cost a fortune to make your kitchen look young again. All of the suggestions above take only a little time and effort but can revive even the most tired room. The most important thing you can do to improve a kitchen is to make it feel more welcoming, a task that need not be expensive or difficult. Incorporating your personal style into these design tips will create a kitchen that looks brand new but will not strain your finances.

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